‘Religious liberty’ order leaves LGBT nondiscrimination provisions intact

May 05, 2017 0 COMMENTS

On May 4, President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order (EO) that, unlike a draft version, leaves intact Obama-era LGBT nondiscrimination requirements for federal contractors.

The EO, which one expert described as largely hortatory, addresses tax exemptions for religious organizations and the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) contraceptive mandate. But it includes little affirmative movement, according to Burton J. Fishman, senior counsel with Fortney & Scott and a contributor to Federal Employment Law Insider.

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Advocacy groups challenge Trump’s 2-for-1 regulation requirement

February 09, 2017 0 COMMENTS

Three liberal advocacy groups have filed a lawsuit alleging that President Donald Trump’s 2-for-1 regulation mandate violates the U.S. Constitution and directs agencies to violate federal law.

In a January 30 Executive Order, Trump instructed federal agencies to cut two regulations for every new one issued during the current fiscal year. He said the order is aimed at alleviating the regulatory burdens businesses face.

Now, consumer group Public Citizen is challenging the Executive Order, joined by the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Communications Workers of America. In a February 8 complaint, the groups alleged the order violates the Constitution and requires federal agencies to violate both the laws they implement and the Administrative Procedure Act.

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Trump aims to help businesses with 2-for-1 regulatory plan

January 31, 2017 0 COMMENTS

On January 30, President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order directing federal agencies to cut two regulations for every new one issued during the current fiscal year (FY). The move is aimed at alleviating regulatory burdens on both small and large businesses, Trump said while signing the order.

The order says that unless prohibited by law, an agency must identify at least two existing regulations to repeal each time it proposes or finalizes a new regulation. “If you have a regulation you want—number one, we’re not going to approve it because it’s already been approved probably in 17 different forms, but if we do—the only way you have a chance is, we have to knock out two regulations for every new regulation,” he said.

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Trump takes aim at ACA on first day in office

January 23, 2017 0 COMMENTS

Following his inauguration on January 20, President Donald Trump signed his first round of Executive Orders, including one directing federal agencies to ease enforcement of some Affordable Care Act (ACA) requirements.

Trump told agencies to “waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay the implementation of”ACA provisions that impose fees or other burdens on a range of stakeholders, including individuals and health insurers.

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New executive order expands ‘ban the box’ trend

November 03, 2015 0 COMMENTS

President Barack Obama’s plan to issue a “ban the box” Executive Order may not directly affect nonfederal government employers, but it continues a movement in both the public and private sectors against considering criminal history early in the hiring process. A White House fact sheet issued November 2, the same day Obama traveled to New Jersey to outline plans to help the formerly incarcerated, explains that the president is directing the federal Office of Personnel Management “to take action where it can by modifying its rules to delay inquiries into criminal history until later in the hiring process.”  Hand with pen and check boxes isolated on white background

The fact sheet says most federal agencies already have taken that step. It also notes that many states and cities have passed laws requiring employers to remove the job application section that asks if prospective employees have a criminal record. The fact sheet also notes that many private companies have decided on their own to delay asking about criminal history until later in the hiring process to make sure job seekers aren’t unnecessarily screened out before having a chance to explain their circumstances.

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Federal contractors advised to get ready for new paid sick leave order

September 09, 2015 0 COMMENTS

President Barack Obama’s latest Executive Order affecting federal contractors isn’t scheduled to take effect for more than a year, but employers with federal contracts are advised to take a look at their sick leave policies now to make sure they will be in compliance when the time comes.

On September 7, Obama signed an Executive Order that will require federal contractors and subcontractors to offer employees up to seven days of paid sick leave per year. A fact sheet from the White House says that beginning with new contracts in 2017, workers will earn a minimum of one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked. The White House points out that contractors are free to offer more generous paid leave entitlements.

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Judge’s action sparks more uncertainty on Obama’s immigration orders

February 17, 2015 0 COMMENTS

A temporary injunction against President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration is adding to the uncertainty surrounding immigration reform and its impact on employers. On Monday, a federal judge in Texas issued a temporary injunction blocking Obama’s orders issued last November that would have eased deportation concerns for millions of undocumented immigrants that have been in the country for years. The orders had not yet begun accepting applications.

The injunction, which the Obama administration plans to appeal, is a result of a lawsuit in which 26 states challenged Obama’s authority to take the actions. U.S. District Judge Andrew S. Hanen ruled that allowing the immigration orders to be implemented before a full trial would cause irreparable harm to states needing to provide services to the undocumented immigrants eligible for the program’s protections.

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LGBT final rule for contractors published

December 05, 2014 0 COMMENTS

The final rule implementing President Barack Obama’s Executive Order prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating against employees and applicants based on sexual orientation and gender identity has been published in the December 9 Federal Register.

The rule implements Executive Order 13672, which Obama signed on July 21. The order directed the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to update rules to add gender identity and sexual orientation to classes protected by law. Obama had hoped Congress would pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would have covered more employers than just those with government contracts, but that bill has not passed.

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$10.10 minimum wage for contractors set for January 1

December 01, 2014 0 COMMENTS

President Barack Obama’s Executive Order raising the minimum wage for federal contractors and subcontractors is set to take effect for all federal contracts beginning on or after January 1.

Obama signed Executive Order 13658 on February 12. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced the final rule implementing the order on October 1. The DOL has said the order will affect nearly 200,000 workers.

Obama had urged Congress to raise the federal minimum wage for all workers covered under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to $10.10 an hour, but that effort failed in Congress. The current minimum wage, in force since 2009, is $7.25 an hour. Obama’s Executive Order applies only to employees of federal contractors and subcontractors. Congressional action is necessary to raise the general minimum wage.

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