NAHU submitted comments to the Department of Labor late last week in response to the proposed rule, “Regular Rate under the Fair Labor Standards Act” published on March 28 that would amend the “regular rate” requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The proposed amendment clarifies the types of compensation and benefits that employers must include in the calculation when determining an employee’s regular rate of pay. NAHU supports this change as it will provide employers with more certainty about how to treat such services, ensuring that employers will continue to offer these options, and potentially encourage new employers to offer these benefits.
We expressed support for the clarification to exclude employer-provided wellness benefits, including gym memberships, fitness classes and worksite medical and specialist treatment from the regular rate of pay. We noted that extending the exclusion of health insurance benefits from employee's taxable wages to other specified benefits reflects the state of health and welfare benefits that employers provide. These benefits are provided to improve the health of their employees through wellness programs and worksite medical treatment options and are provided as a convenience to employees, and are also a valuable employment perk used by employers to attract and retain a productive workforce.