US DOL Spring Agenda: FMLA & FLSA Regulations

Twice a year, the federal Department of Labor (DOL) releases its regulatory agenda indicating its rulemaking and enforcement priorities for the coming one-year period.  This spring, the DOL announced that it will pay particular attention to Wage and Hour Division regulations.  The proposed rulemaking activity will impact employers across all industries.

Among the proposed changes, the DOL plans to revise the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) regulations to expressly include same-sex spouses in the definition of “spouse”.  It is also considering possible changes to child labor rules to clarify how old an employee must be to operate patient lifting equipment.

In addition, the DOL is looking at two items on President Obama’s agenda, raising the minimum wage for federal contractors to $10.10 an hour and modernizing the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime exemptions for professional, administrative, and executive employees.  The Department of Labor last updated these regulations in 2004.

Finally, the DOL will continue efforts aimed at reducing employee misclassification.  As part of its long-term agenda, the DOL is intending to update its recordkeeping rules enhancing transparency and disclosure to workers of their status as employee or independent contractor and how their pay is calculated.  The DOL will also clarify the homeworker recordkeeping rules.

Once filed, interested parties will be able to view and comment on proposed regulations at regulations.gov.

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