Fringe Benefits News.

FCE’s Operational Continuity During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Challenge
FCE has implemented a tested and validated operational contingency program that will assure continuity of excellent services to our valued clients and members in the event that our operational center is subjected to mandatory office closure during this challenging period brought on by the presence of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
U.S. Department of Labor issues three new wage and hour opinion letters
The U.S. Department of Labor announced that it has issued three new opinion letters that address #compliance issues related to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and the Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA).
New medication safety and improvement initiatives for injured federal workers
The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP) Division of Federal Employees' Compensation (DFEC) is committed to fighting the effects of opioid addiction for federal workers.
Arizona medical clinic being cited $15,000 for illegally requesting polygraph tests
After noticing ongoing cash shortages, a medical clinic illegally requested employees submit to polygraph tests to identify the employee responsible for the suspected theft.
U.S Department of Labor announces nationwide compliance assistance outreach effort
Department agencies will host in-person trainings, webinars and other events to promote greater understanding of federal labor laws and compliance regulations by workers and job creators.
Court sentences Omaha, Nebraska, resident to jail for benefits fraud
Nebraska man, Craig A. Barnett – to serve 16 months in jail, three years probation, and ordered him to make $276,878 in restitution after pleading guilty to fraud.
Workers and public urged to be aware of hazards after Hurricane Dorian
OSHA (The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration ) urges response crews and residents in areas affected by Hurricane Dorian to be aware of hazards created by flooding, power loss, structural damage, fallen trees, and storm debris.
Trucking Company To Reinstate Driver Who Refused To Operate Vehicle During Inclement Weather
OSHA has ordered Freight Rite Inc. – based in Florence, Kentucky – to reinstate a truck driver terminated after he refused to operate a commercial motor vehicle in hazardous road conditions caused by inclement winter weather.
Access to Quality, Affordable Health Coverage Through Health Reimbursement Arrangements is Expanded
The U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and the Treasury issued a new policy that will provide hundreds of thousands of employers, including small businesses, a better way to provide health insurance coverage, and millions of American workers more options for health insurance coverage.
Labor Secretary Acosta Announces He Will Step Down
Alexander Acosta submits resignation letter as U.S Secretary of Labor to President Trump amid Jeffrey Epstein controversy
DOL'S Game Plan To Assist Americans Impacted By Hurricane Barry
"The Department of Labor is actively engaged in Administration-wide efforts to help those impacted by Hurricane Barry," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta. "As Americans come together to help each other, the Department of Labor is committed to supporting recovery efforts.
The DOL Announces Fringe Rate Changes
2019 Service Contract Act Health and Welfare Fringe Benefit Rate Increase
DOL Releases Three Sets of FAQs To Offer Additional Compliance Assistance To Contractors
The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) make efforts to increase the transparency and effectiveness of compliance assistance to help contractors meet their responsibilities for equal employment opportunity.
U.S. Department Of Labor Awards $85.9 Million For Reentry Projects
The Reentry Projects will serve either young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 who have been involved in the juvenile or adult criminal justice system
OSHA urging vigilance to address of summer workplace hazards
The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is urging vigilance among employers and employees to address the types of workplace hazards that tend to peak in the summer months.
DOL Announces Funding For A Youth-Focused Disability Policy Development Center
The U.S. Department of Labor has announced the availability of approximately $4 million for a four-year cooperative agreement for a youth-focused disability policy development center. The solicitation is a re-competition of an existing cooperative agreement. The deadline to apply is July 23, 2019.
FCE Continues To Meet and Exceed The Highest Standards of Operational Infrastructure & Data Security
With the successful completion of HITRUST Certification as well as the SOC 1® and SOC 2® Type II examination audits, FCE’s clients get the assurance that the controls and safeguards we employ to protect and secure their data are in line with industry standards and best practices, or exceeds them.
Funding Opportunity For Appalachian And Delta Regions
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA) has announced the availability of up to $29.2 million in demonstration grant funds to expand the impact of workforce development initiatives in the Appalachian and Delta regions through the Workforce Opportunity for Rural Communities (WORC) grant initiative. 
Dol Investigation Finds Contractor Violated Federal Contract Requirements
After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Gorman General Contractors LLC – based in Oregon, Wisconsin – has paid $34,330 in back wages and fringe benefits to 20 employees for violating labor provisions of the Davis Bacon and Related Acts (DBRA).
Ben E. Keith Company Agree To Settle Allegations Of Hiring Discrimination
After a routine compliance evaluation by the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, Ben E. Keith Company has agreed to pay $350,000 in back pay and interest to resolve alleged hiring discrimination at its two Fort Worth, Texas, facilities.
Six New Members Appointed To The 2019 ERISA Advisory Council
The U.S. Department of Labor announced the appointments of six new members as well as chair and vice chair to the 2019 Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans, known as the ERISA Advisory Council.
DOL To Host Event To Promote Employment Of Veterans
The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) and Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS) are collaborating with the Georgia Department of Labor, the Atlanta VA Health Care System, and the Goodwill Career Center to host a veteran's education and outreach event titled, "From Deployment to Employment: Hire a Veteran Career and Resource Linkage."
$1.5 Million In Funds Available To Support Women In Apprenticeship
The U.S. Department of Labor has announced $1.5 million in grant funding available to recruit, mentor, train, and retain more women in quality apprenticeship programs and pursue careers in manufacturing, infrastructure, cybersecurity, and health care, among other industries.
Proposed USDOL Budget for FY 2020 Signals Priorities
The Trump administration’s proposed FY 2020 discretionary budget request for the U.S. Department of Labor is $10.9 billion, or $1.2 billion less than the $12.1 billion enacted for FY 2019
OFCCP Issues Directive for Voluntary Enterprise-wide Review Program
The Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has issued a new policy directive announcing a voluntary compliance program for top-performing federal contractors.
WHD Releases New Online Guide for FLSA
The Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division (WHD) recently announced the launch of its enhanced electronic version of the Handy Reference Guide to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
2020 Budget Pledges to Invest in Paid Family Leave
President Trump’s newly released 2020 budget includes a proposal to invest in supporting working families with paid family leave. The hope is to help families balance home and work obligations by granting access to paid family leave nationwide.
DOL Issues Notice on Overtime Regulations
On March 7, the Department of Labor (DOL) released a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) that looks to revise overtime regulations by updating the salary and compensation levels that workers need to be considered exempt.
Section 809 Panel Reports
The Department of Defense’s Section 809 panel has completed its efforts to identify potential ways to streamline and improve the defense acquisition system.
2019 Prevailing Wage Seminars
The Wage and Hour Division (WHD) has published the location of its upcoming prevailing wage seminars for 2019. The seminars will be three-day compliance training sessions designed for regional stakeholders such as unions, private contractors, state agencies, federal agencies, and workers.
President Signs into Law the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act
On October 24, President Trump signed the “Substance Use-Disorder Prevention That Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act,” which aims to address the opioid crisis by reducing the supply of opioids and access to them.
IRS and SSA Announce 2019 Employee Benefit Plan Limits
In November, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Social Security Administration (SSA) publicized the 2019 cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) to the appropriate dollar limits on many employer-sponsored retirement and welfare plans and the Social Security wage base.
OFCCP Announces Three New Directives
Early Resolution Procedures (ERP) Directive: establishes OFCCP’s new Early Resolution Procedures (ERP) and outlines general guidelines for implementation to resolve supply and service compliance evaluations at the earliest stage possible with corporate-wide compliance.
DOL Announces Planned Regulatory Activities
This fall, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published its regulatory agenda, outlining its planned regulatory and deregulatory activities to the Executive Office of the President, Congress, agency managers, and the public.
IRS Issues Guidance on New Tax Law Credits
This fall, the IRS published Notice 2018-17 which announced that eligible employers who provide paid family and medical leave to their employees might qualify for a new business credit for tax years 2018 and 2019. The notice offers comprehensive guidance on the new credit, which was enacted by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) and provides resources to business owners.
WHD Conducts Overtime Rule Listening Sessions
In September, the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) conducted public listening sessions to gather views on Part 541 white-collar exemption regulations, often referred to as the “Overtime Rule.”
Two New Directives Aimed At Ensuring Equal Employment Opportunity
The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) recently announced two new directives aimed at ensuring equal employment opportunity and protecting Americans’ religious freedom. These directives provide guidance to OFCCP staff and federal contractors regarding enforcement and compliance policy and procedures.
DOL Issues 2019 Minimum Wage Increase for Federal Contractors
The Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the U.S. Department of Labor has issued a notice announcing the required minimum wage rate to be paid to workers performing work on or in connection with Federal contracts covered by Executive Order (EO) 13658, beginning on January 1, 2019.
DOL Increases SCA Fringe Rate
The U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division increased the Service Contract Act’s most prevalent fringe rate to $4.48 if the contract is not subject to Executive Order 13706 (paid sick leave). All service contracts subject to Executive Order 13706 will utilize the reduced $4.18 SCA Health & Welfare Benefit Rate.
DOJ & DOL Unite to Protect U.S. Workers
The Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division and the Department of Labor (DOL) have expanded their collaboration to better protect U.S. workers from discrimination by employers that prefer to hire temporary visa workers over qualified U.S. workers.
The Opioid Crisis and Its Effect on Employers
Opioid abuse and addiction continue to be a crisis affecting people across America, regardless of gender, income level, or age. Employers, in turn, are faced with rising costs of healthcare treatments.
FCE is proud to provide our clients peace of mind with best-in-class data security
FCE Benefit Administrators , the leading provider of benefits administration for government contractors, are pleased to announce their systems (user workstations, remote user laptops, TAS, Claimscape, and corporate firewalls) have earned Certified status for information security by HITRUST.
FCE Ahead of the Curve with Training and Education
FCE has already been providing paid training and development to our employees well in advance of the recent Executive Order creating the President’s National Council For The American Worker.
WHD Budget Focused on Compliance and Technology
The Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) has submitted its FY 2019 budget request of $230 million, which includes an increase of $4 million and the addition of 15 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees for compliance assistance and accompanying technology.
Benefits Insights, Spring 2018
Trump Calls for Paid Family Leave
In his State of the Union address, President Trump called for a policy of paid family leave in support of working families. The White House has also included a paid family leave plan in its 2019 budget proposal. The intent is to create a plan that would give both new and adoptive parents six weeks of paid family leave.
Benefits Insights, Spring 2018
DOL Reissues Opinion Letters Previously Withdrawn
The Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has reissued 17 opinion letters from the Bush administration that were withdrawn during the Obama administration. The reinstated letters are expected to provide essential guidance to employers on a wide range of questions concerning the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
Benefits Insights, Spring 2018
DOL Offers Free Seminars on Wage Requirements
The Wage and Hour Division (WHD) will offer free compliance seminars intended to support employers, community rehabilitation programs (CRPs) and other certificate holders in complying with Section 214(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
Benefits Insights, Spring 2018
Companies Partner to Reduce Health Care Costs
Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JP Morgan announced in January that they will partner on ways to reduce health-care costs while looking to improve health care for their 1.1 million employees.
Benefits Insights, Spring 2018
HHS Proposes Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule concerning benefits and payment parameters for the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The proposed rule is intended to increase flexibility in the individual market, improve program integrity, and reduce regulatory burdens associated with the ACA in the individual and small group markets.
Benefits Insights, Winter 2018
Recent NLRB Announcements Could Signal Changes
In December, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) made three significant announcements that may indicate changes to come under the Trump administration regarding labor laws.
Benefits Insights, Winter 2018
FCE Adding Value Through Education
At FCE, we believe in the importance of top-quality customer service. That is why we are committed to providing ongoing education and training to our workforce that focuses on providing best-in-class services to our clients and members.
Benefits Insights, Spring 2017
FCE Focusing on Cyber Security
HIPAA has been a great start to protecting personal healthcare information. However, as technology evolves, so do cyber threats and how we defend against them.
Benefits Insights, Winter 2017