1. U.S. Department of Labor Releases Guidance on Telework Policies
On August 24, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released a Federal Assistance Bulletin regarding employers’ obligation to exercise reasonable diligence in tracking teleworking employees’ hours of work. This bulletin outlines what is required by employers by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) during this unprecedented time. Employers must pay for all hours worked by employees, including any unscheduled hours performed at home. However, employers are not required to pay for work that they did not know about, so it is based on actual knowledge or constructive knowledge of the work done. Employers are not required to investigate unreported work hours if the employee fails to notify them of overtime.
NECA’s Look Ahead: As the landscape of the modern workplace continues to evolve, NECA will continue to monitor all information released by the DOL on this and other topics to keep contractors up to date. To read the full Federal Assistance Bulletin, click here.
2. New Interim Rule on Retirement Plan Reporting Released
On Tuesday, August 24, the DOL released a new interim final rule for employers that sponsor retirement plans. This rule requires employers to give retirement plan participants benefits statements detailing their expected monthly retirement income. These benefits can be shown as a single life income stream or a separate income stream that factors in a survivor benefit. This rule is part of a series of regulatory changes that will be made due to the passage of the SECURE Act of 2019.
NECA’s Look Ahead: NECA encourages its contractors to remain active in monitoring and implementing any regulatory changes to their respective retirement plans. NECA Government Affairs worked closely with Congress to pass the beneficial SECURE Act legislation of 2019 and will now continue to work with the DOL and others to properly implement the legislation.
3. Additional Post Office Funding Passed the House
On Saturday, August 22, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 8015, the Delivering for America Act, in an emergency session. This bill provides $25 billion in funding for the USPS to assist in the potential influx of mail in ballots and other USPS issues caused by COVID-19. This bill passed in a 257-150 vote and is in addition to the emergency funding provided in the CARES Act.
NECA’s Look Ahead: H.R. 8015 is not expected to be taken up by the Senate and we do not anticipate any legislation to be taken up before Phase IV has been passed by both houses. Representatives will be returning to D.C. after Labor Day and we will monitor any progress on COVID-19 legislation or funding.