With the Biden Administration on its way in, we’re expecting to see a host of pro-worker pivots to pay regulations in the coming years. Think increased enforcement by the Department of Labor (DOL) and higher minimum wages at the Federal level, as a starting point.
Here are some recent changes to pay regulations your business needs to know about:
No Travel Time Payment for Partial Telework Days
The DOL published an opinion letter on December 31 about the compensability of travel time where employees telework for part of the day. The gist of their opinion is that:
where an employee teleworks for part of the day and works at the office for part of the day, and they undertake personal tasks during the commute, employers do not need to compensate the employee for travel time.
The letter confirms the well-established principle that ‘normal commuting’ from home to the workplace is not compensable. But worksite-to-worksite travel is. This means that, if your employee was required to telework for part of the day and then required in the office, you would likely need to pay them for that travel.
As always, the DOL’s opinions are provided based on specific circumstances, which you can find in the letter. You should seek legal advice if you’re uncertain about whether your employees’ travel is compensable as each case depends on your unique circumstances.
Tax Credits for extending FFCRA Leave Entitlements
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) entitled workers to paid leave and expanded family and medical leave requirements during the pandemic. It expired on December 31 and was not extended, so employers are no longer required to provide this leave.
Under the Consolidated Appropriations Act (CCA), eligible employers are entitled to tax credits for any voluntary FFCRA leave provided to employees between January 1 and March 31, 2021. You can read more about the eligibility requirements in the DOL’s FAQ sheet.
Protected Time Off for Crime Victims
In case you missed it, AB 2992 was signed into California law in late September last year. The Bill expands protection for workers who take time off following any misdemeanor or felony crime to obtain relief or access services.
It also reduces the burden on victims of crime in providing documentation to their employer. They’re allowed to provide a signed statement written by themselves or their representative to show why their absence was necessary. Documents provided by a victim advocate are also acceptable under the new rules.
If your business needs assistance meeting your legal obligations, feel free to reach out. We’re here to help!
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