Weekly Legislative Update Aug. 22, 2022

Support TIA’s Government Affairs Efforts in Washington
TopGolf Challenge
 
TIA has organized a golf outing at TopGolf Las Vegas to benefit TIA’s government affairs efforts. The fun-filled day will include reserved bays, two-hours of golf, food, drinks and fun!
 
TIA serves a vital role representing all aspects of the tire industry at the state and federal levels of government protecting its members’ interests. TIA takes leadership positions on legislative matters that could impact our member’s bottom line including taxes, general business and employment issues, right to repair laws, and health
care reform.
 
Join us for a fun-filled afternoon of golf, laughter and networking for a worthy cause. There’s no pressure –whether you’re an avid golfer or have never swung a club, TopGolf is the spot for you. We hope you can join us for this afternoon of fun to support the association.
 
Sunday, October 30, 2022
2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
TopGolf Las Vegas
 
CLICK HERE for more information and sponsorship opportunities.
     
 
Pennsylvania Amends Overtime Rate Calculations for Salaried, Nonexempt Employees
 
Pennsylvania employers with salaried, nonexempt employees may need to adjust how they calculate overtime premiums for these employees in light of amendments to the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act (PMWA) that will go into effect on August 5. The amendments codify that Pennsylvania employers cannot use the fluctuating workweek method of calculating overtime pay for salaried employees. Employers must calculate the regular rate of pay for salaried, nonexempt employees by adding up all remuneration paid to the employee during the workweek and dividing this amount by 40 hours. This change in the PMWA is a significant divergence from the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which permits employers to determine the regular rate of pay for salaried, nonexempt employees by dividing all remuneration the employee earned by the total hours the employee worked that workweek.
     
 
HHS Proposes Changes to ACA Nondiscrimination Rule
 
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has issued a proposed rule implementing Section 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, and disability in certain health programs and activities.
 
Section 1557 is the ACA’s primary nondiscrimination provision and portions of the provision went into effect the day the ACA was signed. The HHS issued implementing regulations in 2016, which were challenged in court. Under the Trump administration, a new rule was issued in June 2020 that eliminated major provision of the 2016 rule and limited the scope of Section 1557.
 
In the newly-issued proposed rule, the HHS would reverse the 2020 rule, and in some cases, expand the 2016 rule.
 
The HHS noted that the proposed rule affirms the protections against discrimination on the basis of sex, including sexual orientation and gender identity, and reiterates protections from discrimination for seeking reproductive health care services.
Specifically, the proposed rule would:
 
  • reinstate the scope of Section 1557 to cover HHS’ health programs and activities.
  • clarify the application of Section 1557 nondiscrimination requirements to health insurance issuers that receive federal financial assistance.
  • align regulatory requirements with federal court opinions to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex including sexual orientation and gender identity.
  • make clear that discrimination on the basis of sex includes discrimination on the basis of pregnancy or related conditions, including “pregnancy termination.”
  • ensure requirements to prevent and combat discrimination are operationalized by entities receiving federal funding by requiring civil rights policies and procedures.
  • require entities to give staff training on the provision of language assistance services for individuals with limited English proficiency (LEP), and effective communication and reasonable modifications to policies and procedures for people with disabilities.
  • require covered entities to provide a notice of nondiscrimination along with a notice of the availability of language assistance services and auxiliary aids and services.
  • explicitly prohibit discrimination in the use of clinical algorithms to support decision-making in covered health programs and activities.
  • clarify that nondiscrimination requirements applicable to health programs and activities include those services offered via telehealth, which must be accessible to LEP individuals and individuals with disabilities.
  • interpret Medicare Part B as federal financial assistance.
  • refine and strengthen the process for raising conscience and religious freedom objections.
     
 
Federal Court Blocks Enforcement of EEOC Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Guidance
 
In June 2021, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued resources on workplace protections for LGBTQ+ employees, including a technical assistance document entitled “Protections Against Employment Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity."
 
A federal district court has now blocked enforcement of that guidance. Among other things, the guidance took the following rather aggressive positions: employers cannot require a transgender employee to dress in accordance with the employee’s sex assigned at birth; employers may not deny an employee equal access to a bathroom, locker room, or shower that corresponds to the employee’s gender identity; and use of pronouns or names that are inconsistent with an individual’s gender identity could be considered harassment.
 
In issuing the guidance, the EEOC asserted that it was explaining the Supreme Court’s decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, which held that Title VII’s protections against sex discrimination encompass sexual orientation and transgender status; however, the court found that the guidance extends far beyond the limited reach of the Bostock decision, in which the Supreme Court specifically “refused to decide whether ‘sex-segregated bathrooms, locker rooms, and dress codes’ violate Title VII.”