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.
On February 26, President Obama unveiled his proposed $3 trillion budget. A detailed summary can be found on the White House website. (pdf) As expected, the budget includes increased funding for various agencies tasked with oversight of employers.
Of interest to employers, highlights of this proposal include the following:
- Funding of $110 million to continue expansion of the E-Verify program.
- Projected DOL discretionary funding increases of $12.7 billion for 2009, and $13.3 billion for 2010.
- Increased funding for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), “enabling it to vigorously enforce workplace safety laws and whistleblower protections, and ensure the safety and health of American workers.”
- Increased enforcement resources of the Wage and Hour Division “to ensure that workers are paid the wages that are due them.”
- Increased funding for the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs.
- The establishment of automatic workplace pensions. Under this plan, a system of automatic workplace pensions would operate alongside Social Security. Employees would be automatically enrolled in workplace pension plans. Employers that do not currently offer a retirement plan would be required to enroll their employees in a direct-deposit IRA account that is compatible with exiting direct-deposit payroll systems. Employees would be given the ability to opt out of this program.
- The provision of $145 million to the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division to strengthen civil rights enforcement against racial, ethnic, sexual preference, religious and gender discrimination.