The Washington Report
November 06, 2019
First FY 2020 Spending Package Passed by Senate
On October 31, 2019, the Senate passed the first spending package (H.R. 3055) for the federal government’s fiscal 2020 appropriations. The fiscal year began on October 1. The House passed its version of H.R. 3055 on June 25, 2019. The current continuing resolution is set to expire on November 21, 2019.
H.R. 3055 is available here.
PBGC Proposes Changes to Premium Filing Instructions for 2020 Plan Years
On October 30, 2019, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) submitted Comprehensive Premium Filing Instructions for 2020 to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review. The draft instructions reflect several changes from current filings. The PBGC is modifying the 2020 instructions to require reporting of lump sum window risk transfers to participants in pay status. The PBGC is also changing the reporting period for all risk transfer activity (lump sum windows and annuity purchases) to be the prior premium payment year in all cases. In addition, an additional clarification was provided for plans that claim a cessation of coverage. Finally, the draft 2020 instructions reflect several changes to regulations proposed by the PBGC in June 2019. The instructions clarify that a de minimis merger does not include a situation where a large plan merges into a small plan. Also, a spinoff to an existing plan is required to count participants in the receiving plan if the spinoff was not de minimis. Comments on the information collected must be submitted to the OMB by November 29, 2019.
A copy of the request can be found here.
DOL Issues Proposed Rule on Fluctuating Workweek Method of Computing Overtime
On November 5, 2019, the Department of Labor (DOL) published a proposed rule that would revise the DOL’s regulation for computing overtime compensation for salaried nonexempt employees who work hours that vary each week (fluctuating workweek) under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The proposal would clarify that payments in addition to the fixed salary are compatible with the use of the fluctuating workweek method of compensation, and that such payments must be included in the calculation of the regular rate as appropriate under the FLSA. The proposal would also add examples and make minor revisions to make the rule easier to understand. Comments on the proposed rule are due by December 5, 2019.
The proposed rule is available here.
The news release is available here.
EEOC Publishes Notice of Public Hearing on Proposed EEO–1 Report Amendments
On November 5, 2019, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) published a Notice that it is scheduling a public hearing to gather information and hear comments on the proposed revision of the Employer Information Report (EEO–1). (The proposed changes are described in the EEOC's September 12, 2019, Paperwork Reduction Act Notice, 84 Fed. Reg. 48138.) In the Notice, the EEOC stated that it was planning to seek approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act to continue administering Component 1 of the EEO-1 survey, which the EEOC had sponsored for many years. The EEOC also stated that it was not planning to continue using the EEO-1 Report to collect Component 2 pay data information, which the Commission originally added to the EEO-1 in 2016.The hearing is scheduled for November 20, 2019. For additional information, please refer to the EEOC website.
The Notice is available here.
The news release is available here.
Fact Sheet on Bonuses and Incentive Payments Under White-Collar Overtime Exemption Rule Issued
On October 29, 2019, the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued Fact Sheet 17U: Nondiscretionary Bonuses and Incentive Payments (Including Commissions) and Part 541 Exempt Employees. The fact sheet discusses how employers may use nondiscretionary bonuses, incentive payments, and commissions to satisfy up to 10% of the standard salary level for purposes of the white-collar overtime exemptions under the overtime rule. The fact sheet notes that even if larger bonuses are paid, the amount attributable toward the standard salary level is limited to 10% of the required salary amount for the workweek.
The fact sheet also discusses catch-up payments, differences between nondiscretionary and discretionary bonuses, nondiscretionary bonuses for highly compensated employees, and application of the bonus rules in certain U.S. Territories.
Fact Sheet 17U is available here.
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