Agency proposes clearinghouse for commercial driver drug tests

by Charles S. Plumb

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has proposed a new rule that would create a database of commercial drivers’ drug test histories, making it easier for employers to find a job candidate’s past drug test results. The comment period is open until April 21.

Under the current rules, employers that hire commercial drivers may not know whether an applicant has a history of positive drug or alcohol tests because employers can rely only on information about earlier test results that individuals applying for driving jobs supply.

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NLRB to hear stakeholders on ‘quickie’ election rule

April 09, 2014 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is set to hear opinions on its proposed changes to the rules governing union representation elections during hearings on April 10-11. The meetings can be seen in their entirety at www.nlrb.gov/openmeeting.

The hearings will begin at 9:00 a.m. (ET) at the Board’s Washington, D.C., offices. Speakers had to submit requests ahead of time and already have been determined.

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New executive actions target equal pay for women

April 08, 2014 - by: Tammy Binford 2 COMMENTS

President Barack Obama is once again using executive action related to the pay American workers earn. A White House fact sheet says the actions are aimed at fighting pay discrimination and strengthening enforcement of equal pay laws.

In one action, Obama signed a presidential memorandum instructing Secretary of Labor Tom Perez to establish new regulations requiring federal contractors to submit more data to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). The president wants the DOL to collect summary data on compensation paid to employees, including data by sex and race.

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Treasury Department finalizes rule on hiring women, minorities

by Judith E. Kramer

The U.S. Treasury Department has issued a final rule requiring that any entity that enters into a contract with the department make good-faith efforts to include minorities and women in its workforce.

The new rule goes into effect April 21. The requirement grows out of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, which states that covered agencies will require contractors to provide a written statement that the “contractor shall ensure, to the maximum extent possible, the fair inclusion of women and minorities in the workforce of the contractor, and as applicable, subcontractors.”

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OFCCP releases resources to help contractors comply with new regulations

March 24, 2014 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

The U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has posted information on its website to help federal contractors comply with the new regulations pertaining to the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) and Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act.

The new resources are: read more…

Obama pushing to make more workers eligible for overtime

March 12, 2014 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

The latest development in President Barack Obama’s continuing effort to boost pay for low-wage workers is coming in the form of a plan to increase the number of workers who  are eligible for overtime pay.

A March 11 report on The New York Times website says Obama will direct the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to change its regulations so that fewer workers will be ineligible for overtime pay because of their classification as executive or professional employees.

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Categories: DOL / Federal Regulations / FLSA

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EEOC, FTC team up to provide tips on background checks

March 11, 2014 - by: Tammy Binford 2 COMMENTS

Employers and jobseekers alike are getting more direction on employer use of background checks with the release of two technical assistance documents from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

On March 10, the EEOC and the FTC copublished the documents, which are available on the agencies’ websites. The documents—Background Checks: What Employers Need to Know and Background Checks: What Job Applicants and Employees Should Know—explain how the agencies’ respective laws apply to background checks performed for employment purposes. The EEOC enforces employment discrimination laws, and the FTC enforces the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), which regulates how background checks are conducted and used.

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New resources available on upcoming rules for federal contractors

February 24, 2014 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

The U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has posted new resources on its website to help federal contractors comply with new regulations pertaining to recruiting people with disabilities and veterans.

New regulations going into effect March 24 strengthen requirements under the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) and Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act.

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New regulations delay ACA’s ‘play or pay’ provision for some employers

February 11, 2014 - by: Jessica Webb-Ayer 0 COMMENTS

In yet another unexpected turn in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Obama administration announced Monday that it is delaying the application of the law’s employer responsibility provision (also commonly referred to as the “play or pay” provision) for some small employers until 2016. The administration let the public know about the delay when the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the IRS released final regulations addressing the much-publicized provision.

Under the play-or-pay provision, employers with 50 or more employees face penalties if they don’t offer health insurance coverage or if the coverage they offer is insufficient. The provision was originally supposed to take effect on January 1, 2014, but last summer the administration delayed implementation until 2015.

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Construction association sues to stop OFCCP’s new affirmative action rule

November 23, 2013 - by: HR Hero 0 COMMENTS

On November 19, 2013, Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), a national association for the construction industry, filed a request for an injunction in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to stop the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) final rule affecting federal government contractors, including construction contractors. The final rule implementing Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act dramatically alters federal contractors’ existing affirmative action and nondiscrimination obligations for individuals with disabilities. The rule is schedule to go into effect March 24, 2014.

According to ABC, the association filed the lawsuit because “OFCCP exceeded its statutory authority, altered longstanding precedent, and imposed wasteful and burdensome data collection and reporting requirements on government contractors without any supporting evidence from the agency that contractors weren’t meeting the previous requirements.” ABC claims that the new rule “is especially burdensome for construction contractors that will be required to maintain written documentation and track whether the percentage of protected employees meets affirmative action requirements for federal projects. Such paperwork and reporting provisions are completely new to the construction industry—a fact that was not taken into account in OFCCP cost estimates.”

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