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President's Budget Proposes Paid Leave, Funding Cuts, and Merger of OFCCP and EEOC

President Trump has released his proposed federal budget, setting out his priorities for the 2018 fiscal year, which begins October 1.1 As anticipated, the budget represents a marked shift in potential government spending; it proposes to eliminate roughly $3.6 trillion over the next decade. And, true to his campaign promise, the president seeks to designate funds ($1.6 billion) for commencement of the construction of a wall along the southern border.

House Hearing Examines EEOC's Regulatory and Enforcement Policies

On Tuesday, May 23, 2017, the House Subcommittee on Workforce Protections held a hearing to discuss the direction of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The witnesses and lawmakers raised several topics related to the EEOC's regulatory and enforcement priorities in recent years and the Commission's revised EEO-1 report. The EEOC’s focus on systemic investigations came under scrutiny as did the FY 2018 proposed budget's call for merging the EEOC with the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP). The following provides a brief overview of the hearing.

Breaking News: EEOC/OFCCP Proposed Merger Resulting in Unexpected Allies

As we speculated yesterday, the White House’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2018 proposes to merge the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Group of Senators Request Rescission of EEOC Pay Disclosure Rule

As employers eagerly await the fate of the EEOC’s pay disclosure rule, a group of senators asked the Trump administration to unwind the rule.

You Can’t Spell “THE GIG ECONOMY” Without “E-E-O-C”

When the EEOC published its Strategic Enforcement Plan for 2017-2021 in October, the EEOC had identified “complex employment relationships” as an area it wished to explore more closely in the coming months and years. In the Plan, the EEOC specifically identified in its “Developing Issues” category: “clarifying the employment relationship and the application of workplace civil rights protections in light of the increasing complexity of employment relationships and structures, including temporary workers, staffing agencies, independent contractor relationships, and the on-demand economy.”

. . . 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.

Supreme Court Rules on EEOC Subpoena Standard of Review

The Supreme Court has ruled on a case that initially challenged the breadth of an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) administrative subpoena. The McLane Co., Inc., v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission decision aligns the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals' standard of review for EEOC subpoenas with that of the other circuits. The ruling was welcomed by employer groups that have expressed concern regarding possible EEOC overreach during investigations.

Supreme Court Holds Deferential Standard is Appropriate for EEOC Subpoena Reviews

Under Title VII, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has the authority to issue subpoenas for documents relevant to its investigations. Prior to the Supreme Court’s decision in McLane Co. v. EEOC, which issued yesterday, all but one federal circuit applied a deferential standard to district court decisions on the enforcement of EEOC subpoenas.

Supreme Court Limits EEOC Subpoena Power

In a 7 to 1 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled today that courts of appeals should largely defer to lower courts’ decisions when policing subpoenas issued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). By requiring that lower court rulings should be reviewed for abuse of discretion, rather than under a de novo review standard, the Supreme Court’s decision keeps a more sensible, reasonable limit on the EEOC’s investigatory powers, including the scope of requests for information in administrative subpoenas.

New Acting Solicitor of Labor Department Signals Emphasis on ‘Humility’

In some of his first public comments since taking office, Department of Labor Acting Solicitor Nicholas Geale has signaled a shift in policies, telling attendees at a Georgetown University Law Center event that his department will “listen to the regulated community a little more” from a position of a “little bit more humility.”