- Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) – H.R. 1543, Civil Rights & Employee Investigation Clarification Act. The FTC has interpreted the FCRA as requiring an employer who brings in an outside consultant to conduct a workplace investigation to have to meet the same notice requirements as are required for conducting pre-employment background checks. The irony is that if an employer is trying to conduct an undercover investigation related to theft or drug use/sales/distribution, giving notice in advance defeats the purpose of the investigation. This bill would exempt workplace investigations related to employee misconduct from the requirements of the FCRA.
- Emotional Distress Awards in Employment – H.R. 840, Civil Rights Tax Relief Act. Did you know that a plaintiff who wins a monetary award for emotional distress as a result of physical injury pays no taxes on that award, but a plaintiff who wins the same amount of money for emotional distress that is NOT caused by physical injury does? This bill would exempt ANY award for emotional distress from taxation, regardless of the cause.
- FLSA Reform – S. 624, Workplace Flexibility Act and H.R. 1982, the Working Families Flexibility Act. A non-exempt employee asks his supervisor if he could work overtime this week and take compensatory time off in the following pay period to attend a parent-teacher conference, in lieu of overtime and so he does not have to use his vacation. Even if the supervisor would like to do so, as a private employer, the FLSA prohibits this. S. 624 and H.R. 1982 would permit this flexibility where both the employer and employee agree to the payment of comp time in lieu of overtime. The bills provide different eligibility requirements.
- FMLA Reform – S. 489, Family and Medical Leave Clarification Act would clarify some of the discrepancies that now exist between the courts and Department of Labor in interpreting the Act including administration of intermittent leave and notice requirements, without expanding the coverage to employers or for purposes not currently covered. Note that on June 25, 2001 the Supreme Court announced that it will review a case that deals with employee eligibility for FMLA coverage when an employer fails to give timely notice of whether or not time off from work will be counted towards FMLA leave.
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. H.R. 1602, the Rewarding Performance in Compensation Act proposes to exempt non-discretionary bonuses from inclusion for overtime calculations.