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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Employers await effects of Executive Order on immigration

November 21, 2014 0 COMMENTS

While political wrangling over President Barack Obama’s newest Executive Order rages, employers need to understand the impact the immigration order will have on their workplaces.

Obama announced what he’s calling the Immigration Accountability Executive Actions in an address November 20. A fact sheet from the White House says the order will “crack down on illegal immigration at the border, prioritize deporting felons not families, and require certain undocumented immigrants to pass a criminal background check and pay their fair share of taxes as they register to temporarily stay in the U.S. without fear of deportation.”

Obama’s plan includes three main elements: (1) increased border security, (2) an emphasis on deporting people deemed a threat to national security and public safety, such as suspected terrorists, violent criminals, gang members, and recent border crossers, and (3) an expansion of a program allowing undocumented immigrants to temporarily stay in the United States if they register, pass background checks, and pay taxes.

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Another NLRB recess appointment ruled invalid

May 20, 2013 0 COMMENTS

Nearly four months after an appeals court ruled that recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) made in 2012 were invalid, another appellate court has ruled a previous recess appointment unconstitutional.

The U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals ruled May 16 in NLRB v. New Vista Nursing & Rehab. that President Barack Obama’s 2010 recess appointment of Craig Becker to the NLRB was invalid. Becker, a Democrat, served on the Board from April 5, 2010, through January 3, 2012.

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President Signs One-Month COBRA Subsidy Extension Legislation

March 03, 2010 2 COMMENTS

Late Tuesday night, President Barack Obama signed the Temporary Extension Act of 2010 (H.R. 4691) into law. The bill, which passed the U.S. Senate by a 78-19 vote Tuesday night and passed the U.S. House of Representatives last week, extends the original federal COBRA subsidy created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) by one month.

The new legislation extends the subsidy to individuals who are involuntarily terminated between March 1, 2010, and March 31, 2010. Since the last COBRA subsidy extension period ended February 28, 2010, this extension applies retroactively (i.e., to March 1 and 2). The legislation also includes a provision that allows certain individuals who initially lost group health coverage because of a reduction in hours and were then terminated after the legislation was enacted to receive the subsidy.

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