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  • Writer's pictureBoss Consulting HR

What We're Watching | Week of July 18, 2022

What We're Watching, a weekly summary from the team at Boss Consulting HR, to highlight the ever-moving parts that is Human Resources.


Federal Updates

New Proposed Rule – The Who’s Who of Independent Contractors

A new proposal has landed at the White House. The proposal, submitted by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), arrived on the desk of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) on July 5th. It puts forth a change in who will be considered an independent contractor.

This is the current administration’s second go around to change how we interpret who’s who in employee vs. independent contractor. And perhaps more importantly, who the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) protects, and who it does not.

Why it matters: As the rule currently stands, it is easier for employers to classify workers as independent contractors. But if the new DOL proposal gets approved, how you hire must change. We’ll be keeping an eye out as the situation develops and let you know the “new rules” once we have them.

Plans are in place to strip employees of their power of choice in union election processes

Secret ballot elections have a long-standing reputation as the gold standard for fair unionization. These elections put choice into the workers’ hands. And give employees a fair opportunity to decide either to bring a union to their workplace or to dismantle one that no longer serves their best interests.

This long-established union election process is under threat this week.

In a new turn of events, Jennifer Abruzzo – General Counsel at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) – and other Union Label administrators are lobbying to afford union officials the power to cancel elections altogether and to force union representation on unwilling workers.

Pushing the idea of “card check” over elections, Abruzzo’s camp claims this new plan protects the integrity of elections. When in reality, the card check system makes it virtually impossible to keep one’s views on unionization private – a direct threat to existing NLRB precedence.

The National Right to Work Foundation warns that this is not the only action being taken to limit employee rights. The foundation seeks to safeguard secret ballot elections to make it easier, not more difficult, for employees to exercise free choice.

To watch the full video and access free resources to better protect your employees’ rights, click here for more information.


Massachusetts Updates

Paid Family and Medical Leave – Changes are coming.

Your responsibility to provide employment-related health insurance benefits is changing in Massachusetts – or at least, it might be.

A new draft markup of the Paid Family and Medical Leave (MAPFML) was posted this week by the Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave (DFML). It gives the employer more flexibility in what’s required to maintain coverage for employees on MAPFML.

While some of the proposed changes are encouraging, it still leaves much open to interpretation.

Since this is a draft markup, nothing is set in stone. We’ll let you know more about what this may mean for you and your business once formal changes are announced.

If you’re concerned with how this may affect you, the DFML has stated that it will offer a period for public comment and/or public hearing. Dates have not yet been announced, but should be set soon. To read more about the proposed changes click here.

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