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Beltway Buzz, October 11, 2019

Supreme Return. The Supreme Court of the United States kicked off its 2019 term this week with a few blockbuster oral arguments. On October 9, 2019, the Court heard oral argument in three cases concerning whether gender identity and sexual orientation are protected under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Nonnie L. Shivers has the details.

FMCSA Clearinghouse Registration Is Now Open; Clearinghouse Goes Live on January 6, 2020

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced on October 1, 2019 that Clearinghouse registration is now open. The FMCSA Clearinghouse is an electronic database that will contain information about commercial motor vehicle drivers’ drug and alcohol program violations. The Clearinghouse will become operational on January 6, 2020, and FMCSA-regulated employers must be ready to comply with the Clearinghouse requirements on that date. Authorized users may now visit https://clearinghouse.fmcsa.dot.gov/register to create a user account and become familiar with the site.

Beltway Buzz, September 27, 2019

Meet the New Boss. The U.S. Senate confirmed Eugene Scalia as the new secretary of labor on September 26, 2019. Scalia, who served as solicitor of labor in the George W. Bush administration, is expected to continue apace with the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) current policy agenda.

Scalia Nomination Clears Senate HELP Committee

This morning the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee voted 12-11 along party lines to approve Eugene Scalia’s nomination as Secretary of Labor. The vote came five days after his confirmation hearing before the HELP Committee on September 19, 2019. This vote advances his nomination to the full Senate where it is expected to be approved. It is anticipated that the full Senate could vote by the end of the week.

Beltway Buzz, September 20, 2019

Labor Secretary Hearing. Eugene Scalia’s nomination to be secretary of labor took a step forward this week, as the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions held his confirmation hearing on September 19, 2019. Among the topics discussed were joint employment, workplace safety (including violence in the workplace), apprenticeship and pathways to work, multi-employer pension funds, wage and hour enforcement, sub-minimum wages under Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act, and association health plans. The committee, which consists of 12 Republicans and 11 Democrats, will vote on Scalia’s nomination on September 24, 2019, and he is expected to be approved.

Beltway Buzz, September 6, 2019

Scalia Officially Nominated. Although the Buzz mentioned the nomination of Eugene Scalia to be secretary of labor seven weeks ago, the management-side attorney wasn’t officially nominated until August 27, 2019. Will this delay push back Scalia’s confirmation hearing, U.S. Senate vote, and potential confirmation? Perhaps. Nevertheless, the Buzz still thinks that the process will get rolling in the next few weeks. Will the delay impact the ongoing regulatory agenda at the U.S. Department of Labor? Stay tuned.

Beltway Buzz, August 23, 2019

EEO-1 on Appeal. Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed its appeal of the March 4, 2019, district court decision that reinstituted the 2016 EEO-1 wage and hour reporting scheme. The DOJ argued to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia that the plaintiffs did not have standing to bring the suit in the first place because they could not demonstrate harm, and that the district court exceeded its authority by specifically directing the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to proceed with the collection of information in a particular manner. A coalition of business groups is expected to file an amicus brief, as the concerns of the business community are not addressed by the parties to the litigation. Of course, no matter the eventual result of the appeal, it is not expected to impact the current September 30, 2019, reporting deadline.

DOL’s WHD Regulatory Reforms in the Home Stretch

If you are a sports fan, then you might consider the regulatory agenda of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) in general, and the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) in particular, as winding down to the end of the third quarter of a football game or moving into the latter innings of a baseball game. In both sports, time and opportunity become critical for the team that wants to win but is not ahead. Regardless of your preferred game, as the November 3, 2020, elections draw closer (less than 440 days away), the WHD has been very busy in the regulatory realm under Wage and Hour Administrator Cheryl Stanton and Acting Secretary of Labor Patrick Pizzella.

What’s New with the EEOC?

In this podcast, Littler’s Michael Lotito and Jim Paretti discuss the EEOC, how the lack of a quorum affected the agency, and what we might expect now that the agency’s quorum has been restored.

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Agency Proposes Changes to Hours of Service Rules for Truck Drivers

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) on changes to the hours of service (HOS) rules.
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