Auto-Enrollment Pushes 401(k) Participation to Record Level

After Congress passed legislation in 2006 to make it easier for businesses to auto-enroll new employees in their companies' 401(k) defined-contribution plans,  the overall participation rate has gone up to 75.8 percent from 67.2 percent in 2005, according to a study to Aon Hewitt Inc. Though 60 percent of the 120 companies analyzed are now […]

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DOL Offers Employees Free Timesheet Smartphone App

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has announced the launch of its first application for smartphones, a timesheet to help employees independently track the hours they work and determine the wages they are owed. With both English and Spanish versions, users can conveniently track regular work hours, break time and any overtime hours for one […]

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New FLSA Regulations Take Effect Today (May 5)

New Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulations incorporating amendments and clarifications from recent years take effect today, May 5, 2011. The new rules also concern tip pooling arrangements, which make clear that tips cannot be diverted from people receiving them unless a valid tip-pooling arrangement has been established and promulgated to participants. The regulations navigate […]

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In Its First Test, DOL’s Internship Standard Loses in Court

Calling the Department of Labor's Fact Sheet #71—"Internship Programs Under the Fair Labor Standards Act"—"a poor method" and "overly rigid and inconsistent," the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of a for-profit nursing home that relied in part on interns to run its operations. The Labor Department issued a six-factor test to […]

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New Jersey Bans Help Wanted Ads That Shun the Unemployed

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) earlier  this year held a series of meetings to look into the issue of businesses' refusing to hire the unemployed and blatantly announcing so in their help wanted advertisements. Now, New Jersey has taken matters into its own hands and outlawed ads that exclude the unemployed, whether the ads […]

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DOL Seeking Comments on Electronic Disclosure Rules

Under a 2002 electronic safe harbor rule, benefit plan administrators can use electronic delivery methods for summary plan descriptions, benefit statements, administrative forms, annual notices and the like. However, the safe harbor places various restrictions on the use of electronic delivery. For instance, merely posting the information on an intranet site is not deemed sufficient, […]

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Wage, Hour, Overtime Settlements Fall in Dollar Value But Rise in Frequency

Wal-Mart is all over the news as the U.S. Supreme Court decides whether to let a massive class-action, gender-discrimination lawsuit with the potential for a multi-million-dollar judgment to go forward. Meanwhile, NERA Economic Consulting has pored through public records of 187 settlements based on wage-and-hour violations from 2007 to 2010 and found that, though the […]

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Jury Verdict Ignores DOL Administrator’s Interpretation

In March 2010 the Department of Labor (DOL) issued an Administrator's Interpretation (AI) declaring that mortgage loan officers are hourly workers subject to overtime pay and not exempt employees on a salary or commission schedule. Just this past month, however, a federal jury concluded that 350 mortgage loan officers employed by Quicken Loans are indeed […]

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DOL Issues Final Rule to Consolidate Changes to FLSA

The Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the Department of Labor (DOL) today published a Final Rule in the Federal Register to consolidate amendments and update the content of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of 1938. These "clean-up regulations" take into account amendments to the FLSA passed as far back as 1974, though many […]

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PPACA Compliance Deadline Extended on Claims Procedures

The Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and Treasury keep extending the compliance deadline of a provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) affecting non-grandfathered health insurance plans. PPACA originally set the deadline for Jan. 1, 2011, but before that date even rolled around, it was extended to July 1, 2011. […]

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