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Labor Departments Releases Semi-Annual To-Do List

A number of labor-focused federal agencies last week released their semi-annual regulatory agendas, which offer insight into their plans for the next few months and beyond. Below is a quick run-down of the goals that will matter the most to you:

The US Department of Labor: The labor department’s agenda includes 38 short-term goals. While many focus on job-specific functions – such as benefits for coal miners, qualification standards for crane operators and even acceptable levels of beryllium in the workplace – there are a number of goals that are applicable across the board:

  • Plans to replace the overtime rule (more info here)
  • Plans to rescind tip pool/tip sharing regulations (more info here)
  • Plans to reexamine OSHA’s electronic recordkeeping rule (more info here)
  • A plan to change reporting of workplace injuries and illnesses (more info here)
  • Clarification on which jobs will be subject to mandatory drug testing for unemployment benefits (more info here)
  • Determination of how much funding should be allocated to the HIRE VETS fund, which provides funding to select employers to hire and train members of the military (more info here)

From a long-term perspective, meanwhile, the agenda includes plans to update regulations that allow certain employers to pay workers with disabilities less than minimum wage. Reflecting on the agenda, HR Drive notes that while it is in line with previous to-do lists in terms of line items, it could prove somewhat ambitious considering the DOL is currently without a leader, and several other leadership roles still remain unfilled.

The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission: The EEOC plans to turn its eye towards mostly internal processes, as well as workers in the public sector. According to HR Drive, the DOL’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs were not mentioned, leading experts to suggest that nondiscrimination rules will remain untouched in the near term. Unlike the DOL, the EEOC did not release a long-term plan.

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