CMAA Legislative Report Blog - 26 October 2016
In September, two separate challenges were filed against the Department of Labor’s overtime rules. In the first challenge, 21 states have joined together to object to the rule, based on its impact on state funds and budgets. In a separate action, the US Chamber of Commerce and more than 50 other national and Texas business groups challenged the rule for violating the Administrative Procedure Act. On October 12 and 14 respectively, attorneys for both litigants filed motions for expedited summary judgement in the cases. In layman’s terms, this means that they are requesting a verdict from the judge without the benefit of a full trial.
CMAA Legislative Report Blog - 22 September 2016
Given the current changes to the overtime regulations, businesses may be considering how reclassifying employers to independent contractors could ease the costs of compliance. However, in 2015, long before the Wage and Hour Division Department of Labor (DOL) finalized the new overtime rules, it issued new guidance on the misclassification of workers focusing on the application of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the multi-factor “economic realities” test.
CMAA Legislative Report Blog - 22 September 2016
On Wednesday, September 20, two separate cases were filed to stop the implementation of the final overtime rule changes. Twenty-one states have joined together to file suit against the Department of Labor. In their challenge, they argue that the DOL erred by elevating the salary threshold over the duties test in defining an exempt vs. non-exempt employee. The states also take umbrage at the automatic update provision which do not take into account the effects on the public and private sectors. Finally, the challenge asserts the DOL exceeded its constitutional authorization by forcing states to adhere to federal regulation which results in the depletion of state funds. The 21 states are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin.
CMAA Legislative Report Blog - 31 August 2016
The final rules have been announced, and there are major changes to the overtime regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act, beginning December 1, 2016. Find out what is in the final rules, the expected impact to the industry and how your club will need to comply. Since the announcement, CMAA has been flooded with questions from members across the country. CMAA has compiled answers to your top questions on the new rules and provided general information based on published DOL guidance.
CMAA Legislative Report Blog - 26 July 2016
In May, OSHA announced new anti-retaliation protection provisions in conjunction with new reporting requirements. The rule prohibits all employers from discouraging workers from reporting a work-related injury or illness. Under the rules: Employers must inform employees of their right to report injuries and illnesses without fear of retaliation. OSHA defines retaliation as “termination, reduction in pay, reassignment to a less desirable position, or any other adverse action.” Clubs should be posting OSHA "It's The Law" worker rights poster (edition April 2015 or later). Employers also must establish a reporting procedure that does not deter or discourage an employee from reporting work-related injuries and illnesses. These should not be cumbersome or burdensome to the employee. Lastly, the rule clarifies the existing implicit requirement that an employer’s procedure for reporting work-related injuries and illnesses must be reasonable, and cannot in anyway deter or discourage employees from reporting such instances. The rule also delved into workplace safety incentive programs and how these should be an area of concern if they have the effect of dissuading the reporting of injuries and illnesses.
CMAA Legislative Report Blog - 15 July 2016
On Thursday, July 14, legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives to amend the implementation of the final overtime rule changes. The legislation, HR5813 - The Overtime Reform and Enhancement Act, would not alter the final rule but instead institute a more reasonable phased-in approach to the increase to the exempt salary threshold. Beginning in December, the salary threshold would increase by 50 percent and future increases would phase in the remainder over three years.
CMAA Legislative Report Blog - 22 June 2016
In late May, the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) published new final rules under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) governing employer-sponsored wellness programs. Under the final rule, employer wellness programs that ask employees about their medical conditions or ask employees to submit to medical examinations (such as tests which screen for high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes) must be “reasonably designed” to promote health and prevent disease, be “voluntary” and safeguard the confidentiality of employees’ medical information.
CMAA Legislative Report Blog - 28 April 2016
OSHA has released new guidance for outdoor workers on the Zika virus. The Zika virus is primarily spread through the bites of infected mosquitoes. To date, no local mosquito-borne Zika virus disease cases have been reported in US states, but there have been travel-associated cases.
CMAA Legislative Report Blog - 19 April 2016
This topic is trending in Presidential campaign rhetoric. We’ve heard numbers like $15 an hour. While that rhetoric reverberates in terms of Congress and the federal government, it is most applicable at the state and municipal level where increases are already being enacted, and the financial impact experienced by businesses.
CMAA Legislative Report Blog - 18 March 2016
On Thursday, March 17, legislation was introduced in both the House of Representatives and the Senate which would invalidate the proposed overtime rule changes. The legislation, The Protecting Workplace Advancement and Opportunity Act, would limit the actions of the Department of Labor (DOL). The legislation would nullify the overtime rule and prevent the DOL from promulgating anything substantially similar. It would require the DOL to reanalyze the economic effects of this action, particularly on small employers and non-profits.
CMAA Legislative Report Blog - 15 March 2016
On Monday, March 14, the Department of Labor (DOL) sent the new final overtime rule to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Generally, the review by OMB takes 30 to 60 days. Given the advanced timeline, the final rule will now likely be released in April or May. Previously, the final rule was expected to be released in July.
CMAA Legislative Report Blog - 9 March 2016
Did you know? According to research, workers can experience somewhat higher risks to both their health and safety after the time changes. In a recent blog from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), researchers dug into the impact of Daylight Savings Time on employee safety.
CMAA Legislative Report Blog - 22 December 2015
The 2,009-page 2016 spending deal has a lot to offer; first it keeps the government running which is a good thing for everyone inside and outside the beltway. But the good news is it also offers three much needed
CMAA Legislative Report Blog - 17 December 2015
The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) has cited the Environmental Protection Agency for improperly employing tactics to lobby the general public. Current regulation prohibits government agencies from using their federal funds “for indirect or grassroots lobbying in support of or opposition to pending legislation.”
CMAA Legislative Report Blog - 27 October 2015
CMAA recently held a webinar on The Impact of the Proposed Overtime Regulation on the Club Industry. More than 280 members attended the session, which is now available as an archived webinar for all CMAA members on CMAA University. Select CMAA Member Education, Archived Webinars, External & Governmental Influences Webinars.
CMAA Legislative Report Blog - 27 October 2015
The High Cost Employer-Sponsored Health Coverage Excise Tax, more commonly referred to as the Cadillac Tax, is slated to become effective in 2018. Under this provision of the Affordable Care Act, if the total premium cost of the plan provided to an employee exceeds a specific dollar limit, which is revised annually, the excess is subject to a 40 percent excise tax. So that total premium cost is the sum of what your club pays and what the employee pays.
CMAA Legislative Report Blog - 9 October 2015
On Friday, October 9, Judge David W. McKeague of the US Circuit of Appeals Sixth Circuit issued a stay for enforcement of the Clean Water Act for all 50 states. The stay will prevent the enforcement of the rule which expanded federal oversight and jurisdiction over many water bodies on golf courses including rivers, streams, creeks, wetlands, ponds, ditches and ephemeral drainages. The stay will remain in effect while the Courts determine the issues of jurisdiction and the multiple legal challenges brought by the states and private parties.
CMAA Legislative Report Blog - 21 September 2015
On September 16, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced their joint effort to address food waste in the US. In the establishment of the first-ever national food waste reduction goal, the agencies are calling for a 50-percent reduction by 2030. As part of this effort, the agencies will lead a new partnership with charitable organizations, faith-based organizations, the private sector and local, state and tribal governments to reduce food loss and waste in order to improve overall food security and conserve our nation's natural resources.
CMAA Legislative Report Blog - 11 September 2015
On Friday, September 4, CMAA and its allies in the golf and club industry filed official comments on the potential changes to the overtime regulations, proposed by the Department of Labor. These changes would substantially increase the base salary for exempt employees and for highly-compensated employees.
CMAA Legislative Report Blog - 29 May 2015
On March 27, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers announced the final Clean Water Act (CWA) rule, previously referred to as the Waters of the US rule. Many water bodies on golf courses including rivers, streams, creeks, wetlands, ponds, ditches and ephemeral drainages will now be subject to federal jurisdiction. This will impact operations and budgets as clubs will be required to obtain costly, federal permits for any land management activities or land use decisions in, over or near these regulated waters.
CMAA Legislative Report Blog - 30 April 2015
On April 28, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Labor (DOL) issued a joint final interim rule regulating the H-2B visa program. The rule includes the provisions of the 2012 rule which never became effective due to court intervention. In addition, the rule goes beyond the 2008 regulations with additional requirements for employers. This rule will significantly impact employers who rely on H-2B visas to successfully operate their businesses.
CMAA Legislative Report Blog - 26 January 2015
OSHA’s new reporting requirements became effective January 1. Now clubs are required to notify OSHA of work-related fatalities within eight hours, and work-related in-patient hospitalizations, amputations or losses of an eye within 24 hours. Previously, employers were not required to notify OSHA of these types of injuries. However, the new regulation lacked clarity for employers on what constitutes an amputation or sight loss. In an interpretation letter, OSHA has sought to provide clarity on this important question.
CMAA Legislative Report Blog - 11 December 2014
It is hard to keep up to date with all of Congress’s actions. With the hectic and frantic schedule of the club management professional in mind, CMAA is trying to make it easier to understand the actions affecting you and your club. Two years ago, we launched the weekly and as-needed Legislative Report blog, which keeps you up to date on all of the latest legislative, regulatory and legal information you need to know.
CMAA Legislative Report Blog - 5 December 2014
In recent months, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has filed lawsuits against two US companies for the manner in which they administered and executed employee wellness programs. According to research conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, the majority of employers now offer some sort of wellness program - 94 percent of employers with more than 200 workers, and 63 percent of smaller ones.
CMAA Legislative Report Blog - 21 November 2014
January 1, 2015, brings the deadline for providing health care to all full-time-equivalents (FTE) for applicable large employers under the Employer Shared Responsibility provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). That means that penalties will begin for employers who fail to provide coverage. For 2015, the penalty for employers with 100 or more FTEs is $2,000 per year per FTE, less the first 80 full-time employees. The penalty kicks in if any FTE gets a federal tax subsidy to buy a health plan through a government-run health insurance marketplace.