Although unlikely to be passed in its current form, President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2015 budget request to Congress allocates an additional $2 million of the Department of Labor’s requested $1.8 billion budget so that the Department’s Office of Administrative Law Judges (OALJ) can hire additional personnel primarily to deal with a massive backlog of cases.
Articles About The Federal Government’s Employment, Benefits And Immigration Agencies.
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)
House lawmakers raised pointed questions concerning the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the Wage and Hour Division during an appropriations subcommittee hearing on the Department of Labor’s FY 2015 budget request. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez responded to numerous inquiries as the sole witness during the exchange. A similar hearing was conducted last week by the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, during which many of the same issues were highlighted. The tone of Wednesday’s appropriations hearing, however, was markedly more contentious.
Perhaps due to the increased scrutiny business advocacy groups have placed on the implications of the DOL’s anticipated revisions to the “persuader” regulations, the agency has said it is once again delaying the final rule’s release.
Last month, the EEOC recently updated its charge statistics for 2013. This information comes at the heels of an updated enforcement plan released late last year. With the benefit of a little time, a deeper look at these numbers reveals some important messages for organizations looking to focus their compliance efforts.
On Tuesday, the White House released its $3.9 trillion budget proposal for FY 2015. While such proposals are more aspirational than anything else, they do provide insight into the programs and initiatives the Administration deems priorities for the coming year. The budget for the Department of Labor (DOL) is notable because it reflects the Agency’s continued emphasis on enforcement. The proposal would grant the DOL$11.8 billion in discretionary funding, much of which would support the enforcement of wage and hour, worker misclassification, whistleblower, and employment safety laws. The budget is expected to face criticism from Congress, where a number of proposals are likely to be rejected or modified. However, the budget request confirms that employers can expect aggressive enforcement of federal employment and labor laws to continue. Highlights from the proposal are as follows….
According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s recently released enforcement and litigation data for FY 2013, total charges of discrimination filed with the agency dipped by nearly 6% compared to the prior fiscal year, although the agency recovered a record amount ($372.1 million) through its administrative process. The new data, which includes detailed charge breakdowns by claim type and state, supplements the agency’s Performance and Accountability Report (PAR) for Fiscal Year 2013, which was released in December 2013. The PAR summarizes the agency’s assessment of its policies and financial performance for the fiscal year, including the number of private sector charges received, federal lawsuits filed, and monetary awards recovered.
Over the years, Littler has provided periodic reports on significant cases, regulatory developments and other activities involving the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC or “the Commission”). While such guidance is intended to update employers on significant EEOC developments as they arise, we believe that employers can also benefit from an annual update and overview of key EEOC developments. This Annual Report on EEOC Developments—Fiscal Year 2013 (hereafter “Report”), our third annual report, is designed as a comprehensive guide to significant EEOC developments over the past fiscal year.
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.
After being delayed a month due to a 16-day government shutdown, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has released its much-anticipated Performance and Accountability Report (PAR) for Fiscal Year 2013. The PAR summarizes the agency’s assessment of its program and financial performance for the fiscal year, including the number of private sector charges received, federal lawsuits filed, and monetary awards recovered. A more detailed breakdown of the EEOC’s charge statistics will be released in the beginning of 2014.
While the federal government closed on Tuesday due to inclement weather, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) forged ahead with its hearing to consider the nomination of David Weil to be the next DOL Wage and Hour Division (WHD) Administrator. This position – which has been vacant for several years – is an important one. The WHD will be the sub-agency charged with enforcing the recently-issued “companionship” rule extending Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) protections to home healthcare workers, as well as the DOL’s many worker misclassification initiatives.
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.
In 2011, Congress passed the Unemployment Insurance Integrity Act (Act) as part of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Extension Act of 2011 (TAAEA).1 While the TAAEA was primarily concerned with extending retraining assistance for employees displaced by foreign workers, the roughly three-page Act requires states to incorporate provisions into their own unemployment insurance (UI) laws to (1) enhance penalties for fraudulent UI claimants; (2) revise the timing of “new hire” reports; and (3) impose new obligations on employers (and their agents) with respect to responding to unemployment insurance claim notices.