OFCCP updates guidance on gender identity and transgender discrimination

August 20, 2014 - by: Tammy Binford 2 COMMENTS

by Tammy Binford

On August 19, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) announced a new directive related to its decision to update its enforcement actions regarding gender identity and transgender discrimination.

On June 30, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced it would update its enforcement protocols and guidance to reflect that the full protection of federal antidiscrimination laws applies to claims of gender identity or transgender status.

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Comment period on $10.10 minimum wage rules ends July 28

July 09, 2014 - by: HR Hero Alerts 1 COMMENTS

by Rachael E. Luzietti

The comment period for the proposed rule to implement President Barack Obama’s Executive Order to raise the minimum wage for employees working on government contracts ends July 28. Those interested in having their voices heard should submit comments at www.regulations.gov.

In February, Obama issued Executive Order 13658, which mandates a minimum hourly wage of $10.10 to be paid by employers contracting with the federal government. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking on June 17 to implement the order.

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Proposed rule would extend FMLA protection to employees in same-sex marriages

June 20, 2014 - by: Tammy Binford 1 COMMENTS

by Tammy Binford

On June 20, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced a proposed rule that would allow employees to take Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave to care for a same-sex spouse even if the couple lives in a state that doesn’t recognize same-sex marriages.

The proposed rule is another result of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Windsor. The Court struck down the provision of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that interpreted “marriage” and “spouse” to be limited to opposite-sex marriages for the purposes of federal law.

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DOL issues proposed rule on $10.10 minimum wage for federal contractors

June 13, 2014 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez announced a proposed rule on June 12 that will raise the minimum wage for workers on federal service and construction contracts to $10.10 per hour. The proposed rule implements the executive order President Barack Obama announced on February 12.

The proposed rule provides guidance and sets standards for employers concerning coverage, including coverage of tipped employees and workers with disabilities. It also establishes an enforcement process, according to an announcement from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). The DOL’s proposed rule includes an economic analysis showing that nearly 200,000 workers will see the increase.

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New COBRA model notices available

May 12, 2014 - by: Jessica Webb-Ayer 0 COMMENTS

by Jessica Webb-Ayer

The Obama administration recently announced that new COBRA model notices are available. The notices alert employees about their ability to continue their healthcare coverage through COBRA following certain events that otherwise would result in termination of coverage.

The administration updated the notices to make it clear that if employees are eligible for COBRA continuation coverage when they leave a job, they may choose to purchase coverage through the health insurance marketplace (aka the health insurance exchange). According to the administration, the updated notices provide information “on more affordable options available through the marketplace, where workers and families may be eligible for financial assistance that would not otherwise be available for COBRA continuation coverage.”

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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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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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Training, enforcement key parts of DOL’s proposed budget

March 06, 2014 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

The Obama administration’s proposed U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) budget for fiscal year 2015 stresses a continuation of enforcement initiatives from previous years as well as new job training and assistance initiatives.

Released on March 4, the budget proposal includes $11.8 billion in discretionary funding for the DOL, $300,000 less than the request in the 2014 proposed budget. The 2015 proposal also includes new dedicated mandatory funds. A DOL statement says the proposed budget adheres to the spending levels agreed to in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 and includes the fully paid-for Opportunity, Growth, and Security Initiative.

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Categories: DOL / OFCCP / OSHA / WHD

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U.S. Supreme Court expands SOX whistleblower protection

March 05, 2014 - by: Holly Jones 1 COMMENTS

In the early 2000s, corporate and accounting scandals involving Enron, Tyco, WorldCom, and other publicly traded companies cost investors billions of dollars and prompted federal legislation to reform corporate financial practices. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) covers everything from mandatory financial disclosures to enhanced penalties for white-collar crime to requiring a company’s CEO to sign corporate tax returns. The law also includes penalties for retaliating against whistleblowers who provide information or assist in federal investigations.

Generally, SOX applies only to publicly traded companies. However, in a surprisingly entertaining opinion (at least when corporate governance and ethics are concerned), the U.S. Supreme Court expanded the law’s antiretaliation provisions to some private employers—specifically, to contractors and subcontractors performing work for publicly traded companies.

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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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