Friday, September 4, 2020
A September to Bear in mind? Congress will return subsequent week after its August recess to start a legislative dash to the November elections. There can be solely 15 scheduled legislative days when each the U.S. Senate and U.S. Home of Representatives can be in session previous to the elections, and there can be so much to do. After all, crafting a brand new coronavirus aid package deal can be a precedence, in addition to funding the federal government past September 30, 2020 (probably through the use of a seamless decision to postpone the funding debate till after the elections and even into 2021). Of significance to Buzz readers, someday in September the Home is predicted to vote on the Pregnant Employees Equity Act (H.R. 2694), which might require an employer to supply affordable lodging for pregnant employees with identified limitations, until doing so would end in undue hardship to the employer.
Impartial Contractor Proposal Advances. On August 28, 2020, the U.S. Division of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) despatched to the Workplace of Info and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) its draft regulatory proposal “for figuring out impartial contractor standing below the Truthful Labor Requirements Act.” After OIRA completes its evaluation, the proposal can be made obtainable to the general public for remark. The Trump administration undoubtedly want to full the rulemaking earlier than the yr is over in order that the rule can turn into efficient previous to a possible change within the administration. This can be a tall order given the place we’re within the calendar yr and the way a lot work goes into drafting a regulation. (The present extra time regulation, for instance, took over two years to finish.) After all, even when a closing rule is accomplished it will likely be vulnerable to problem below the Congressional Evaluate Act.
WHD Opinion Letters. On August 28, 2020, the WHD issued 4 new opinion letters. Two of the 4 opinion letters probably have the broadest applicability. The primary of those considerations the right reimbursement of hourly, nonexempt supply drivers for bills incurred whereas utilizing their private autos in the course of the course of employment (suppose pizza supply drivers or different meals supply drivers). William C. Ruggiero has the main points on the second letter, which pertains to the fluctuating workweek.
IRS Points Payroll Tax Deferral Steerage. On August 28, 2020, the Inside Income Service (IRS) issued steerage clarifying the president’s memorandum of August 8, 2020, deferring sure payroll taxes. Pursuant to the steerage, if an employer chooses to take action, it could defer the withholding and deposit of an worker’s portion of Social Safety tax for workers incomes lower than $4,000 per biweekly pay interval between September 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020. Notably, the worker’s portion of Social Safety taxes deferred should ultimately be repaid, and there’s no indication that Congress is raring to forgive this tax legal responsibility. (Raiding the Social Safety Belief Fund is a politically harmful proposition.)
OFCCP Responds to Hurricane Laura. In response to the harm attributable to Hurricane Laura, the Workplace of Federal Contract Compliance Applications (OFCCP) issued a nationwide curiosity exemption from sure federal contracting necessities for brand spanking new federal contracts to supply Hurricane Laura aid. The exemption covers contracts entered into from August 27, 2020, to November 27, 2020. Contractors coated below the exemption will nonetheless be topic to OFCCP’s nondiscrimination and nonretaliation necessities, however they won’t be obligated to develop the affirmative motion applications, put together the experiences, or present the notices often required below the laws implementing Govt Order 11246, the Vietnam Period Veterans’ Readjustment Help Act, and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. OFCCP additionally issued solutions to a set of incessantly requested questions relating to the Hurricane Laura Nationwide Curiosity Exemption.
New Steerage on Company Enforcement. On August 31, 2020, OIRA issued a memorandum implementing Govt Order 13924, “Govt Order on Regulatory Reduction to Help Financial Restoration.” The chief order and associated steerage set forth greatest practices and proposals for companies to make sure equity in administrative enforcement and adjudication. The memorandum incorporates 10 suggestions, together with the next:
“The Authorities ought to bear the burden of proving an alleged violation of regulation[.]” The memo reminds companies that “members of the regulated public are usually not required to show a destructive to forestall legal responsibility and enforcement penalties within the absence of statutory requirements requiring in any other case.”
“Administrative enforcement must be immediate and truthful.” The memo states that “[a]gency laws ought to apply limiting rules to the period of investigations,” and that “laws ought to require investigating workers to both advocate or deliver an enforcement motion, or as an alternative stop the investigation inside an outlined time interval after its graduation absent a displaying of surprising circumstances.”
“Penalties must be proportionate, clear, and imposed in adherence to constant requirements and solely as approved by regulation.” This greatest apply advises companies, when imposing penalties, to contemplate regulated events’ good religion efforts to adjust to the regulation and recommends the institution of insurance policies to encourage voluntary self-reporting of regulatory violations by regulated events in change for reductions or waivers of civil penalties.
Public Service. Seventy-five years in the past this week, on September 2, 1945, World Warfare II formally ended all through the world when Japan formally surrendered. With the top of hostilities, many World Warfare II veterans selected to proceed their service to the USA as members of Congress. In truth, the 1946 midterm elections ushered into Congress 70 World Warfare II veterans, together with future U.S. presidents John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon. All informed, 115 World Warfare II veterans in the end served within the U.S. Senate. The final two World Warfare II veterans serving in Congress, John D. Dingell Jr. (D-MI) and Ralph M. Corridor (R-TX) retired in 2015, on the finish of the 113th Congress. Dingell was the longest-serving member of Congress, having represented southeastern Michigan for greater than 59 years (from December 13, 1955 to January 3, 2015).
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