Federal Government Stops Implementing Wage and Hour Rules

Federal wage and hour regulations play a major role in how workers are compensated and impact their standard of living. Over the last 100 days, the U.S. Department of Labor pulled back wage and hour guidance and rulemaking that was made under the Fair Labor Standards Act over the last four years. These decisions may improve workers’ ability to engage in employment rights litigation and receive fairer wages.

Independent Contractors

Independent contractors typically have less entitlement to benefits and protections such as workers’ compensation and unemployment compensation. The Labor Department, however, withdrew the independent contractor rule that was intended to make it easier to classify workers as independent contractors under FLSA.

Tip Regulations

The Department of Labor is also reviewing proposed changes to FLSA tip regulations. It placed a delay on the effective dates of new civil monetary penalties.

The DOL also stopped implementation of employee-friendly rules governing the tip credit that employers can apply to times that tipped employees engage in non-tipped duties. The department may withdraw and reintroduce those provisions.

Joint Employers

The DOL is also reviewing earlier proposals concerning the joint employer rule where companies can share responsibility for employee compensation. Those earlier proposals were viewed as being advantageous for employers and underwent litigation.

Other Changes

The federal government is also supporting a $15 federal minimum wage. Under a recent executive order, federal contractors will have to pay at least $15 per hour to workers starting in 2022.

The Department of Labor withdrew several FLSA opinion letters. Most of these, according to the DOL, were issued prematurely before regulations were finalized and took effect.

The department also ended the payroll audit independent determination program. Under the PAID program, employers could self-report FLSA violations and escape enhanced damages.

These changing rules and work environment, such as telecommuting, can impact what you earn.  Attorneys can help assure that your right to wages is protected under federal and District of Columbia wage laws.

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