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Regulatory Analysis
We continually update our state and national regulatory analysis to help you stay current with changing regulations.

See the "updated" section below to find all of the latest topics.
New Documents
Calculators:
On June 30, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) with the long-awaited proposed changes to the overtime rules. In this first round, the proposed rule does not include changes to the duties tests used to determine if a position is exempt from the minimum wage and overtime rules. There are, however, major changes to the minimum salary threshold for the "white collar" administrative, professional and executive exemptions, and for the highly compensated employee exemptions. Use this calculator to determine and understand the impact of the proposed salary threshold for OT exemptions and to calculate the impact of the proposed salary threshold for highly compensated employees (HCEs).
Checklists:

The executive, administrative, professional, outside sales, and computer employee exemptions from overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act do not apply to employees training for employment in an executive, administrative, professional, outside
sales, or computer employee capacity who are not actually performing the duties of an executive, administrative, professional, outside sales, or computer employee. Therefore, if you are paying trainees, they are entitled to overtime pay. However, not all trainees are considered employees under the FLSA.

The Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has a six-part test to guide the determination of whether a trainee is in fact an employee under the FLSA. If all the following criteria apply, the trainees or students are not employees within the meaning of the Act:

Under the new FLSA overtime regulations, in order to prove that an employee qualifies for an executive exemption, you must be able to check off all of these items.
FLSA Checklist: Outside Sales Exemption
The learned professional exemption is restricted to professions in which specialized academic training is a standard prerequisite for entrance into the profession. To prove that an employee qualifies for a learned professional exemption under the FLSA, you must be able to check off all the following items.

The executive, administrative, professional, outside sales, and computer employee exemptions from overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act do not apply to employees training for employment in an executive, administrative, professional, outside
sales, or computer employee capacity who are not actually performing the duties of an executive, administrative, professional, outside sales, or computer employee. Therefore, if you are paying trainees, they are entitled to overtime pay. However, not all trainees are considered employees under the FLSA.

The Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has a six-part test to guide the determination of whether a trainee is in fact an employee under the FLSA. If all the following criteria apply, the trainees or students are not employees within the meaning of the Act:

In order to prove that an employee qualifies for an administrative exemption under the FLSA, you must be able to check off all the following items.
Guidance:
It makes sense for HR to establish benchmarks for your organization’s base pay levels and to compare your levels to others in your recruiting area and industry. If what you’re offering isn’t stacking up to your competitors, you’re likely to lose talent to other organizations.
It makes sense for HR to establish benchmarks for your organization’s base pay levels and to compare your levels to others in your recruiting area and industry. If what you’re offering isn’t stacking up to your competitors, you’re likely to lose talent to other organizations.
Determining the right balance between internal and external equity is a key aspect in developing a compensation strategy for your organization in which people feel valued.
Determining the right balance between internal and external equity is a key aspect in developing a compensation strategy for your organization in which people feel valued.
When it comes to effective business management, a common adage says “what gets measured gets done.” If you want to improve your compensation program, you need to measure it using metrics.
When it comes to effective business management, a common adage says “what gets measured gets done.” If you want to improve your compensation program, you need to measure it using metrics.
Since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) became law in 2010, employers have been busy trying to make sure they understand the law’s intricacies and how to remain in compliance with all its myriad provisions. This summer, the law survived yet another judicial challenge when the U.S. Supreme Court decided in King v. Burwell that ACA tax credits are available to individuals in states that have federal exchanges. Essentially, the ruling meant that nothing changed for employers regarding their healthcare insurance reform requirements.
On June 25, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its long-awaited, much-anticipated holding in the case of King v. Burwell. In a 6-3 decision written by Chief Justice John Roberts, the Court held that premium subsidies or tax credits are available for coverage issued in a federally run exchange. Then, just one day later, the Court issued its holding in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges. In a 5-4 decision, the Court ruled that states must issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples and must recognize same-sex marriages legally entered into in other states.
For months, Republicans have been crafting a post-Supreme Court strategy, confident the Court would rule in their favor and strike down the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) insurance subsidies in the 34 states using the federal insurance marketplace. They had planned to use the opportunity to extract major concessions from President Barack Obama, such as repealing the individual mandate, hoping the ruling—which would leave six million people without the tax credits that many need to be able to afford their insurance plans—would force the president to cave.
Most health insurance policies require persons covered by them to share in the costs. This strategy, often referred to as cost-sharing, serves two purposes. First, it provides participants an incentive to make sure that the services they receive are necessary and cost-effective. Second, it reduces the amount that plans pay out and, at least theoretically, lowers the premiums participants pay for coverage.
Balancing obligations to provide health and life insurance benefits to retirees with other legitimate business needs can be tricky. Although retirees depend on the benefits, employers may need to modify benefit plans for legitimate business reasons. Various laws, including the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), try to reconcile the competing interests. Nevertheless, when benefits change, retirees may feel betrayed.
It's time to take back control of your office! But how? What should you keep—and for how long? Where should you keep it? What laws cover how you manage personnel records? What really constitutes a personnel record?
It's time to take back control of your office! But how? What should you keep—and for how long? Where should you keep it? What laws cover how you manage personnel records? What really constitutes a personnel record?
Taking a proactive approach to examining your FLSA practices and correcting deficient areas can go a long way toward avoiding costly penalties and fines, as well as collective action lawsuits, and this event is designed to give you tips and strategies for ensuring a successful self audit of your wage and hour practices.
Taking a proactive approach to examining your FLSA practices and correcting deficient areas can go a long way toward avoiding costly penalties and fines, as well as collective action lawsuits, and this event is designed to give you tips and strategies for ensuring a successful self audit of your wage and hour practices.
Once upon a time, cybersecurity was an issue handled in the silo of the IT department — but no more. Protecting your company’s data is every manager's responsibility and it’s especially important that HR takes ownership of it.
Once upon a time, cybersecurity was an issue handled in the silo of the IT department — but no more. Protecting your company’s data is every manager's responsibility and it’s especially important that HR takes ownership of it.
Since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) became law in 2010, there have been a variety of judicial challenges to it, and this term, the U.S. Supreme Court reviewed the law for the third time. The Court previously examined issues relating to the law’s individual mandate and its contraceptive mandate. This time, in a 6-3 opinion, the Court decided in King v. Burwell that ACA tax credits are available to individuals in states that have federal exchanges. Essentially, this means that nothing has changed for employers regarding their ACA requirements.
In a landmark 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court in Obergefell v. Hodges held that the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution requires states to license a marriage between two people of the same sex and to recognize a same-sex marriage that was lawfully licensed and performed out of state. The decision ends the ban against same-sex marriage in 13 states and affects employers on several levels.
For several years now, employers have spent a great deal of time focusing on the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) play-or-pay mandate. Numerous articles have been written and numerous educational seminars have been given discussing issues such as who is subject to the mandate, what the definition of a full-time employee is, and how hours are counted. Finally, the benefits community is starting to focus more on the next major ACA issue: the so-called “Cadillac tax,” a 40 percent nondeductible excise tax on high-cost health coverage that applies beginning in 2018.
A study from financial services firm Northern Trust shows that employees favor their employers playing a more active role in their defined contribution retirement plans, but plan sponsors are reluctant to do so.
Most people of a certain age have fond memories of the movie E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. Everyone remembers E.T.’s magic glowing finger and his longing for home. But equally memorable are the traumatizing scenes in which doctors and scientists test, poke, and prod a trapped and sickly E.T. Recently, an employee of AT&T—a company that might have helped E.T. “phone home”—voluntarily submitted to being tested by numerous doctors in an effort to obtain disability benefits from AT&T. Unlike E.T., however, he didn’t get what he wanted. Angry, he sued AT&T, alleging violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). Read on to see how AT&T and its plan administrator ended up with a Hollywood-style happy ending.
Employers have long used paid vacation policies as a compensation benefit and a means of enhancing employee productivity. To keep pace in a competitive hiring market, many start-ups offer employees the right to take “unlimited” paid vacation. While “unlimited vacation” policies do offer certain benefits, the law on such policies is currently undeveloped, and employers must pay careful attention to implementation and administration to minimize legal risks.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Department of Labor, and the U.S. Department of the Treasury (collectively, “Departments”) recently issued final regulations related to the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) summary of benefits and coverage (SBC) requirement. The Departments had previously issued proposed rules regarding the SBC provision in December 2014. The new final regulations take into account public comments the Departments received about the proposed regulations and will amend the previous final SBC regulations published in February 2012.
An employee with a workers’ comp injury is unable to return to work but can work from home several days a week for several months. What are your options?
An employee with a workers’ comp injury is unable to return to work but can work from home several days a week for several months. What are your options?
Policies:
Overtime policy (standard)
Surveys:
Do you have a policy on wearable devices? Social media? Want to know about policies other employers have?
Do you have a policy on wearable devices? Social media? Want to know about policies other employers have?
How much have your pay rates increased in 2015? What will they be in 2016? Are they tied to market or internally driven?
How much have your pay rates increased in 2015? What will they be in 2016? Are they tied to market or internally driven?
White Papers:
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently released rules covering executive pay ratio disclosures. We spoke with Robin A. Ferracone, chief executive officer of Farient Advisors. Her firm recently released its take on SEC’s pay ratio disclosure rule, offering insight and advice about how to implement it.
Leadership is undergoing a shift. You may have read about different generations and how they view their work and their lives. Change is coming from the upper reaches of corporate America, where the largest generation on record is retiring— and a new generation is getting set to take over. How will this impact your executive pay practices?
While it is a single employee benefit, financial wellness reaches out and touches employees in a variety of ways. Yes, it costs money to implement a good financial wellness program. But by taking a smart, thoughtful approach to developing a program, you can use your money wisely and get a good return on investment.
As the working world continues to evolve into a strange dichotomy—with the lowest unemployment rates since 2008 and at the same time employees’ insecurity about their jobs and their financial situations—the number of benefits you offer can play an important role in employee retention.
A couple of phrases are making the rounds in retirement plan circles; perhaps you've heard them. They are "retirement readiness" and "independent fiduciary." While they have different meanings, they are more connected than you may suspect.
While compensation is supposed to be strategic in nature—a planning exercise that should support a company’s business strategy—it has turned into something one might refer to as a series of fires … as in putting them out.
With millions of employees now bearing the responsibility for saving for their own retirement, Fidelity Investments says it is more important than ever that they have access to the right information. In response, they recommend four areas where employers and company advisors should focus their efforts to help employees meet their retirement goals.
Leakage occurs when participants take money out of their 401(k) accounts early. It can have a greater or lesser impact on their ability to reach retirement, depending on how they take the money out. But no matter which way they do so, rest assured that there is an impact.
Updated Documents
Regulatory Analysis:
State:
How much should you be paying to attract and retain the best employees, based on your industry and location?


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