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Federal Employment Law Updates | September 2019

Federal Employment laws saw four updates this past September. These employment law updates include:

  1. Federal Minimum wage increase for Federal Contractors.
  2. New DOL Opinion letters regarding the FMLA, FLSA and CCPA.
  3. Changes to the EEOC Data Collection requirements.
  4. The NLRB adoption of ‘Contract coverage’.
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Federal Employment Law Update 1:

Federal Contractor Minimum Wage Increase

This raises the minimum wage for federal contract workers beginning January 1, 2020.

On September 19, 2019, the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor published a notice in the Federal Register announcing the applicable minimum wage rate for workers performing work on or in connection with federal contracts covered by Executive Order 13658, Establishing a Minimum Wage for Contractors. Beginning January 1, 2020, the minimum wage rate applicable to workers performing work on or in connection with covered contracts increases to $10.80 per hour, and the required minimum cash wage applicable to tipped employees performing work on or in connection with covered contracts increases to $7.55 per hour.

Read the notice.

Here’s a helpful HR Tool from our Compliance Database.

Federal Employment Law Update 2:

EEOC will not seek renewal of Component 2 Data Collection

The EEOC will not seek renewal for Component 2 Data due to the benefit being ‘far outweighed by the burden imposed on employers’ that must comply with the reporting obligation.

On September 12, 2019, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is scheduled to publish in the Federal Register an announcement that it does not intent to submit to a request to renew Component 2 data collection. The EEOC has determined that the burden-estimate associated with the EEO-1 is higher than it has previously estimated.

According to the unpublished notice, “The Commission now concludes that it should consider information from the ongoing Component 2 data collection before deciding whether to submit a pay data collection [request going forward]. At this point in time, the unproven utility to its enforcement program of the pay data as defined in the 2016 Component 2 is far outweighed by the burden imposed on employers that must comply with the reporting obligation. Therefore, the EEOC is not seeking to renew Component 2 of the EEO-1.” The EEO-1 Component 2 collections for 2017 and 2018 are currently underway and are due September 30, 2019. 

Desipte the higher burden, the EEOC still intends to continue its collection of Component 1 data because it “is necessary for the proper performance of the agency’s functions and has a practical utility to the fulfillment of the EEOC’s mission.”

Read the Unpublished Document.

Federal Employment Law Update 3:

DOL Releases Opinion Letters

Three opinion letters to help businesses navigate the compliance issues of the FMLA, the FLSA and the CCPA. 

On September 10, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced three new opinion letters that address compliance issues related to the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and the federal Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA) as follows:

  • FMLA2019-3-A: Addressing whether an employer may delay designating paid leave as FMLA leave due to a collective-bargaining agreement;
  • FLSA2019-13: Addressing the ordinary meaning of the phrase “not less than one month” for purposes of FLSA § 7(i)’s representative period requirement; and
  • CCPA2019-1: Addressing whether employers’ contributions to employees’ health savings accounts are earnings under the CCPA. 

Read the announcement

Federal Employment Law Update 4:

NLRB Adopts Contract Coverage Standard

The National Labor Relations Board adopted the ‘Contract coverage’ standard to replace the previous ‘clear and unmistakable waiver’ standard. 

On September 10, 2019, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) released its decision in M.V. Transportation, Inc. (28-CA-173726; 368 NLRB No. 66) where it adopted the “contract coverage” standard for determining whether a unionized employer’s unilateral change in a term or condition of employment violates the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). This decision replaces the former “clear and unmistakable waiver” standard, where the NLRB would find that an employer’s unilateral change violated the act unless a contractual provision unequivocally and specifically referred to the type of employer action at issue.

Under the “contract coverage” standard, the NLRB examines the language of the parties’ collective-bargaining agreement to determine whether the change made by the employer was within the compass or scope of contractual language granting the employer the right to act unilaterally. If it was, the NLRB honors the terms of the agreement and the employer will not have violated the act by making the change without bargaining. However, if the agreement does not cover the employer’s disputed action, then employer is in violation of the act unless it can demonstrate either:

  • The union waived its right to bargain over the change; or
  • The employer was privileged to act unilaterally for some other reason.  

Read the decision.

If these law alerts have you a bit overwhelmed and you find you have more questions than answers, our advisors can help your company navigate every new change, requirement, legislation, law and regulation. Give us a call to see how we can help streamline HR for professionals or office managers.

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