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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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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.

DOL Releases Final Overtime Rule

(Congress, Dept of Labor) Permanent link

On Tuesday, May 17, the Department of Labor (DOL) released the final rule regulating overtime under the Fair Labor Standard Act. While the salary standard is approximately $3,000 less than the original proposal, the rule is expected to have a significant impact on clubs, golf courses and across the community of small businesses.

What Are the Major Provisions?

  • Threshold – The rule establishes the salary standard at $47,476 annually ($913 weekly) for a full-time salaried worker, which is double the existing threshold. This is approximately $3,000 less than the original proposal, and is indexed to the 40th percentile of earnings of full-time salaried workers in the lowest-wage Census Region, currently the South.
  • Primary Duties Test – The rule made no changes to the existing duties text. The existing Executive, Administrative and Professional exemptions remain intact.
  • Highly Compensated Employees – The minimum threshold increased to $134,004. This number is based on the annual equivalent of the 90th percentile of full-time salaried workers nationally.
  • Automatic Updates – The rule establishes the process for an automatic update of the salary threshold every three years to maintain the 40th percentile (or 90th for HCEs). The first update is slated for January 1, 2020.
  • Bonuses and Commission – The rule will now allow employers to use nondiscretionary bonuses and incentive payments (including commissions) to satisfy up to 10 percent of the new standard salary level. These amounts must be paid at least quarterly.
  • Effective Date – The rule is slated to become effective and enforceable on December 1, 2016.

Congressional opposition is already mounting. Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) released a statement citing the rule as an “absolute disaster for our economy.”

On the day following the release of the rule, the CMAA and National Club Association delegation to National Golf Day on Wednesday, May 18, shared at multiple meetings with Congressman and Senators how this rule will adversely impact the industry and the individuals working in it.

Earlier this year in anticipation of the release of the final rules, legislation was introduced in both the House of Representatives and the Senate which would invalidate the proposed overtime rule changes. HR4773/s.2707, The Protecting Workplace Advancement and Opportunity Act, would limit the actions of the Department of Labor (DOL).

While this legislation is unlikely to become law, it sets the stage for further Congressional action to prevent the rule from becoming effective.

OSHA Issues New Reporting and Anti-Retaliation Protection Regulations

(OSHA, Regulation) Permanent link
05.12.16 Safety

On Wednesday, May 11, OSHA announced new final reporting requirements for employers and anti-retaliation protection provisions. OSHA is dramatically expanding its data collection practices in an effort to create a database of timely, establishment-specific information about injuries and illnesses in the workplace.

Clubs With 250 or More Employees: Under the new rule, all employers with 250 or more employees will now be required to electronically report injury and illness information to OSHA. This is the type of information that is currently maintained on OSHA Forms 300, 300A and 301. OSHA is planning public disclosure of all of the collected data via the OSHA website. Review this OSHA Fact Sheet for more information on when your first report will be due.

Clubs With 249 or Fewer Employers: The final rule requires employers with 20 to 249 employees in specified industries must electronically submit information from OSHA Form 300A only. The club industry does not fall into these specified high-risk industries. There is no impact to clubs with 249 or fewer employees. Read more...

Employee Safety and the Zika Virus

(OSHA, Regulation) Permanent link

04.28.16 MosquitoOSHA 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.

For outdoor workers, OSHA recommends that all employers:

  • Inform workers about their risks of exposure to Zika virus through mosquito bites and train them how to protect themselves.
  • Visit the CDC Zika website frequently for the most updated information.
  • Provide insect repellents containing EPA-registered active ingredients and encourage their use.
  • Provide workers with, and encourage them to wear, clothing that covers their hands, arms, legs and other exposed skin. Consider providing workers with hats with mosquito netting to protect the face and neck.  Read more...