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Fall Regulatory Agenda Indicates DOL Wage and Hour Division is Working on Seven Regulatory Priorities

The U.S. Department of Labor issued its bi-annual regulatory agenda update on November 20, 2019. Of the 63 items listed, the Wage & Hour Division (WHD) included seven regulatory priorities. Only one of these is new: a planned Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on the regulations at 29 C.F.R. Part 531, which interpret section 3(m) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), 29 U.S.C. § 203(m). Section 3(m) allows employers to count the reasonable cost of furnishing employees with board, lodging, or other facilities towards the minimum wage obligation. The WHD plans to issue an NPRM later this year to clarify the meaning of “other facilities” and to provide additional compliance guidance.

EEOC, NLRB, DOL Plan to Issue Rules Governing Joint Employment

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, National Labor Relations Board, and the Department of Labor will all issue regulations governing joint employment, according to the federal government’s Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions – Fall 2019 (regulatory agenda), released on November 20, 2019. The regulatory agenda lists agency rulemaking activities at various stages of development, and includes a description of agencies’ priorities for the upcoming months. While the deadlines are often aspirational, they do provide insight into which rules are advancing. A discussion of the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division regulatory priorities, including its upcoming rule on joint employment, can be found here. This article focuses on the EEOC’s and NLRB’s agenda items.

Beltway Buzz, November 15, 2019

DACA at SCOTUS. On November 12, 2019, the Supreme Court of the United States heard oral argument in a series of cases challenging President Donald Trump’s termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in September 2017.

DOL Clarifies the Exempt Nature of Participation in the Department of Defense’s Skill Bridge Program

In 2013 the United States Department of Defense founded Skill Bridge, a program that partners the U.S. Armed Forces with private employers to provide internships to active duty service members during their last six months of military service. Service members obtain valuable skills by participating in Skill Bridge—skills that allow them to transition into the work force with minimal impact after discharge. Participating employers obtain highly skilled and motivated individuals who may become employees after their service is completed.

FMCSA-Regulated Employers Take Note: Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse Implementation Quickly Approaching

In 2012, Congress passed and President Obama signed the “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act,” a transportation reauthorization bill referred to as “MAP-21.” That law directed the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to create a means of identifying and tracking commercial drivers who violate the agency’s drug and alcohol testing program, to ensure that drivers with a history of violating the drug and alcohol regulations are taken off the road until they demonstrate compliance with those rules.

Beltway Buzz, November 1, 2019

We Juan It! The Washington Nationals are World Series champions, and it is Soto-rific. This is the first World Series championship victory for Washington, D.C., since 1924, when Firpo Marberry and the Washington Senators beat High Pockets Kelly and the New York Giants in seven games. Of course, everything in D.C. boils down to politics, so it was no surprise to see D.C. Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton put in a plug for D.C. statehood while celebrating the Nationals’ win on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Beltway Buzz, October 25, 2019

NLRB News. Here are a couple recent developments at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that are worthy of note:

DOL Proposed NEW Electronic Disclosures Rule

Employers frustrated with the cumbersome rules and added expenses for furnishing plan documents, summary plan descriptions, notices, and certain other communications may soon get some added relief, at least with respect to their retirement plans. In response to President Donald J. Trump’s Executive Order 13487, Strengthening Retirement Security in America, the U.S. Department of Labor announced a proposed rule to allow online retirement plan disclosures.

FMCSA Clearinghouse Opened, Transportation Department Announces

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Clearinghouse registration, which is the electronic database that will contain information about commercial motor vehicle drivers’ drug and alcohol program violations, is open, the agency has announced.

Beltway Buzz, October 18, 2019

Washington Nationals Stay in the Fight. The Washington Nationals are heading to the World Series for the first time ever, and the Buzz is shocked—shocked!—that members of Congress are jumping on the bandwagon and looking to take advantage of the opportunity to fill their campaign coffers. And with their four-game sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Championship Series, the Nats disappointed not only the Redbirds, but also those politicians who scheduled their fundraisers for Game 5. Luckily, those lawmakers can reschedule (at a heftier price, no doubt), as Games 3, 4, and (if necessary) 5 of the World Series are slated to be played at Nationals Park.
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