Legislative Update for the Week of March 31, 2014

President Obama Poised to Enact Provisions of Paycheck Fairness Act Through Executive Action

Because the House of Representatives is not expected to consider the Paycheck Fairness Act (S. 2199) this term, President Obama will reportedly implement provisions of this measure applicable to federal contractors via Executive actions on Tuesday.  The move will coincide with Equal Pay Day, and is the latest in a series of recent Presidential actions designed to implement employment law reform by bypassing Congress. Read the full post here. (April 7, 2014)

House Clears Bill Revising Definition of Full-Time Employee Under Affordable Care Act

As expected, the House of Representatives approved legislation on Thursday that would change the definition of “full-time employee” under the Affordable Care Act.  Under the healthcare law’s employer responsibility requirements, an employer with 50 or more full-time or full-time equivalent employees will be required to provide health insurance that meets certain ACA standards to their full-time employees starting in 2015, or pay a penalty.  The ACA considers a worker “full time” if he or she works 30 hours or more per week, instead of the customary 40 per week.  The Save American Workers Act (H.R. 2575) would specifically define “full-time employee” as an employee, “with respect to any month . . .  who is employed on average at least 40 hours of service per week.’’ The measure was approved by a vote of 248-179, with 18 Democratic lawmakers joining all Republicans in support of the bill. Read the full post here. (April 3, 2014)

OSHA Issues Interim Final Rule Implementing Consumer Financial Protection Act Whistleblower Provisions

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued an interim final rule and request for comments on the procedures for handling retaliation complaints under the employee protection provision of the Consumer Financial Protection Act (CFPA). OSHA is charged with overseeing and enforcing the whistleblower provisions of 22 separate statutes. Read the full post here. (April 2, 2014)

Appropriations Committee Discusses Federal Contractor, OSHA Issues with Labor Secretary Perez

House lawmakers raised pointed questions concerning the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the Wage and Hour Division during an appropriations subcommittee hearing on the Department of Labor’s FY 2015 budget request.  Labor Secretary Thomas Perez responded to numerous inquiries as the sole witness during the exchange.  A similar hearing was conducted last week by the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, during which many of the same issues were highlighted. The tone of Wednesday’s appropriations hearing, however, was markedly more contentious. Read the full post here. (April 2, 2014)

Senate Committee Discusses Paycheck Fairness Act

In advance of an expected floor vote, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions held a hearing on April 1 to discuss the merits of the Paycheck Fairness Act (S. 2199). Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski (MD), chief sponsor of the legislation, said the Senate needs to “finish the job started by the Lilly Ledbetter” Fair Pay Act.  This post discusses the changes that S. 2199 would make to current wage law.  Read the full post here. (April 2, 2014)

Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.