Federal News & Analysis

  • Tax reform bill includes some Obamacare-related items

    Complete repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) fell apart in Congress months ago. But the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), a tax reform bill that recently cleared Congress and was signed by the president on December 22, 2017, does include some provisions related to the ACA, health care, and other employer-sponsored health, welfare, and fringe benefits, albeit not the "big ticket" items sought by employers or related stakeholders, such as repeal of the employer mandate penalties.

  • Review of the Trump administration's first year overseeing employment law

    The past year has included many expected moves by the Trump administration, such as the reversal of some of the National Labor Relations Board's (NLRB) controversial decisions under the Obama administration, as well as several unexpected developments, such as the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Program's (OFCCP) continued aggressiveness in audits and litigation.

  • Trump administration oversees sweeping changes at NLRB

    The Trump administration has been criticized in some quarters for giving little attention to labor and employment issues. That hasn't been the case at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). With unparalleled speed, new NLRB members have been confirmed, and a new General Counsel is in place. And the Republican leadership on the Board is already reversing cases decided under the Obama administration, announcing new policies, and starting on the path to rescinding regulations promulgated by the previous Board.

  • EEOC issues its 2018-22 draft strategic plan

    On December 8, 2017, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released its draft strategic plan for fiscal year (FY) 2018-22 for public comment. The release of the four-year strategic plan fulfills a congressional requirement that executive departments, government corporations, and independent agencies create a strategic plan outlining their mission, goals, performance measures, and budgetary plans.

  • DACA update: What's happening with the phaseout?

    Several months ago, the Trump administration announced the phaseout of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Based on 2017 estimates, the phaseout would mean that almost 700,000 undocumented immigrant youths would lose their work authorization on a rolling basis, beginning in 2017.

  • Ondray T. Harris in place as new OFCCP director

    Ondray T. Harris, who served as the deputy chief of employment litigation at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) during the George W. Bush administration, began leading the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) on December 10, 2017. Harris initially joined the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) in late spring, serving as a senior adviser at the Employment and Training Administration.

  • 4 steps for employers to minimize #metoo liabilities

    The outpouring of women (and men) reporting sexual harassment, sexual abuse, and rape as a result of #metoo is a warning to all employers. Most employers have focused their response to sexual harassment allegations in ways that limit their legal liability under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, such as providing training and internal reporting protocols. Obviously, the current efforts at preventing workplace harassment are not working, so employers need to refocus their response.

  • Workflex bill would provide safe harbor from state, local paid leave laws

    On November 2, 2017, a group of House Republicans introduced H.R. 4219, which would provide a safe harbor from state and local paid leave laws for employers that voluntarily provide such leave to their employees. The bill, titled Workflex in the 21st Century, was introduced by Representative Mimi Walters (R-California) and is supported by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). To learn more about the bill, Federal Employment Law Insider interviewed Mike Aiken, vice president for government affairs at SHRM.

  • DOL appeals decision striking down overtime rule

    The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has filed an appeal of a Texas federal court's decision to strike down the Obama administration's overtime rule. Importantly, the appeal is not meant to challenge the court's decision. Rather, it is designed to preserve the DOL's authority to establish its own overtime regulations.

  • Update on nominations to federal agency posts

    On November 8, 2017, the U.S. Senate voted 49-46 to confirm Peter Robb as the General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Robb, a management-side attorney and NLRB veteran, will serve as the NLRB's top prosecutor, with responsibility for the investigation and prosecution of unfair labor practice cases and for the general supervision of the NLRB field offices in the processing of cases. Robb, a Republican, is expected to work with the majority-Republican Board to reverse many of the prolabor, proemployee actions of his predecessor, Richard Griffin.