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 LEGISLATIVE UPDATE:
ON CAPITOL HILL (CONT’D)
   If you have not already urged your representative to vote NO on H.R. 2474, the PRO Act, please contact them today and make sure they know to oppose this legislation.
U.S. Department of Labor Unveils New Joint Employer Rule
February 06, 2020. In January, the U.S Department of Labor (DOL) announced its new “joint employer” rule, which narrows the definition of joint employer under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the federal wage and hour law. The new rule provides much-needed clarity for small businesses.
The new rule takes effect on March 16 and will limit the situations under which employers, such as a contractor and a subcontractor, can be considered to jointly employ a group of workers under the FLSA, which makes both parties responsible for wage and hour violations such as unpaid overtime.
This is the first significant update to the joint-employer rule in more than 60 years – a win for small businesses. The rule includes a four-factor
balancing test to determine whether businesses share liability for FLSA wage and hour violations. To deter- mine whether a second company is a joint employer of a worker, DOL will examine whether the presumed joint employer hires or fires the employee; supervises and controls the employ- ee’s work schedule or conditions of employment to a substantial degree; determines the employee’s rate and method of payment; and maintains the employee’s employment records. In a statement, Karen Harned, Executive Director of the NFIB Small Business Legal said, “Small and independent businesses need a stan- dard for determining joint-employer status that is easier to understand, simpler, and less expensive to admin- ister. Citing NFIB, the Department of Labor noted the concerns and needs of small business owners, such as the fact that ‘small and independ- ent businesses cannot afford the lawyers, accountants, and clerks that larger companies use to decipher complex regulations and implement costly business systems necessary to comply with the regulations.’”
NFIB filed comments in support of DOL’s proposal to simplify the test for determining joint-employer status. NFIB argued that a less flexible and broader joint-employer standard would discourage large businesses, concerned with additional wage and hour liability, from hiring small companies.
Employers with questions can contact the NFIB Small Business Legal Center at 800-NFIB-NOW. Employers can also download a copy of the NFIB Guide to Wage and Hour Law, which provides additional information on FLSA rules including DOL’s new overtime rule.
Trump administration tightens work requirements for SNAP, which could cut hundreds of thousands from food stamps
December 4, 2019. The Trump administration said it had finalized a rule tightening work requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which could cut hundreds of thousands from food stamps.
The rule would apply to able-bodied adults with no dependents, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced.
It arrives as part of a broader effort to limit access to the federal food safety net, the first of three such measures in the works. The USDA initially estimated up to 750,000 individuals would be dropped from SNAP if the proposal took effect. The USDA adjusted that figure to 688,000. The Trump proposal would push 3 million Americans off food stamps.
Under current law, able-bodied adults without dependents can receive SNAP benefits for a maximum of three months during a three-year period, unless they’re working or enrolled in an education or training program for 80 hours a month.
But states have been able to waive this time limit to ensure access to food stamps during the ups and downs of reentering the workforce. Before this rule, counties with an unemployment rate as low as 2.5 percent were included in waived areas.
 soundwave - winter 2020
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