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Archive for Monday, August 23, 2004

Briefcase

August 23, 2004

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Washington, D.C.

Halliburton awaits payment decision

After a week of flip-flops by the Army, Halliburton is waiting for a decision on whether the military will withhold 15 percent of payments for some of its work in Iraq.

The confusion over payments -- which could cost the company around $60 million -- is the latest hitch for Halliburton's multibillion-dollar work in Iraq. Various government agencies are investigating allegations of kickbacks by Kuwaiti subcontractors and improper charges totaling hundreds of millions of dollars.

At issue in the latest development is Halliburton subsidiary KBR's work in Iraq under an Army logistics contract. The Army Materiel Command and KBR are disputing whether the company has provided enough information to justify its billing for some of the work done in Iraq. Under federal regulations, the Army can withhold 15 percent of a contractor's payments until such disputes are resolved.

Calendar

What's ahead this week in business

Today

House Financial Services Committee has hearing on terrorist financing and money laundering.

Tuesday

H&R Block, H.J. Heinz issue quarterly reports.

Economic indicators: July existing home sales.

Wednesday

Center for Immigration Studies releases report on the impact of illegal immigration on the federal budget.

Economic indicators: July durable goods orders, July new home sales.

Thursday

The U.S. Census Bureau releases its annual reports on median income changes, the national poverty rate and the number of uninsured.

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts issues quarterly report.

Friday

Economic indicators: Second-quarter gross domestic product, July personal income changes.

Labor Department

Overtime pay rules kick in today

Highlights of the Labor Department's new overtime regulations taking effect today:

  • Workers earning $23,660 annually or less are eligible for overtime pay for working more than 40 hours a week.
  • White-collar workers earning $100,000 or more a year are newly exempt from overtime pay.
  • Union workers covered by contracts will not be affected by the change.
  • Blue-collar workers are not affected.
  • Police officers, firefighters and other public safety officers are not affected.
  • People identified as generally exempt from overtime pay include pharmacists, funeral directors, embalmers, journalists, financial services industry workers, insurance claims adjusters, human resource managers, management consultants, executive and administrative assistants, purchasing agents, registered or certified medical technologists, dental hygienists, physician assistants, accountants, chefs, computer system analysts, programmers and software engineers.

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