Government Action Center
States Targeting Employee Misclassification
The U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL) Wage and Hour Division issued guidance regarding the misclassification of employees as independent contractors under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). According to the DOL, employee misclassification occurs when workers who fit the definition of employee are designated as independent contractors, barring them from receiving benefits like overtime pay, unemployment insurance, and workers' compensation. The DOL contends misclassification results in foregone tax revenue and workers not receiving benefits they would be entitled to as employees. The new guidance uses case law and examples from the workplace to illustrate how employers can be compliant with the "economic realities" test to determine whether a worker is an employer or contractor. Read full article...
Top of Article
Michigan Latest State to Preempt Local Employer Mandates
If we can’t convince you that coming to AICC’s annual Washington Fly-in is important, then maybe we can persuade you to pay attention to what’s going on in your own state capital. The following story about Michigan, as reported by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), makes this very clear.
Progressive groups and labor unions are pushing for aggressive new mandates on employers’ relations with their employees. Activists have had limited, but growing, success at the state level advocating guaranteed paid employee leave for illness, vacation, and family issues in state legislatures. Furthermore, nine states legislatures passed minimum wage increases in 2014 with an additional four states passing wage increases through ballot initiatives.
When activists have failed to convince lawmakers or voters on the state level to pursue new mandates on employers, they have shifted their strategy towards counties and cities. For example, the cities of Jersey City, New York City, Portland (OR), San Francisco, and Seattle all require private employers to offer paid sick leave to employees. Additionally, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, San Francisco, San Jose, and most recently Seattle, Los Angeles, and Chicago, will have minimum wages that surpass the state and federal wage.
Employers contend that these local actions create a confusing patchwork of employee benefit requirements. In response to these concerns, about a dozen states have taken action to preempt some of these mandates and to maintain a unified environment for employees throughout the state. When a municipality passes an ordinance that conflicts with a state statute on the same subject matter, the state law preempts (and invalidates) the local ordinances.
A wave of states took this step during the 2013-14 legislative sessions, when Mississippi (MS HB 141), Florida (FL HB 655), Kansas (KS HB 2069), Arizona (AZ HB 2280), Indiana (IN SB 213), Oklahoma (OK SB 2013), and Alabama (AL HB 360) passed laws to preempt local ordinances that mandate employer benefits, minimum wages, or both, that exceed state and federal requirements.
In March, lawmakers in Montana passed a bill (MT SB 241) preempting localities from enacting local wage or employment benefit requirements that exceed state law. However, Governor Bullock (D) vetoed the bill.
Late last month, the Missouri legislature passed a bill (MO HB 722) that would stop localities from enacting their own minimum wage, paid sick leave, and plastic bag bans, although it is unclear whether Governor Nixon (D) will sign it.
Finally, this week Michigan Governor Snyder (R) signed the “Local Government Labor Regulatory Limitation Act” (MI HB 4052), which preempts localities on a range of issues, including paid and unpaid leave, minimum wage, prevailing wage, benefit mandates where the employer would incur expense, E-Verify, ban the box, and union activity. The Michigan bill might be the most comprehensive state preemption bill enacted so far. However, it does not apply to any local ordinances enacted prior to this year.
We expect this tension between local control and state preemption on employer mandates to continue into 2016.
Top of Article
We need your input: How would new Overtime Rules Affect your Company?
AICC, through its membership in the National Association of Manufacturers, has received the following notice regarding the Department of Labor's proposed overtime rules. Please read and send an email to email@example.com with your feedback.
Proposed Overtime Rule Released
June 30, 2015 the Department of Labor released the much anticipated new overtime regulations.
There is a webpage dedicated to the new proposal and it will officially be published on Thursday, July 2, 2015. There is a 60-day comment period, putting us at the end of August. We will likely be requesting an extension of time.
We are still going through the details, but here are the main points thus far:
- The salary threshold will be increased from $455/week ($23,660/year) to $970 per week ($50,400 per year).
- The salary threshold will be adjusted automatically annually either through a fixed percentile or the Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers (CPI-U). The Department is looking for feedback on what methodology should be used.
- There is currently no change to the "duties" test; however, the Department is looking for comments on whether there should be changes and what those should be.
We need your feedback on what impact the salary increase will have on your companies. We would also appreciate your thoughts on the annual, automatic increase. Please email Steve Young at firstname.lastname@example.org with comments.
We will continue to provide more information as we read into the details of the proposed rule.
AICC Joins 528 Business Groups and Chambers in Advocating for Passage of Tax Extenders
AICC, The Independent Packaging Association, joined more than 500 associations, business advocacy groups and chambers of commerce across the country in calling on House and Senate leaders to pass a business tax extenders bill before the conclusion of this session of Congress.
In a letter sent on Tuesday, November 18, business groups urged the House and Senate tax-writing committees to work together “to extend seamlessly, enhance or make permanent the expired and expiring tax provisions." The letter went on to say, “These tax provisions are critically important to U.S. jobs and the broader economy.” To read the letter and see the co-signing organizations, click here or on the title above to read more.
IRS Issues Final Regulations on PPACA's Employer Mandate
On Feb. 10, 2014, the IRS issued much-anticipated guidance - in the form of final regulations - relating to PPACA's employer mandate. The final regulations reiterate much of the guidance published in the Dec. 27, 2012, proposed regulations, but add some very important clarifications. Below is a summary of the most important changes. Click on the title above to read more.
AICC Government Affairs Committee Members
Mark Williams, Richmond Corrugated, Chairman
Nan Harrison, Hycorr Machine
George Sickinger, Color Resolutions
Lee Shillito, Triad Packaging of Tennessee
David Urquhart, New England Wooden Ware
Marty Englander, Englander DZignPak
Chuck Fienning, Sumter Packaging Corp.
Lia Poteet, Appalachain State University/AICC Government Intern
Steve Schmitt, Jet Container Corporation
Roger Poteet, Poteet Printing Systems
Lou Wetmore, Triad Packaging
Return to Top