Federal Contractor Minimum Wage Rate for 2021

Effective January 1, 2021, the applicable minimum wage rate for workers performing work on or in connection with federal contracts covered by Executive Order 13658 increases to $10.95 per hour. Additionally, the required minimum cash wage for tipped employees performing work on or in connection with covered contracts increases to $7.65 per hour.

Form I-9 Flexibility Extended to December 31, 2020

On November 18, 2020, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced another extension to the Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) flexibility rule, which was extended to December 31, 2020, because of COVID-19 and the need for precautions. This flexibility rule, applicable only to remote workplaces, defers the physical presence requirement for in-person verification of the Form I-9 identity and employment eligibility documentation. However, the flexibility rule does not apply if there are employees physically present at the workplace. If there are employees physically present, then an employer must verify their Form I-9 identity and employment eligibility documentation in-person.

On March 19, 2020, the DHS first announced that the physical presence requirements were deferred due to COVID-19. The DHS and ICE websites provide additional updates about when the extensions will end and when normal operations will resume.

DOL and New FLSA Opinion Letters

On November 3, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced the following new opinion letters that address compliance issues related to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA): 

  • FLSA2020-15: Addressing the compensability of time that employees spend attending voluntary training programs in certain situations.
  • FLSA2020-16: Addressing compensability of employee travel time in certain situations involving construction sites located away from the employer’s principal place of business.

An opinion letter is an official, written opinion by the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) on how a particular law applies in specific circumstances.