LAS VEGAS — A representative from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said during a session yesterday at RMA International’s annual conference that the bureau is planning to release its proposed debt collection rule in March, despite concerns that its announcement earlier in the week of its plan to conduct a survey on debt collection disclosures could delay the proposed rule’s release.
Referencing the CFPB’s Fall 2018 unified agenda, which estimated the release of a proposed rule at some point in March, K. Eswaramoorthy, the debt collection program manager at the CFPB, said, “As of Monday, that is still the case. We are still striving hard to meeting that deadline.”
When asked about the timeline for the issuance of a final rule, once the proposed rule has been released and any comments have been analyzed, Eswaramoorthy used the timeline for the release of the CFPB’s payday lending rule as an example. The proposed payday lending rule was issued in June 2016, and the final rule was released in October 2017, after 1.4 million comments were submitted.
The CFPB has been working on a proposed debt collection rule since 2013.
IDEAS TO HELP KEEP MILLENNIALS, ALL EMPLOYEES HAPPY AT WORK
During a session about managing millennials, a pair of panelists shared anecdotes about changes that they made to their operations to help keep employees, especially younger ones, happy.
At Vertican Technologies, the company was re-writing its policies and procedures, and Isaac Goldman, the company’s chief operating officer, wanted to categorize the days off taken by employees, such as allotting a certain number of sick days and a certain number of vacation days. The intention was to keep people from calling out sick when they were waiting for a new refrigerator to be delivered, he said.
But, the company’s HR manager asked him a question that changed his way of thinking.
“What does it matter how they spend their time when they are out of the office,” he was asked. And he said he realized that as long as the employee is getting his or her work done, it didn’t matter. So the company switched to a PTO policy instead, allowing employees to use their time off however they preferred.
At National Recovery Associates, the company noticed that it had a lot of young parents and single parents who had to take time off work when there were snow days at school or during summer vacation because they did not have childcare or could not afford it. So rather than force the employees to take time off work, the company purchased items like an arcade game, a foosball table, video games, and other things that would grab the attention of kids and allowed the employees to bring their kids to work with them, as long as the kids were fairly self-sufficient.
“It’s better to have someone working in the office at 70% capacity than it is to lose them for the day,” Goldberg said.
COMPLYING WITH THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT
Companies would do well to check their websites and make sure they are in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, John Bedard advised attendees during a session yesterday.
A number of circuit courts have ruled that a company’s website must comply with the ADA just as if the website were a physical location, Bedard said. Possible website issues include:
- Sites that are incompatible with speech recognition or screen reading devices
- A lack of text-based alternatives to images and media
- No keyboard alternatives
- Poor color contrast or small text size
- Does not avoid seizure-inducing sounds of images
- Short transaction timeframes that are insensitive to people with disabilities
Bedard offered an online tool — wave.webaim.org — that companies can use to check the accessibility of a site.