DOL Releases Assistance for Enforcement of Tip Credit Rules under FLSA

On April 6, 2018, the U.S. Depart­ment of Labor released a field assis­tance bul­letin (FAB No. 2018–3) pro­vid­ing guid­ance con­cern­ing the Wage and Hour Division’s (WHD) enforce­ment of tip cred­it rules under the Fair Labor Stan­dards Act (FLSA) after Con­gress amend­ed the FLSA in the Con­sol­i­dat­ed Appro­pri­a­tions Act, 2018 (act), Pub. L. No. 115–141, Div. S., Tit. XII, § 1201.

The act pro­hibits employ­ers from keep­ing tips received by their employ­ees, regard­less of whether the employ­er takes a tip cred­it under 29 U.S.C. § 203(m). The act also pro­vides that por­tions of the WHD’s reg­u­la­tions cod­i­fied at 29 C.F.R. §§ 531.52, 531.54, and 531.59 that barred tip pool­ing when employ­ers pay tipped employ­ees at least the full FLSA min­i­mum wage and do not claim a tip cred­it will have no fur­ther force or effect (until any future action by the WHD Administrator).

Read the bul­letin

EEOC Releases New Guidance for Preventing Harassment

In April 2018, the U.S. Equal Employ­ment Oppor­tu­ni­ty Com­mis­sion (EEOC) released a new guid­ance, Promis­ing Prac­tices for Pre­vent­ing Harass­ment, iden­ti­fy­ing five core prin­ci­ples that have gen­er­al­ly proven effec­tive in pre­vent­ing and address­ing harassment:

  • Com­mit­ted and engaged leadership.
  • Con­sis­tent and demon­strat­ed accountability.
  • Strong and com­pre­hen­sive harass­ment policies.
  • Trust­ed and acces­si­ble com­plaint procedures.
  • Reg­u­lar, inter­ac­tive train­ing tai­lored to the audi­ence and the organization.

The promis­ing prac­tices iden­ti­fied in the guid­ance are not legal require­ments under fed­er­al employ­ment dis­crim­i­na­tion laws; how­ev­er, accord­ing to the EEOC, they may enhance employ­ers’ com­pli­ance efforts.

Read the guid­ance

IRS Releases Employer Credit for Paid Family and Medical Leave FAQs

In April 2018, the fed­er­al Inter­nal Rev­enue Ser­vice (IRS) released fre­quent­ly asked ques­tions cov­er­ing the § 45S employ­er cred­it for paid fam­i­ly and med­ical leave. The employ­er cred­it is a gen­er­al busi­ness cred­it that employ­ers may claim, based on wages paid to qual­i­fy­ing employ­ees while they are on fam­i­ly and med­ical leave, sub­ject to cer­tain conditions.

The cred­it is a per­cent­age of the amount of wages paid to a qual­i­fy­ing employ­ee while on fam­i­ly and med­ical leave for up to 12 weeks per tax­able year. The min­i­mum per­cent­age is 12.5 per­cent and is increased by 0.25 per­cent for each per­cent­age point by which the amount paid to a qual­i­fy­ing employ­ee exceeds 50 per­cent of the employee’s wages, with a max­i­mum of 25 per­cent. In cer­tain cas­es, an addi­tion­al lim­it may apply.

The cred­it is gen­er­al­ly effec­tive for wages paid in tax­able years of the employ­er begin­ning after Decem­ber 31, 2017, and is not avail­able for wages paid in tax­able years begin­ning after Decem­ber 31, 2019.

See the FAQs

DOL Releases New Opinion Letters and Fact Sheet

In April 2018, the U.S. Depart­ment of Labor (DOL) released three new opin­ion let­ters on the fol­low­ing topics:

  • Com­pens­abil­i­ty of fre­quent rest breaks required by a seri­ous health con­di­tion and the fed­er­al Fair Labor Stan­dards Act (FLSA). Rest breaks to accom­mo­date an employee’s seri­ous health con­di­tion that pre­dom­i­nant­ly ben­e­fit the employ­ee are not compensable.
  • Com­pens­abil­i­ty of trav­el time and the FLSA.
  • Lump-sum pay­ments and earn­ings under the gar­nish­ment pro­vi­sions of the fed­er­al Con­sumer Cred­it Pro­tec­tion Act (CCPA).

In March 2018, the DOL also released Fact Sheet 17(s): High­er Edu­ca­tion Insti­tu­tions and Over­time Pay Under the FLSA, address­ing white col­lar exemp­tions and their applic­a­bil­i­ty to jobs that are com­mon in high­er edu­ca­tion institutions.

Read the FLSA opin­ion let­ters, the CCPA opin­ion let­ter, and the fact sheet.

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