Federal Employment Law Updates
October 13 – The US Department of Labor announces that it will begin enforcing its new regulations governing home care worker on November 12, 2015
The US Department of Labor (US DOL) announced that it would begin enforcing its new home care worker regulations on November 12, 2015. The new rule changes the minimum wage and overtime requirements for third-party providers of home care workers as well as other changes. The US District Court originally determined that the new rules were improper, but that decision was overturned by the Court of Appeals. The US Supreme Court denied a petition to stay the Court of Appeals decision, but the petition was denied. The decision US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia became final on October 13, 2015.
For more information, read the US DOL’s Home Care Worker Announcement (2015). For more information about the new rules, read our blog post: New rules for domestice service employees who provide companionship services
October 7 – President Obama signs a law rescinding the Affordable Care Act’s expansion of certain rules to employers with 51 to 100 employees
President Obama signed the Protecting Affordable Care for Employees Act (PACE Act) that rescinded expansion of certain provisions of the Affordable Care Act to employers with 51 to 100 employees that were set to take effect January 1, 2016. These changes mean that employers with 51 to 100 employees are not subject to small-group market rules, which include the requirement to provide health benefits with less underwriting criteria. The purpose of the PACE Act is to protect small employers from potential premium increases and give states more control over defining small group market size.
For more information about the PACE Act, read US HR 1624 (2015)
September 30 – EEOC extends EEO-1 filing deadline to October 30
If you haven’t filed your EEO-1 Report for 2015 with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the EEOC has given you an extra 30 days to do so. Employers are required to file an annual EEO-1 report if they:
- are subject to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (the law that prohibits discrimination based on race, national origin, sex, religion, etc.) and
- are either:
- a qualifying private employers with 100 or more employees, including employers who are part of an enterprise that collectively employs 100 or more employees, or
- a federal government contractor or first-tier subcontractor with 50 or more employees and a contract/subcontract of $50,000 or more.
To learn more about your EEO-1 Report obligations, visit EEOC: EEO-1 Reports If you need additional help understanding your EEO-1 Report obligations, please contact us at (866) 280-5225 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
September 16 – IRS publishes travel expense special per diem rates for 2015-2016
On September 16, 2015, the IRS released the special per diem rates used to substantiate the amount of ordinary and necessary business expenses incurred by employees while traveling away from home including:
- the special transportation industry meal and incidental expenses rates
- the rate for incidental expenses only deductions
- the rates and list of high-cost localities for purposes of the high-low substantiation method
The new rates will apply from October 1, 2015 to September 30, 2016.
For more information about these new rates, you can read the IRS special per diem rate change notice.
September 10 – The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) announced it final rules regarding pay secrecy
On April 8, 2014, President Obama signed Executive Order 13665 prohibiting government contractors from taking any adverse action against employees or job applicants who inquire about, discuss, or disclose the compensation of themselves, co-workers, or applicants. On September 10, 2015, the OFCCP issued the final rules implementing that order.
The new rules go into effect on January 11, 2016.
September 7 – President Obama issued an executive order requiring federal contractors provide sick leave to employees
On September 7, 2015, President Obama signed an executive order that will require federal contractors to provide paid sick leave to employees. The order requires the US Department of Labor to issue regulations implementing the executive order on September 30, 2016. Government Contractors will need to begin providing paid sick leave to employees on January 1, 2017.
To read the executive order, visit Executive Order – Establishing Paid Sick Leave for Federal Contractors.
September 1 – The NLRB issues guidance regarding the use of electronic signatures in election petitions
On September 1, 2015, the Nation Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued guidance regarding the use of electronic signatures in the showing of interest to support a union certification or decertification petition. The guidance sets forth the minimum standards required for ensuring that electronic signatures are authentic.
To learn more, read NLRB Memorandum GC 15-08.