House Committee Votes on $15 Minimum Wage Bill
Today, the House Education and Labor Committee voted to advance a Democratic bill that would increase the hourly federal minimum wage to $15.
The bill (H.R. 582 (116),
- would phase in over five years the hike to $15, up from the current $7.25,
- would index future hikes to inflation.
- eliminate existing lower minimums for tipped workers, workers with disabilities and workers under the age of 20
The bill heads next to the House floor, where its passage is expected. The bill faces slimmer odds in the GOP-held Senate, where Republicans are unlikely to accept the hike, and Democrats may be reluctant to bargain ahead of a Senate-packed presidential primary field.
Joint Employer Rule Sent to White House for Review
The White House budget office began review of the Labor Department’s highly-anticipated joint employer proposal, the final step before it’s published.
The DOL proposal will define joint employment under the Fair Labor Standards Act to determine the circumstances under which businesses can be held jointly liable for labor violations committed by their franchisees or contractors. The NLRB proposed separately in September its own joint employer rule under the National Labor Relations Act.
The White House budget office’s review process can take up to 90 days.
Senate Committee Approves Labor Nominees
The Senate HELP Committee approved five Labor nominees late last week.
The committee voted along party lines to advance:
- Janet Dhillon to be a member of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC);
- John Pallasch to be assistant employment and training secretary;
- Cheryl Stanton to be Wage and Hour administrator;
- Scott Mugno to be administrator of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA); and
- William Beach to be commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
A full Senate vote will be difficult, though, since ranking member Patty Murray (D-Wash.) has pledged to deny HELP nominees expedited confirmation unless they’re packed with Democratic picks for the EEOC and the National Labor Relations Board.
Federal Court Reinstates Requirement to Submit Pay Data to the EEOC by Gender and Race
A federal court reinstated an Obama-era requirement that businesses with 100 or more employees need to submit pay data to the EEOC broken down by race, ethnicity and gender.
The new data collection was originally set to begin in March 2018, but business groups pushed back on the added paperwork and OMB halted the changes in an August 2017 memo that said the public hadn’t been given an opportunity to provide sufficient comment.
In the decision issued March 4, U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan determined that EEOC’s revised EEO-1 form (Component 2)
- should not have been stayed by the Office of Management and Budget (Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs) and
- The decision is not stayed pending an appeal, although we believe the federal government will have to appeal this ruling.
Whether employers will have to submit data under the Component 2 form in the upcoming reporting period that closes May 31 is not yet clear.
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