The U.S. Supreme Court handed the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) a victory in a battle over whether the agency’s reversal of its stance on the exempt status of mortgage loan officers was subject to public notice and comment. In Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Association, the Court held that the DOL’s 2010 Administrator’s Interpretation concluding that mortgage loan officers do not qualify for the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) administrative exemption was not subject to the notice-and-comment requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). The decision has implications far beyond the question of whether mortgage loan officers are exempt from the overtime requirements of the FLSA. In rejecting the argument that a federal agency must use the APA’s notice-and-comment procedures when it wishes to issue a new interpretation of a regulation that deviates significantly from a previously adopted interpretation, the Court removed a significant potential impediment to an agency making important policy changes through so-called “sub-regulatory” guidance.
Articles Discussing Government Agencies That Oversee The Workplace.
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.
Employers hoping the U.S. Supreme Court would rein in federal agency rulemaking will be disappointed by the Court’s opinion in Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Association issued this morning. In the decision, which was consolidated with Nickols v. Mortgage Bankers Association, the Court held that agencies do not need to provide notice to the public and solicit input before reversing course on their own interpretive guidance.
On March 6, federal agencies charged with carrying out the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order (EO) submitted their proposed rule to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review, signaling its imminent release. The so-called “blacklisting” EO provides that employers can be denied federal contracts if they or their subcontractors violated or allegedly violated a host of federal labor laws within the past three years. This EO will impose new and significant obligations on contractors and subcontractors.
A new Executive Order (EO) that imposes new and onerous obligations and risks on federal contractors was the subject of a House joint subcommittee hearing on Thursday. The Subcommittee on Workforce Protections and the Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions heard testimony on the impact Executive Order 13673 will have on federal contractors and subcontractors.
Federal agencies released their Fall 2014 Regulatory Plans and Unified Agendas on November 21, 2014, right as lawmakers left Washington for the Thanksgiving break. Agency agendas are released twice a year, detailing all rulemaking efforts at their various stages of development and implementation. The Regulatory Plan is published along with the fall edition of the agenda. The Regulatory Plan identifies agency regulatory priorities and provides information about the significant regulatory actions that the agencies expect to take in the year ahead. According to the new plans and agendas, some contentious labor and employment regulations have been put on the back burner, while others are expected to be released in the coming months. While the target release dates of the agency regulations are often more aspirational than reality, they indicate which items are likely considered priorities. The following lists the agenda highlights by agency.
A day after the House of Representatives voted in favor of filing a lawsuit against the President for allegedly overstepping his executive authority, the White House has announced there will be yet another Executive Order (E.O) aimed at federal contractors.
The Department of Labor has issued a proposed rule to implement the new Executive Order (E.O) 13658 – Establishing a Minimum Wage for Contractors – which raises the minimum wage of certain federal contractors to $10.10 per hour starting January 1, 2015. Issued in February, the E.O. covers federal contracts and contract-like instruments that are the result of solicitations issued on or after January 1, 2015. Contractors, in turn, are required to incorporate the E.O. minimum wage clause in their lower-tier subcontracts. Read the full post here. (June 12, 2014)
Rules Governing Overtime, Reportable “Persuader” Information, to be Released this Year According to Federal Spring 2014 Regulatory Agendas
Minimum Wage Bill Fails to Advance in Senate.
Because the House of Representatives is not expected to consider the Paycheck Fairness Act (S. 2199) this term, President Obama will reportedly implement provisions of this measure applicable to federal contractors via Executive actions on Tuesday. The move will coincide with Equal Pay Day, and is the latest in a series of recent Presidential actions designed to implement employment law reform by bypassing Congress. Read the full post here. (April 7, 2014)
After serving 40 years in Congress, Rep. George Miller (D-CA) has announced he will retire at the end of the year. Miller is currently the ranking member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, the committee charged with considering all labor- and employment-related bills. Over the past four decades, Miller has been at the forefront of labor, employment, and benefits policy in Congress. A staunch supporter of labor, Miller has sponsored key legislation, including the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, Fair Minimum Wage Age, Offshore Oil and Gas Worker Whistleblower Protection Act, Protecting America’s Workers Act (PAWA), and the Worker Protection Against Combustible Dust Explosions and Fires Act.
In a quiet release two days before Thanksgiving, federal agencies issued their fall 2013 unified agendas and regulatory plans. The unified agendas, published twice a year, provide a roadmap of agency activity for the coming months, and highlight what proposed and final rules are imminent. The regulatory plans, published in conjunction with the fall agendas, provide additional details about the most significant actions the agencies plan to undertake in the coming year, and identify agency priorities. The following summarizes the key regulatory measures that the Department of Labor (DOL), Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) consider priorities for 2014.
In a speech delivered before the Center for American Progress on Tuesday, Labor Secretary Thomas Perez linked unionization to anti-poverty efforts. According to Perez, “There is an undeniable relationship — not just correlation, but direct causation — between declining poverty and the strength of the labor movement.”
What was once considered unthinkable is now becoming more of a possibility. Although the Senate is reportedly working on a last-minute compromise, the federal government is coming dangerously close to defaulting on its loan obligations, or hitting the “debt ceiling.” As Politico reports, members of the House were close to a deal that would have reopened the federal government – which has been closed since October 1 – until December 15, 2013, and raised the debt ceiling until February 7, 2014. These measures would have bought Congress more time in which to iron out a more comprehensive budget plan. A provision that would have repealed the Affordable Care Act’s controversial excise tax on medical devices was apparently dropped in an effort to garner support. However, it appears as if House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has not been able to muster the votes to advance this proposal, leaving both chambers without an approved deal, and with the government closer to default. The proverbial debt ceiling will be hit on Thursday.