Here’s what the government plans to regulate on in 2014

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Wellness programs will be the focus of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s regulatory activity for the rest of the year, as announced in the Department of Labor’s semiannual agenda recently.

The commission has announced it will propose a new rule on how wellness incentives should interact with the Americans with Disabilities Act – and it could change whether employers are even allowed to incentivize or penalize employees via their benefits programs.

The proposal is among 91 points on the DOL’s agenda for the year, which includes several items that could shake up the way HR professionals operate.

One of the main points the DOL will prioritize is a new definition of “spouse” in the Family and Medical Leave Act to include same-sex couples. It will also enact the executive orders Obama made earlier this year, such as raising the minimum wage for federal contractors.  The overtime regulations adjusting who counts as exempt will also be amended by November.

The “Right to Know” rule is also being considered tentatively on the long term, which is a relief for many observers who say it would place an unnecessary burden on employers. If enacted, the regulation would require employers to release formal, written analysis for each exempt employee, and release that information to all exempt workers.

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