The US Department of Labor recently published answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) and model notices for the new COBRA premium subsidy made available to many employees and their dependents under the American Rescue Plan Act. As explained in an earlier post, the new law allows “assistance eligible individuals” (AEIs) – defined as COBRA qualified beneficiaries who had a qualifying event due to a reduction in hours or an involuntary termination of employment, and who elect coverage – to receive fully subsidized COBRA continuation coverage for periods covering April 1 through September 30, 2021. The new law also extends … Continue Reading
Trump-era independent contractor rule withdrawn
Effective today, May 6, 2021, the Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) Trump-era independent contractor rule has been officially withdrawn. The Trump-era independent contractor rule, which never went into effect due to the change between presidential administrations, would have made it easier for companies to classify workers as independent contractors.
Trump-era independent contractor rule
The Trump-era independent contractor rule expressly adopted and clarified the “economic realities test” for worker classification, and would have narrowed the focus of the inquiry to five distinct factors: (1) the nature and degree of the individual’s control over the work; (2) … Continue Reading
On February 5, 2021, federal OSHA issued a proposed rule to update the US Department of Labor’s Hazard Communication Standard (HCS or HazCom) to align with the seventh revision of the United Nations’ Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). In support of its proposed rule, OSHA asserts the update will increase worker protection and reduce occupational illness and injury by continuing to improve the information on product labels and Safety Data Sheets. In particular, the new modifications are intended to align with standards implemented by other federal agencies and Canada. For more information, read our legal … Continue Reading
Employers with either 500 or more employees within the City of Los Angeles, or who employ at least one employee in Los Angeles and have 2,000 or more employees within the US, must now provide supplemental paid sick leave for reasons related to the coronavirus pandemic for those employees performing work in the city. Notably, while employers of this size are exempt from the recent federal paid sick leave law, they must immediately become familiar with this new obligation under an emergency order signed by the Mayor. For more information, see our legal update Los Angeles emergency public order imposes … Continue Reading
On April 1, 2020, the US Department of Labor (DOL) issued a temporary rule providing key guidance on paid leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The rule clarifies that employees covered under a federal, state or local stay–at-home order may be eligible for paid FFCRA leave but only if work or telework is available. The rule also provides detailed guidance on teleworking, the small business exemption, required documentation and a number of other points. For more information, see our legal update, US: DOL issues key federal paid leave rule, extends leave to certain employees under stay-at-home orders… Continue Reading
The US Department of Labor (DOL) issued guidance which answers a number of key questions on the new federal coronavirus paid sick leave and emergency Family and Medical Leave Act leave, including when the law takes effect, how to count employees for purposes of the 500-employee threshold, how to treat related employers and other key questions. The DOL also issued model paid sick leave posters and announced limited amnesty for violations through April 17th. For more information, read US DOL answers questions on new federal sick and family leave, issues new posters and announces limited amnesty and see our chart … Continue Reading
The US Department of Labor’s March 7, 2019 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking reset the salary requirements for the Fair Labor Standards Act’s white-collar exemptions. By now we all know the new numbers: the minimum salary threshold will increase from US$455 per week (US$23,660 annually) to US$679 per week (US$35,308 annually) for the executive, administrative, professional, outside sales and computer employee exemptions. The 2019 Proposed Rule also increases the total annual compensation required for the highly compensated employee exemption from US$100,000 to US$147,414 per year. It does not, however, modify any of the duties tests. The DOL anticipates that the 2019 … Continue Reading
Key opinion letter allows FMLA leave for voluntary organ donation
Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued six advisory opinion letters on various Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) and Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) issues. From time to time, opinion letters such as these are issued to provide legal guidance to employers.
The DOL opinion letter likely to be of most interest to US companies is the one that addressed whether an employee in good health who voluntarily chooses to undergo organ donation surgery could use FMLA leave for post-operative care. See FMLA2018-2-A. The DOL … Continue Reading
Despite the fact that the U.S. Department of Labor’s new overtime regulations were set to go into effect on December 1st, the validity of the regulations remains unsettled. We previously reported that on November 22nd, Judge Amos Mazzant of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas granted a nationwide injunction precluding the Department of Labor from implementing and enforcing the regulations on November 22nd in Nevada v. U.S. Department of Labor. On December 1st, the very same day that the regulations were supposed to go into effect, the Department of Labor announced that it would … Continue Reading
Employers who had been searching for a way to best implement the Department of Labor’s new overtime regulations (the “Final Rule”), which are set to go into effect on December 1, 2016, received an early holiday gift on Tuesday, and from one of President Obama’s appointed jurists, no less. On November 22nd, Judge Amos Mazzant of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas granted a nationwide preliminary injunction against implementation of the overtime regulations. As a result, the Department of Labor will not be able to enforce the regulations as of December 1, 2016.
The Final Rule, … Continue Reading
Hailed by the US Department of Labor as a regulatory change to promote transparency and to help employees make well-informed decisions about union representation, the Department of Labor’s final rule on reporting union persuader activities has been permanently blocked by Texas US District Court Judge Sam R. Cummings.
The new rule attempted to narrow the scope of advice that would be exempt from the reporting requirements under the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959 (LMRDA).
Under the new rule, employers and labor relations consultants, including lawyers, were required to disclose information and report any activities undertaken with the … Continue Reading
With just about 90 days to go before the U.S. Department of Labor’s final rule dramatically updating overtime regulations is scheduled to go into effect, small business owners have petitioned the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division seeking more time to prepare for and implement changes to the way they operate their businesses so that they can remain compliant with wage laws. In a parallel move, on September 28, 2016, the U.S. House of Representatives also voted in favor of the Regulatory Relief for Small Businesses, Schools and Nonprofits Act, which would delay implementation of the DOL’s final overtime rule … Continue Reading
Adding to the recent flurry of federal regulatory activity, on May 18, 2016, the United States Department of Labor‘s Wage and Hour Division issued a final rule on overtime that raises the salary threshold for exempt employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Defining and delimiting the exemptions for executive, administrative, professional, outside sales and computer employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Department of Labor’s final rule updates overtime regulations, automatically extending overtime pay protections to “over 4 million workers within the first year of implementation.”
On the heels of the National Labor Relations Board’s landmark decision in Browning Ferris Industries, which found that under the National Labor Relations Act a company and its contractor can be seen as a joint employer even where the company does not exert any control over employees’ terms and conditions of employment, the Department of Labor (DOL), Wage and Hour Division this week released new guidelines for when companies may be considered joint employers under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (MSPA) and thus jointly liable for any wage and … Continue Reading