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Total Articles: 62

Agency Heads Discuss Changes in Regulatory Direction During Federalist Society Panel

The current leaders of the Department of Labor, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and National Labor Relations Board addressed transitions and regulatory plans at their respective agencies at a November 16 forum. The Federalist Society, a conservative think-tank, sponsored the panel discussion during which the speakers advocated a more common-sense approach to rulemaking, and supported the Trump administration's efforts to rescind or scale back some of the prior administration's more onerous rules.

Labor Secretary Discusses DOL Priorities During House Committee Hearing

Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta fielded a range of questions on the DOL's priorities during a November 15 hearing before the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. Although members of the Committee inquired about past, current, and future rulemaking and other Department initiatives, the limited duration of Wednesday's hearing allowed Secretary Acosta to deliver only brief responses. The hearing did, however, provide some insight into the DOL's stance on health care, OSHA enforcement, overtime rulemaking authority, apprenticeship, and other workplace concerns.

WPI Insider Briefing: Will the New Composition of Federal Agencies Effect Change?

Nine months into President Trump’s term, the pace of nominations and appointments to fill critical position within his administration is accelerating. Action on the nominations to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and Department of Labor (DOL) signals that widely expected changes in workplace policy are indeed forthcoming.

Acosta and Lipnic Share DOL and EEOC Priorities

WASHINGTON, DC - The priority for the US Department of Labor (DOL) is "jobs, jobs and even more jobs," Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta told an assembly of in-house counsel today. Also addressing the group, the acting chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Commissioner Victoria Lipnic, said the EEOC needs to change course on pursuing systemic lawsuits and touted the agency's success in reducing its backlog of charges.

The Department of Health and Human Services Revises Drug Testing Custody and Control Form

Executive Summary: On August 8, 2017, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that the Office of Management and Budget approved its revised Federal Drug Testing Custody and Control Form (CCF). However, Department of Transportation (DOT)-regulated employers should not use the revised CCF at this time since the DOT has not authorized testing for new synthetic opioids included on the form and has not approved use of the new form.

SCA Contractors: Fringe Benefit Rate to Increase With Adjustment for Executive Order 13706

For those government contractors that perform work on contracts covered by the McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act (SCA) and are also subject to Executive Order (EO) 13706, Establishing Paid Sick Leave for Federal Contractors, there is a bit of good news out of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD). On July 25, 2017, the WHD announced changes to the health and welfare fringe benefit rate for SCA-covered contracts in All Agency Memorandum Number 225 (AAM No. 225). As announced in AAM No. 225, the new health and welfare fringe benefit rate under the SCA will be $4.41 per hour or $176.400 per week or $764.40 per month, effective August 1, 2017. This means that the WHD will incorporate the $4.41 health and welfare fringe benefit rate in any new SCA wage determinations it issues on or after August 1, 2017. This new rate represents an increase of $0.14 per hour over the 2016 rate of $4.27 an hour that became effective on July 29, 2016.

Federal Agencies Scale Back Their Workplace Regulatory Ambitions

During the prior administration, congressional gridlock prevented many significant labor and employment bills from advancing. Federal agencies picked up the slack, issuing several rules to help carry out much of President Obama's workplace agenda. The latest Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions, which lists agency regulatory priorities f

11 New Federal Court Appointees Named, Confirmations Critical for Labor and Employment Policy

On July 13, 2017, President Donald Trump announced the nomination of 11 new judicial appointments to federal courts throughout 5 states—Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Tennessee. The nominees include a shareholder in Ogletree Deakins’ Raleigh, North Carolina office, Thomas A. Farr. The judicial appointments should be confirmed quickly by simple majority vote.

. . . And Then They Invoked the Nuclear Option: Gorsuch’s Nomination to be Confirmed

On April 6, 2017, Senate Republicans invoked the nuclear option—clearing the road for the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Neil M. Gorsuch. As a result, Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court of the United States is expected to be confirmed by a simple majority vote rather than a supermajority of 60 votes.

Trump’s Cabinet Picks Begin Senate Confirmation Process

With the approach of Inauguration Day, the Senate confirmation process for President-elect Donald Trump’s cabinet picks is in full swing. Televised or streamed hearings are taking place involving Trump’s choices to lead the U.S. Department of Labor, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, and the Justice Department.

White House Announces Release of Final Contractor Blacklisting Rules: Phased Implementation for Prime Contractors and Subcontractors

The long wait for the so-called “contractor blacklisting” rules is over. According to a fact sheet released by the White House, final regulations and guidance will be released on August 24, 2016 and published in the Federal Register on the following day. The final regulations and guidance (the final rules) are being issued by the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council (FAR Council) and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to implement Executive Order No. 13673, Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces (EO 13673), which President Obama signed in July 2014. In addition, the president also amended EO 13673, just before the White House’s blacklisting announcement, to add language that seems intended to better insulate the final rules against litigation challenging their constitutionality and their conflict with other federal statutes. Based on the White House’s summary and the amended executive order published on the White House’s website, here is what we know about the contours of the final rules:

Federal Standard Per Diem Rates Increase for Fiscal Year 2017

The General Services Administration (GSA) has announced the per diem rates that apply to the lower 48 Continental United States (CONUS) for the federal government's fiscal year 2017, which begins October 1, 2016.

Penalties Increase for Workplace Violations: Compliance Incentive or Employer Burden?

Many enforcement agencies posit that the existence of penalty provisions provide an incentive for compliance not just for the employer subject to a penalty, but for other employers as well. The Department of Labor (DOL) describes the “benefits of penalties,” such as leveling the playing field for compliant employers by punishing those bad actors that may cut corners.

New, Relaxed Regulations Make Drone Use on Construction Projects Easier

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently introduced relaxed regulations concerning the use of drones for commercial purposes. The new regulations could have a significant impact on drone usage in the construction industry.

Follow the Money: The FY 2017 Budget

One way to assess an administration's public policy priorities is by examining its annual budget submission to Congress: The higher an administration sets its funding requests for particular federal departments, agencies, and programs, the greater the emphasis the administration plans to place on selected public policy goals.

What To Expect When You're Not Expecting: How To Handle Unplanned Visits From Federal Agencies

The unannounced arrival of an investigator from a federal agency is an unwelcome business interruption which can be a drain on productive time and arouse collective anxiety in your business environment. Effective management of the investigation from the very beginning is critical to achieving the best possible outcome, no matter which agency comes calling.

Joint Employment Is the Focus of DOL's Latest Interpretation

Employers that use third-party management companies, independent contractors, staffing agencies or labor providers are on notice: the US Department of Labor (DOL) says many of these relationships constitute joint employment that makes both parties liable for any minimum wage and overtime violations.

Proposal Would Prohibit Government Contractors’ Confidentiality Agreements Restricting Employees’ Reporting of Alleged Fraud, Waste, or Abuse

The Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council has proposed a rule barring employers from using confidentiality agreements that restrict employees or subcontractors from reporting “waste, fraud or abuse” to the government.

Congress Approves Spending and Tax Measures; Key Labor and Employment "Riders" Omitted from Bipartisan Funding Agreement

Considered the last legislative feat of 2015, Congress approved a massive tax and spending package on Friday that includes some positive and negative provisions for employers. The Omnibus Appropriations Act funds the federal government through September 2016—thus averting a possible government shutdown—and includes a separate $600 billion tax component. Of the $1.1 trillion spending portion, $12.2 billion will be allocated to the Department of Labor, $274 million to the National Labor Relations Board, and $364.5 million to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. These allocations include some stipulations on how the money can be spent, but failed to block several controversial actions by the DOL and NLRB.

Agencies Issue Final Rules Governing Contractor Minimum Wage, Whistleblower Protections

On December 4, 2015, three federal agencies1 published a final rule amending the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to implement Executive Order (E.O.) 13658, Establishing a Minimum Wage for Contractors. The same day, the same federal agencies also published a separate rule finalizing a statutory pilot program to enhance whistleblower protections for contractor employees. As legislation to raise the federal minimum wage and carry out other items on the Obama Administration’s workplace policy agenda remain stalled in Congress, the President has repeatedly turned to executive action to advance these initiatives, at least for federal contractors.

Washington Snapshot: Leadership Contests and a Push to Break Legislative Limbo in the Nation’s Capital

For many in the country, the term "Washington leadership" is an oxymoron, and calling someone a "Washington insider" may be an epithet rather than a compliment. The truth remains, however, that developments in Washington, D.C., especially at the federal regulatory agencies, significantly impact those affected by federal labor and employment laws.

Potential October 1 Government Shutdown: Federal Contractors’ Contingency Planning

A federal government shutdown looms as current funding expires on September 30 and government leaders disagree on funding legislation. The present shutdown threat is fueled by two primary issues set against the backdrop of presidential election posturing by both political parties. President Barack Obama has announced that he will not follow the sequestration cuts the government forced upon itself in 2013 (the last time a partial government shutdown occurred), when it failed to agree on funding. Conservative Republican leaders have vowed to link defunding of Planned Parenthood to passing spending legislation. While leaders of the Republican-controlled Congress have vowed to avoid an unpopular government shutdown, this same vow was made in 2013.

House and Senate Appropriations Committees Approve Funding Bills with Riders Targeting DOL, NLRB Initiatives

Both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees advanced bills this week to fund various federal agencies for FY 2016. Each chamber approved versions of spending measures that include riders prohibiting funding for a variety of the administration's regulatory initiatives.

Appropriations Subcommittee Rejects Efforts to Strip Funding Bill of Pro-Employer Riders

The day after the House Appropriations Committee released a draft bill that would significantly limit certain federal agency rules and initiatives, the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education held a markup session of the measure. As previously discussed, riders in the draft appropriations bill would, among other things, prevent any funds from being used to enforce the National Labor Relations Board's representation election rule, as well as its efforts to re-define "joint employment" under the National Labor Relations Act and assert jurisdiction over Native American businesses on tribal lands. Riders also would curtail several Department of Labor initiatives, such as its intent to re-define who qualifies as a "fiduciary" under ERISA, and prohibit funds from being used to create an Office of Labor Compliance. This Office will be integral to the enforcement of the President's Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order, often referred to as the "blacklisting" executive order. Other riders would effectively de-fund implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

Draft Appropriations Bill Seeks to De-Fund Various Regulatory Efforts

A draft House appropriations bill to fund various federal agencies, including the Department of Labor, for Fiscal Year 2016 includes several provisions that would effectively halt a number of controversial regulatory efforts. Including stipulations on how federal appropriations are spent is one way to prevent agency rules or initiatives from moving forward.

DOL Investigation Tactics and Pending Proposed Rule Come Under Fire During House Hearing

In anticipation of the imminent release of the Department of Labor's proposed rule revising the white collar overtime exemption under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the House Subcommittee on Workforce Protections held a hearing on Wednesday to discuss federal wage and hour standards. Panelists and lawmakers were particularly concerned about the pending regulatory changes to the FLSA, and were critical of the Wage and Hour Division's recent enforcement tactics.

DOL Investigation Tactics and Pending Proposed Rule Come Under Fire During House Hearing

In anticipation of the imminent release of the Department of Labor's proposed rule revising the white collar overtime exemption under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the House Subcommittee on Workforce Protections held a hearing on Wednesday to discuss federal wage and hour standards. Panelists and lawmakers were particularly concerned about the pending regulatory changes to the FLSA, and were critical of the Wage and Hour Division's recent enforcement tactics.

Federal Contractors To Be Burdened With Additional Disclosure Requirements If Government Has Its Say

The U.S. Labor Department (DOL) and three federal agencies (the Department of Defense, the General Services Administration and NASA) recently issued two proposed documents relating to the implementation of Executive Order 13673, better known as the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order. If enacted, these proposals would be problematic and burdensome for federal contractors; those who wish to have their voices heard on the matter have a July 27, 2015 deadline to submit comments on both documents.

"Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces" Provisions Proposed

The U.S. Labor Department, the Defense Department, the General Services Administration, and NASA have jointly published proposed requirements and related guidance under Executive Order 13673, the "Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order".

Hang Up After Hours? The Spring 2015 Regulatory Agenda Tackles This and Other Overtime Issues

On Thursday, May 21, 2015, the White House, through its executive branch and other federal agencies, issued the Spring 2015 edition of the Semiannual Regulatory Agenda. Published twice a year, the agencies’ regulatory agendas provide an outlook on regulatory activity, identify agency priorities, and offer additional details about the most significant actions the agencies intend to take in the coming year. The Spring 2015 Regulatory Agenda incorporates plans for the executive departments and various federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). In particular, the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) includes a regulatory item related to the time employees spend on their electronic devices after-hours and outside of the workplace, and continues to include the item on overtime exemptions.

New Department of Labor Agenda Delays Persuader Rules Again; Announces Other Priorities

For the past several years, we have been tracking the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) consideration of new regulations that would significantly narrow the DOL’s interpretation of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA) that has been in force since 1962. Dubbed the “persuader rules,” the regulations address Section 203 of the LMRDA, which, among other things, requires employers to file reports with the DOL when they hire consultants or contractors (including attorneys) to persuade employees on the issue of unions.

Blacklisting Proposed Rule and DOL Guidance Could Have Serious Repercussions for Those Doing Business with the Federal Government

On May 28, 2015, the Federal Acquisition Regulatory (FAR) Council published in the Federal Register its highly anticipated Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) regarding the so-called "blacklisting" procedures ordered by President Obama in his Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order (EO). Accompanying the proposed rule was separate guidance issued by the Department of Labor (DOL).

"Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces" Guidance Explains Broad Labor Reporting Requirements for Federal Contractors

Today, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published proposed guidance addressing the controversial Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order 13673, which President Obama signed on July 31, 2014 (80 Fed. Reg. 30574 (May 28, 2015)). The Federal Acquisition Regulatory (FAR) Council also issued proposed regulations integrating the executive order’s requirements and the provisions of the Labor Department’s guidance into existing procurement regulations (80 Fed. Reg. 30548 (May 28, 2015)).

Agencies Issue Proposed Rule, Guidance on Blacklisting Executive Order

The federal agencies charged with implementing President Obama's July 31, 2014 Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order1 have released their much-anticipated proposed rule on this directive. On May 27, 2015, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued a 106-page proposed guidance document, and the Department of Defense (DoD), General Services Administration (GSA), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), issued a 131-page proposed rule, governing the terms of the so-called "blacklisting" Executive Order (EO). If finalized in their current form, the rule and guidance would immediately upend the current system of federal contracting by enabling federal agencies to reject a bid or cancel an existing contract – as well as initiate suspension and debarment proceedings – based on labor and employment law violations that a contractor may have already resolved or that have already been adjudicated.

Fifth Circuit Rejects Obama Administration's Effort to Free Executive Actions From Injunction

On May 26, 2015 a three judge panel for the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a request by the Obama administration to lift an injunction currently blocking aspects of President Obama’s executive action on immigration. The injunction, imposed by U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen on February 16, 2015, in response to a suit brought by representatives from 26 states opposing President Obama’s executive action, applied specifically to the creation of the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents program and the expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program—known as DAPA and DACA respectively.

Spring Regulatory Agenda Sets Forth New Deadlines, Proposals

In keeping with past practice, federal agencies released their spring regulatory agendas on the eve of a holiday weekend. These semiannual reports list all of the federal agency regulations currently under development or review. Notably, these reports include anticipated release dates for proposed or final regulations. While often aspirational, these dates provide some insight into the agencies' priorities for the next six months. The following highlights some key pending regulatory actions from the spring agenda.

Supreme Court Rejects Notice and Comment Rulemaking Requirement for Agency Interpretations

In a case we labeled one of the “cases to watch” this term, a relatively unified Supreme Court decided in Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Association that a federal agency does not need to engage in notice-and-comment rulemaking pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) before it can significantly alter an interpretive rule of an agency regulation, even if parties have relied on that rule to their detriment.

Supreme Court Paralyzes Paralyzed Veterans Doctrine, Affords Greater Deference To Federal Agencies

Today, in a 9-0 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court abolished a precedent on which the regulated community has relied to keep federal agencies in check for nearly 20 years. This precedent, commonly referred to as the Paralyzed Veterans doctrine, required a federal agency to engage in notice-and-comment rulemaking before revising its definitive interpretation of a regulation. In its departure from the Paralyzed Veterans doctrine, the Supreme Court paved the way for even greater deference to federal agencies. According to the Court, the Paralyzed Veterans doctrine is contrary to the clear text of the Administrative Procedures Act’s rulemaking provisions and improperly imposes on agencies an obligation beyond the Administrative Procedures Act’s maximum procedural requirements. Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Association consolidated with Nickols v. Mortgage Bankers Association.

Supreme Court Eliminates Notice-and-Comments for Some Agency Interpretations

On March 9, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the Paralyzed Veterans doctrine, which requires an agency to use the notice-and-comment procedures of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) when issuing a new interpretation of a regulation that deviates significantly from a previously adopted interpretation, is not consistent with the APA. According to the court, the doctrine—which benefited employers by assuring them that a federal agency interpretation of a regulation could not be changed without a significant undertaking—is contrary to the clear text of the APA’s rulemaking provisions and improperly imposes on agencies an obligation beyond the APA’s maximum procedural requirements.

Administration Publishes Fall 2014 Unified Regulatory Agenda

We expect 2015 to be a very busy year for actions on new or proposed federal regulations in the absence of congressional legislation. That was confirmed on November 21, 2014, when the administration published its “Unified Regulatory Agenda for Fall 2014” (Fall 2014 Regulatory Agenda) online at Reginfo.gov, a website of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. The regulatory agenda is designed to inform the public of the current status and future outlook of proposed federal regulations. The current agenda for labor and employment regulations reveals the federal agencies’ progress on over 75 separate rules, including several significant regulatory proposals from the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Office of Labor-Management Standards(OLMS), Wage and Hour Division (WHD), and Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), as well as the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and the Federal Acquisition Regulatory (FAR) Council.

What Has the “Nuclear Option” Wrought?

With the Obama administration unable to get labor and employment law changes through a gridlocked Congress, one of its significant accomplishments and lasting legacies may be its remarkable record of reshaping federal regulatory agencies and the federal judiciary.

President Obama Issues Two Executive Orders in 10-Day Period

President Obama issued the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order on Wednesday, July 30 only 10 days after prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating based on sexual orientation and gender identity, in the Further Amendments to Executive Order 11478, Equal Employment Opportunity in the Federal Government, and Executive Order 11246, Equal Employment Opportunity Executive Order. These two Executive Orders add more compliance obligations for employers that choose to do business with the federal government.

Why President Obama Forbade Retaliation By Federal Contractors Against Employees Who Share Their Compensation Information

President Obama reiterated existing federal law when he recently acted to prevent federal contractors from retaliating against workers who share their salary information.

eLABORate: Big News For Federal Contractors

President Barack Obama announced last week that he is acting unilaterally to raise the minimum wage for new federal contract workers.

What's open (Mount Rushmore) and what's closed (the IRS, e-Verify, and the OFCCP). Here's the latest information.

Well, at least Mount Rushmore is open again, along with the Stuatue of Liberty and the Grand Canyon. But for most of the Administrative Agencies related to labor and employment, things haven't gotten much better since last week, and the deadlock in D.C. continues. Here's the latest information available:

Business As Usual As The Government Shutdown Begins

As many have anticipated, the U.S. government today closed a number of its non-essential services. Because of last night’s congressional stalemate over a spending plan and policy differences over the Affordable Care Act, Congress failed to pass a budget. As a result, many key government agencies upon which employers regularly rely are also closed and will remain closed for the duration of the shutdown.

The Government Shutdown: Will It Shut Down Your Company?

Today marks the first partial federal government shutdown in 17 years (the last shutdown, which occurred during the Clinton administration lasted 21 days). The shutdown started last night when the midnight deadline to extend congressional spending authority passed without an agreement on a spending plan.

What's happening out there? The effect of the government shutdown on its agencies.

At this time, courts and agencies have issued the following notices regarding the government shutdown and its impact on access and deadlines.

Legal Alert: Federal Courts Deal a Blow to DOL Regulatory Efforts

Executive Summary: Recently, two different federal courts have invalidated statutory interpretations by the Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division (WHD). Generally, WHD may create regulations on its own to assist in clarifying ambiguities and to fill statutory gaps within the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The current administration has used this administrative process to modify the law in ways that advance its agenda, often without much, if any, input from employers. The federal court decisions striking down the DOL's aggressive campaign to modify wage-and-hour law through the regulatory process will hopefully send a message that the DOL must stay within the powers delegated to it by Congress, including obtaining employer perspectives when necessary.

Federal Labor and Employment Agencies’ Budgets Increase to Provide More Scrutiny of Your Business

The proposed budget for fiscal year 2014 provides a cash infusion to three federal agencies that are a thorn in the side of many employers: the Department of Labor (“DOL”), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”), and the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”). With increased funding, we can expect increased scrutiny. Here is what you need to know for each agency.

President Obama Proposes Funding Increases for Labor and Employment Agencies in FY2014 Budget

On April 10, President Obama unveiled his $3.78 trillion proposed budget for FY2014. The proposed budget included funding increases for several agencies charged with administering and enforcing the nation’s major labor and employment laws.

Wanted: Regulatory Agendas for 2012

Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act, the federal government is required to give notice of significant rulemaking activities by publishing semi-annual regulatory agendas (unified agendas) that describe current and intended activity on federal regulations and standards. Typically, the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) issues an April regulatory agenda sometime during the summer and an October regulatory agenda sometime in the winter.

Supreme Court Plants Roadblock For Federal Employees Bringing Employment Claims

Representing a victory for the federal government, the U. S. Supreme Court held today that federal employees do not have a right to challenge their terminations from employment in federal district court on constitutional grounds. The ruling reinforces the statutory scheme of the Civil Service Reform Act, which establishes the Merit Systems Protections Board (MSPB), an administrative agency governing federal employment disputes. Elgin v. Dept. of Treasury

Enforcement, Enforcement, Enforcement

The latest facts and figures on the DOL, EEOC and DOJ regulatory agenda

Temporary Government Employee Is Entitled To Same Immunity From Lawsuits As Full-Time Public Workers

In a unanimous decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on April 17, 2012 that a private employee working for a governmental body is entitled to the same qualified immunity as full-time public employees. Filarsky v. Delia.

Making Government a Little Less Bothersome - Here May Be an Opportunity

In a May address to the American Enterprise Institute, Cass Sunstein of Nudge fame, and also the administrative czar of the the Obama administration, announced the result of a four month study of regulations whose costs out weighed their benefits.

The Regulatory Avalanche From Washington, D.C.

The federal government has served notice that it will soon be creating an avalanche of new regulatory and enforcement actions from Washington, D.C., which will place enormous new burdens on employers. Worse, several of the new regulatory strategies will mandate that employers, in effect, demonstrate and document their compliance with employment laws and regulations to all employees, which then can lead to federal enforcement actions, private lawsuits or union organizing.

Narrow Window to Comment on Sweeping New MSHA Litigation Procedures.

The federal Mine Safety and Health Administration’s (MSHA) quest to reduce the much talked about “case backlog” at the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission is taking shape. In the May 20, 2010 issue of the Federal Register, the Review Commission proposed a new rule for handling civil penalty proceedings. The proposed rule will create a new category of cases that will be heard before the Review Commission under streamlined rules of procedure called “Simplified Proceedings.”

The Employment Law Decisions of Supreme Court Nominee Elena Kegan.

President Obama's nomination of Elena Kegan to the Supreme Court is the fourth since Jottings was started in the summer of 2002. In the past I have published links to the employment and labor law decisions of the nominees.

A Closer Look At Congressional Investigations.

For the past few weeks, the news media has been fixated on the Congressional investigation and hearings into purported defects in Toyota vehicles. But why is it such a big story? In reality, Congress has held hundreds of investigative hearings during the past few years on matters involving nearly every industry. This article will review – in very basic detail – Congress's power to conduct an investigative hearing, the limitations on those powers, and the practical effects of a Congressional investigation.

A Closer Look At Congressional Investigations.

For the past few weeks, the news media has been fixated on the Congressional investigation and hearings into purported defects in Toyota vehicles. But why is it such a big story? In reality, Congress has held hundreds of investigative hearings during the past few years on matters involving nearly every industry. This article will review – in very basic detail – Congress's power to conduct an investigative hearing, the limitations on those powers, and the practical effects of a Congressional investigation.

New Compliance and Ethics Rules for Government Contractors and Subcontractors Effective December 24, 2007.

Contractors and subcontractors who enter into at least one government contract “expected to exceed” $5 million dollars with a performance period of 120 days or more are now subject to a new Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) clause, the Contractor Code of Business Ethics and Conduct.
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