Legislative Outlook | Part 2
2020 legislative landscape for manufacturing remains complex
Window and door manufacturers will be dealing with a complex legislative landscape in 2020, according to legislative experts at the Window & Door Manufacturers Association. Beginning the year with partial resolutions for some of the ongoing trade and tariff tensions, WDMA officials offered insight regarding upcoming legislation relevant to the industry in a recent episode of its podcast, Open & Close.
Kevin McKenney, director of government affairs at WDMA, says that industry companies should be aware of the tax extenders legislation that was passed at the end of last year (H.R. 1865). Tax extenders refer to a group of tax provisions or credits that are expired, or about to expire, he says; the bill includes three provisions of interest to window and door manufacturers:
- 25C. Credit for energy-efficient windows and doors. McKenney noted that, despite rumors that the levels would be lifted, they remained the same as in previous years. (The credit offers $500 for consumers to install qualified energy-efficient entry doors which meet ENERGY STAR requirements. The lifetime cap on these improvements is $500. ENERGY STAR windows are eligible for a tax credit up to $200 with a lifetime cap of $200.)
- 45L. Credit for builders of energy-efficient homes.
- 179D. Ability for commercial property owner to deduct the cost of energy-efficient renovations.
The Department of Labor recently made some changes to Overtime Pay regulations and McKenney states that employers in the industry should be aware of the following updates:
- Overtime pay threshold. The threshold for mandatory overtime pay was raised from $455 to $684 per week, as of Jan. 1. If an employee is paid less than $35,568 per year as a full-time worker, they must be paid overtime.
- Defining “highly-compensated employees.” The total annual compensation requirement for these employees was raised from $100,000, to $107,432.
- Standard salary level. Employers can now use nondiscretionary bonuses and incentive payments, including commissions, paid at least annually, to satisfy up to 10 percent of the standard salary level for employees.
- Automatic salary increases. A Department of Labor rule proposed earlier in 2019, which would have dictated automatic salary increases every three years for some full-time salaried employees, did not go into effect as scheduled on Jan. 1, 2020.
This is part two of three about fenestration legislation to watch for in 2020. Read part one.