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The Legislative Report blog provides timely information on federal and state legislation and regulations and state trends as well as the myriad issues affecting the private club industry. A companion to CMAA's Legislative website, this resource should be your first stop for any information regarding legal, tax or legislative club-specific issues.

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New Bill Would Phase in New Overtime Rules

(Congress, Dept of Labor) Permanent link
Overtime Paycheck

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.

On December 1, 2016, the proposed legislation will immediately increase the threshold more than 50 percent to $35,984. In each subsequent year, the salary threshold will increase by $74 per week until December 1, 2019, when the $47,476 threshold is met.

  • Currently:                 $23,660 annually or $455 per week
   Beginning:
  • December 1, 2016     $35,984 annually or $692 per week 
  • December 1, 2017     $39,832 annually or $766 per week
  • December 1, 2018     $43,680 annually or $840 per week
  • December 1, 2019     $47,476 annually or $913 per week

The measure is sponsored by Congressman Kurt Schrader (OR-5), Congressman Jim Cooper (TN-5), Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28) and Congressman Collin Peterson (MN-7). Congressman Peterson explains “While I believe the time has come to increase the overtime threshold, the DOL rule would put businesses in a bind and potentially lead to job loss. Both businesses and constituents in my district have expressed concern about the impact of an immediate threshold increase. A three-year phase in will provide adequate time for business to adapt to the new standard while also ensuring workers are fairly compensated.”

However, this measure will not receive immediate consideration as the House and Senate have adjourned for the summer recess, and will return after Labor Day. During the recess, make sure your Congressional Representatives know how this rule will impact your business. Visit www.clubindustryvotes.org.

 

Court Puts Final Persuader Rule on Hold

(Dept of Labor) Permanent link

Final Persuader Rule - GavelOn June 27, the US District Court for the Northern District of Texas issued a preliminary, nationwide injunction which prevents the Department of Labor’s Persuader rule from becoming effective. The final Persuader Rule was released by the Department of Labor in late March and requires full public disclosure on the use of labor relations consultants by employers. In short, the rule requires employers and their hired consultants to report when the consultants directly persuade workers or when the consultants in four “indirect” categories. The Persuader rule was first introduced in 2011, but has been on hold since 2014. The reporting requirements were slated to become effective July 1, 2016.

In the opinion, Judge Sam R. Cummings stated that the rule will “cause irreparable harms” by “reducing access to full, complete, unconflicted legal advice.” 

Congress had already attempted to nullify this rule through the Congressional Review Act. HJ Resolution 87 would prevent the rule from taking effect. It was introduced by Representative Bradley Byrne (R-AL) on April 15. The bill was reported favorably out of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce but has yet to receive consideration by the full House of Representatives. 

Stay tuned for the latest information. 

DOL and OSHA Are Increasing Fines Beginning August 1

(Dept of Labor, OSHA, Regulation) Permanent link


Osha - Safety Warning SignBeginning August 1, employers and businesses will pay more for fines relating to violations of federal labor laws. Pursuant to the 2015 Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act, federal agencies are required to adjust the fines based on inflation annually. In addition, this summer the agencies are allowed to make larger increases in an effort to “catch up” to prevailing rates.

For example, the maximum fine for failing to meet the OSHA posting requirement will now increase from $7,000 to $12,471. This requirement mandates that employers post OSHA notices informing employees of their rights under federal law in conspicuous places such as the OSHA Job Safety and Health: It's the Law poster.

Earlier this year, OSHA increased the fines for injury reporting requirements.

For the full list of updated fines, visit https://www.dol.gov/sites/default/files/2016-inflation-penalty-chart.pdf.

EEOC Issues Final Rules and Sample Notices on Wellness Programs

(Health Care Reform, Legal Issues) Permanent link

06.22.16 Treadmill

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.

The final rule allows employers to provide “limited” financial and other incentives in exchange for an employee answering disability-related questions or taking medical examinations as part of a wellness program, whether or not the program is part of a health plan.

Key Definitions Under the Final Rule

  • “Reasonably Designed” - To meet this standard, a program cannot require an overly burdensome amount of time for participation, involve unreasonably intrusive procedures, be a subterfuge for violating the ADA or other laws prohibiting employment discrimination, or require employees to incur significant costs for medical examinations.
      
  • “Voluntary” - Specifically, an employer:   Read more...

Senators Introduce CRA to Stop Overtime Rule

(Congress, Dept of Labor) Permanent link

06.08.16 OvertimeOn Tuesday, June 7, Senate Labor Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Ron Johnson (R-WI) introduced legislation under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to block implementation of the final overtime rule. To date, the bill already has 44 Senate co-sponsors.

The CRA is subject to Presidential review, and the Obama Administration has already indicated that it would veto any legislation of this nature.

Meanwhile, the Department of Labor is developing a request for information in an effort to examine hours worked by employees using modern technologies outside of the office. The DOL would be looking at activities like responding to e-mail and/or using a smartphone to conduct business afterhours. The RFI is expected to be released in July.

Stay tuned to clubindustryvotes.org for more information on the CRA and RFI!
  

Expanding the Advocacy Resources

(501(c)(7) Tax Exempt Club Info, Health Care Reform, ADA, Congress, State Trends, Legal Issues, National Golf Day, Dept of Labor, OSHA, IRS, Immigration, WE ARE GOLF, Regulation, Budget, Tax Issues) Permanent link

Key State LegislationClubindustryvotes.org, CMAA’s Grassroots Advocacy website, has relaunched with expanded information and abilities. The new site adds dynamic state-level information with tracked legislation and legislators.

Through the website, all CMAA members will be able to easily access:

  • Currently Tracked Federal Bills and Regulations
  • Key State Bills (New!!!)
  • Directory of Federal and State Legislators (New!!!)
  • Action Alerts on CMAA-Tracked Issues
  • Non-Partisan Election and Voter Registration Information

As well, Chapters, through their Managing Directors and Legislative Chairmen, will have the opportunity to collaborate with CMAA on state-related Action Alerts (contact forms) and more.

This resource, coupled with the Legislative Report and webinar series providing timely compliance information on the regulations impacting clubs, will now comprise CMAA’s robust advocacy initiative. Get started now to make your voice heard.

#WaterRestShade

(OSHA, Regulation) Permanent link

06.06.16 HeatIt is hot out there and your outdoor spaces are hopping with members and employees on the course, the courts, the pool or on the water. Use these quick tips, courtesy of OSHA to keep everyone healthy.

To prevent heat related illness and fatalities, remind everyone to:

  • Drink water every 15 minutes, even if you are not thirsty.
  • Rest in the shade to cool down.
  • Wear a hat and light-colored clothing.
  • Learn the signs of heat illness and what to do in an emergency.
  • Keep an eye on fellow workers.
  • "Easy does it" on your first days of work in the heat. You need to get used to it.
  • Keep in mind that working in full sunlight can increase heat index values by 15 degrees Fahrenheit. Plan additional precautions for working in these conditions.

Get additional resources on how to manage the heat and make sure your supervisors and those who are working in the heat are utilizing the free and easy to use Heat Smartphone App, created by OSHA and available for Android or iPhone.