DOL Adopts New Prohibited Transaction Exemption for Fiduciaries Providing Investment Advice

On December 18, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published the final version of its new prohibited transaction class exemption for investment professionals: Prohibited Transaction Exemption 2020-02, Improving Investment Advice for Workers and Retirees.  The new class exemption is based on the DOL’s temporary policy adopted after a 2018 ruling by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in Chamber of Commerce of Read More

Pay Equity is a Key Issue for Employers to Watch in 2021

With a new administration and Congress in place, there will undoubtedly be some significant changes to employment laws, and pay equity is likely to be key issue for employers to watch in 2021 and beyond. During his campaign, President Biden indicated his support of the Paycheck Fairness Act (H.R.7) as the next step in building upon a pay equity law passed by the Obama-Biden administration, the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Read More

DOL Issues COVID-19-Related Guidance Regarding Whether Overtime Payments Based on Expected Hours Worked are Credited for Overtime

In Opinion Letter FLSA2020-20, the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) provided guidance on paying overtime to live-in caregivers who work shifts of more than 24 hours based on an expected number of hours worked, and whether these overtime payments can be excluded from the regular rate and credited for overtime. The employer addressed in the Opinion Letter employs caregivers to provide in-home or Read More

DOL Issues Guidance Addressing Whether Certain Telework-Related Travel is Compensable

In Opinion Letter FLSA2020-19, the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) provided guidance on whether an employee who works remotely for part of the day and works at the office for the remainder of the day while doing personal tasks in between must receive compensation for travel time between home and office. There were two examples provided in the Opinion Letter: #1: Employee has a school Read More

DOL Provides Guidance Regarding Electronic Posting Of Mandatory Notices

In response to the widespread shift to remote workforces due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Labor (DOL) has issued guidance to clarify how employers can comply with federal laws requiring the display of certain notices in the workplace that inform employees about their rights under federal employment law. Field Assistance Bulletin No. 2020-7 was issued on December 29, 2020, to give guidance on Read More

DOL Provides Guidance Regarding Telemedicine for Purposes of Establishing FMLA Entitlement

On December 29, 2020, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued guidance stating that a telemedicine visit with a health care provider to verify an employee’s serious health condition can be used to support FMLA leave. Under the FMLA, one avenue for an employee to prove a serious health condition is to visit a health care provider in person. Under the FMLA a “serious health condition” is an “illness, injury, Read More

EEOC Provides Guidance on COVID-19 Vaccine

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has updated its “What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws” web page with a new Q&A section about COVID-19 vaccinations for employees. The new section addresses how employers that require vaccinations for workers should respond to any employee unwilling to receive a vaccination because of a disability or sincerely Read More

IRS Announces “Compliance Strategy” for Excess Executive Compensation Paid by Tax Exempt Entities

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) enacted in December 2017 created a 21% excise tax on executive compensation in excess of $1 million paid by tax-exempt organizations to certain employees (IRC Section 4960). Covered employees include the five highest-compensated employees of an organization or an individual who qualified as a covered employee in a preceding taxable year. On November 5, 2020, the IRS’s Tax Exempt Read More

3 Tips for Proactive Wage and Hour Risk Management

Based on the anticipated priorities of the Biden administration, employers and HR professionals may expect an increase in Department of Labor (DOL) audits and investigations. Although DOL audits may take many forms, the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division is expected to be more persistent in its enforcement of payroll compliance, including the appropriate payment of overtime. As your risk management partner, HBL offers the Read More

EEOC Guidance on COVID-19-Related Inquiries and Medical Exams

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) restricts when and how much medical information an employer may seek to obtain from an employee or job applicant. In general, inquiries about disabilities or medical exams are prohibited before an employer makes a conditional job offer to an applicant. However, those inquiries are permitted between the time the offer is made and when the applicant starts work, as long as they Read More