Week In Review

February 15, 2016

EEOC Announces Proposal to Seek Equal Pay Information from Employers
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has proposed to require employers with 100 or more employees to include wage information on the EEO-1 report. There will be a sixty day public comment period, which will end on April 1, 2016. The anticipated effective date is September 30, 2017. Not only will this new proposal create an additional burden on employers, it could lead to providing the EEOC with information to bring an action against an employer without even having an employee complaint. Moreover, just reporting W-2 wages can be misleading and taken out of the context, since many factors go into establishing a salary, including seniority and education level, which will not be indicated on the EEO-1 report. There is also concern that providing confidential wage information to the EEOC could become available to their competitors through a request pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, notwithstanding the EEOC’s assurance that it will keep employers’ pay data confidential.

Changes to Federal Overtime Exemption Rules Coming in July 2016
The Department of Labor (DOL) recently announced its long awaited changes to the federal overtime regulations will be published in July 2016. The revised regulations, which were first discussed in March 2014, are expected to make dramatic changes to common white collar exemptions from federal overtime requirements, including those applicable to executive, administrative, and professional employees. Millions of employees who are not currently eligible for overtime under the current regulations will become eligible under the DOL's proposed rule changes. Specifically, the DOL proposes to change the overtime exemptions by: (1) increasing the minimum salary level required for exemption for salaried workers to $970 per week or $50,440 annually (an increase of $455 per week and $23,660 annually);(2) increasing the total annual compensation for highly compensated employees from $100,000 to $122,148; and (3) establishing a system to automatically update minimum salary and compensation thresholds moving forward consistent with inflation and other economic factors. In addition to the above changes, in its proposed rule the DOL requested comments regarding potential changes to the "duties" tests applicable to the exemptions. The DOL, which last updated the federal overtime regulations in 2004, received nearly 300,000 comments on the proposed changes during the 60-day comment period from July-September 2015. Although the final text of the new regulations is not yet known, prudent employers should begin preparing for the changes now.

SESCO recommends that clients review all applicable policy and practices to ensure compliance. For assistance, contact us at 423-764-4127 or by email at sesco@sescomgt.com