Tuesday, July 29, 2008

What I’m Hearing…The Latest from Washington, D.C.

I’ll admit it. The legislative aspects of HR aren’t my favorite. But sometimes, we can’t ignore actions in our nation’s capital. In the last week, 3 items have come to the surface that impact compensation.

First, the Department of Labor is considering updating the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Portal-to-Portal Act to reflect new laws and court decisions. Items under consideration include excluding stock options from regular rate of pay calculations, tip wage credits, compensatory time off, and calculating overtime using the fluctuating workweek method. Want to voice your opinion on these changes? The public comment period runs through September 11th. Share your thoughts now!

In other news, the Paycheck Fairness Act is proposed legislation that warrants a second look. The goal of the proposed law is to end gender-based pay disparities between men and women performing comparable jobs. Experts expect the bill to soon win House approval. Of particular concern? The law would amend the Equal Pay Act to allow unlimited compensatory and punitive damages even for unintentional pay disparities. Experts do not expect the bill to fare well in the Senate. However, don’t leave pending legislation to chance. SHRM has asked its membership to urge their elected officials to vote “no” on the bill.

Lastly, there’s a new federal minimum wage - $6.55 per hour effective July 24th. Make sure your posters and payroll systems are up to date, and you don’t pay your employees below that amount!

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