Now that 2015 is in full swing, it’s important to take a look at possible changes in employment and labor laws that you should know about. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Department of Labor (DOL) have been hard at work to stay up to date on issues related to employees.
Changes to look for:
- The DOL is renewing the definition of “fiduciary.” This affects the relationship between a trustee and a beneficiary and will have a significant impact on retirement plans. It has been in the works for years and will change the way fiduciary is defined under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) which was originally passed in 1974.
- The DOL’s overtime rule is undergoing changes under the Fair Labor Standard Act (FLSA). This change addresses the “white-collar” exemption which causes workers who make a certain amount of money to be considered executive and therefore lose out on the opportunity for overtime pay. This has been a long time coming as the regulation does not reflect our modern economy. Before this change, full time employees had to make just $455 per week (coming out to $23,600 per year) to be considered executive, administrative, or professional (i.e., white-collar).
- The EEOC is offering guidance on employee wellness programs. After many issues involving mandatory wellness plans came about, the EEOC has finally decided to play an active role in keeping mandatory wellness plans in line with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
- The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) has changed to ensure same-sex couples are included. As of March 27, the FMLA will allow spouses to take unpaid, job-protected leave to care for a spouse or family member in specified situations. Before this change, there was room to discriminate against same-sex couples.
- Final regulations have been released concerning the minimum value of employer sponsored healthcare. After some delays, the final regulations have been released defining what the minimum value of insurance options provided by the employer can be.