Twice every year, federal agencies offer an unheralded but revealing peek at their upcoming priorities. The Department of Labor’s most recent semiannual regulatory agenda, released in late May, provides enforcement clues employers should heed.
OSHA: By August, look for proposed rules covering amended recordkeeping standards for work-related illnesses and injuries. Also in the offing—probably in early 2015—is a rule designed to “improve” illness and injury tracking. Rules for handling whistle-blower retaliation complaints are set to arrive in February.
Wage & Hour Division: As we reported recently, expect new rules by November regarding overtime pay for white-collar workers under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Exemption thresholds for executive, administrative, professional, outside sales and computer employees will probably increase. Within a few weeks, the division is expected to release regulations for implementing the new $10.10 per hour minimum wage for employees of federal contractors. Also happening soon: an official definition of “spouse” in light of the Supreme Court’s 2013 Windsor decision.
Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs: By August, federal contractors and subcontractors can expect new rules requiring them to submit summary data on how much they pay employees, broken down by gender, race and other characteristics. New affirmative action requirements for federal construction contracts are slated for release in January.
Security Administration: In July, a new rule will debut requiring administrators of defined benefit pension plans to provide an annual funding notice to participants and beneficiaries.