The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported that real average hourly earnings for all employees increased 0.5 percent from November to December. This result stems from a 0.4 percent increase in average hourly earnings combined with a 0.1-percent decrease in the Consumer Price Index (CPI). Real average hourly earnings increased 1.1 percent from December 2017 to December 2018.
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has sent its draft of the long-awaited Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on the “white collar” overtime exemptions to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review. OMB review is the final step before publication of the proposed rule in the Federal Register. The OMB's review of the draft proposed rule could take several months. We will not know details of the proposal until after OMB approves it for publication in the Federal Register, which is now likely to happen in March 2019. We expect the DOL to set a salary level in the low- to mid-$30,000s. SESCO has a long history of ensuring that employers are compliant with federal and state wage and hour requirements. If employers have any questions or concerns about their pay practices, we recommend they contact us to ensure compliance.
The government shutdown is entering yet another week with no end in sight. E-Verify is shut down: employers are not able to use this service to verify an employee’s eligibility to work in the US; the “three-day-rule” for creating E-Verify cases is suspended during the shutdown due to the unavailability of E-Verify; federal contractors with the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) E-Verify clause in their contract should contact their contracting officer to inquire about extending federal contractor deadlines. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is essentially shut down: a skeleton crew of 103 employees across the country is in place to receive charges, but otherwise all cases are on hold. The Department of Labor (DOL), National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) are all open and fully staffed.
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