United States: DOL Personnel Moves (Beltway Buzz, July 26, 2019)

Last Updated: July 30 2019
Article by James J. Plunkett

DOL Personnel Moves. While we all wait to see how and when the confirmation process for secretary of labor nominee Eugene Scalia may play out, the front office shake-up at the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) continued this week. Joining Acting Assistant Secretary Patrick Pizzella in the Office of the Secretary this week are new Chief of Staff Tim Taylor and Deputy Chief of Staff Catherine A. Bartley. Taylor was previously deputy assistant secretary for policy at the DOL and most recently served as general counsel for the White House's Office of National Drug Control Policy, while Bartley served under Pizzella in the DOL's Office of the Deputy Secretary. As we have said before at the Buzz, "personnel is policy," so we will watch closely to see how these moves may impact the DOL's policy agenda.

OFCCP PAG Opinion Letter. In late 2018, the DOL's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) issued a directive establishing a process for the issuance of opinion letters to "provide guidance on the application of OFCCP regulations to fact‐specific situations." On July 22, 2019, OFCCP issued its second opinion letter pursuant to the directive. The letter builds upon OFCCP's 2018 compensation guidance and specifically addresses pay analysis groupings (PAGs), groups of comparable employees that are examined to determine whether a federal contractor's compensation practices are discriminatory. The opinion letter provides contractors with the "opportunity to submit their PAG structure for review and to receive feedback from OFCCP, which OFCCP would take into account in future compliance evaluations." However, the letter also notes that OFCCP "is unable to conclusively agree that it will rely upon specific, predetermined PAGs in all future compliance evaluations as there may have been material changes to factors considered by OFCCP in its initial evaluation of the contractor's PAGs." Laura R. Garger has the details here.

WHD Opines on Truckers' Wage Issue. OFCCP's colleagues in the DOL's Wage and Hour Division (WHD) also issued an opinion letter this week. The letter is a response to an inquiry regarding how to properly compensate long-haul truck drivers who may spend time in the truck's sleeper berth during the trip. The opinion letter concluded that "the time drivers are relieved of all duties and permitted to sleep in a sleeper berth is presumptively non-working time that is not compensable."

Treasury Expands HDHP Options. On July 17, 2019, the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service issued Notice 2019-45, expanding the preventive care benefits that may be provided by a high deductible health plan (HDHP) without a deductible or below the applicable minimum deductible. The notice was issued in response to President Trump's recent executive order on healthcare pricing that directed the secretary of the treasury to expand patients' ability to select HDHPs that can be used with a health savings account (HSA) and that cover low-cost preventive care, before the deductible, for certain chronic conditions. Under the notice, individuals will not be disqualified from contributing to an HSA when they receive medical care or prescription drugs for certain chronic conditions, such as diabetes, asthma, depression, and heart failure, among others, and are not subject to a deductible or are subject to a deductible below the statutory limit applicable to HDHPs (hat tip to Madeline Chimento Rea and Stephanie A. Smithey).

House PRO Act Hearing. On July 25, 2019, the U.S. House Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) held its second hearing on the Protecting the Right to Organize Act of 2019 (PRO Act)—the bill that would make sweeping changes to federal labor law. Readers might recall that Democratic witnesses in the first hearing included AFL–CIO President Richard Trumka and former National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) chair Mark Gaston Pearce. This time around, former NLRB general counsel Richard F. Griffin, Jr., testified in favor of the bill. Given the caliber of the witnesses testifying in favor of the PRO Act, this is obviously a priority of Democrats on the HELP subcommittee.

Multiemployer Pension Bill Passes House. On July 24, 2019, the House of Representatives passed the Rehabilitation for Multiemployer Pensions Act of 2019 (H.R. 397) (also known as the Butch Lewis Act) by a vote of 264–169. The bill would make long-term, low-interest loans to critical and declining multiemployer plans. While all stakeholders and policymakers likely agree that the multiemployer pension system is in trouble, most Republicans view this bill as a taxpayer bailout. For this reason, the bill likely has an uphill climb in the U.S. Senate. (Recall, too, that last year's Joint Select Committee on Solvency of Multiemployer Pension Plans failed to come up with a viable solution for the problem, so the politics of this issue are challenging.)

"Imagine What Gon' Happen When You Try and Tax Our Whiskey." Beginning with the 1794 Whiskey Rebellion, whiskey and taxation have forever been intertwined in our nation's history. Just this week, two U.S. senators introduced the Advancing Growth in the Economy through Distilled Spirits Act, which would make permanent an expiring tax provision that allows the deduction of interest expenses related to distilled spirit inventories in the year those expenses are paid, as opposed to when the inventories are sold (which, due to the aging process, can be years, or even decades, later). To determine which senators authored this bill, simply replace "distilled spirit" above with "bourbon." That's right; Senators Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Rand Paul (R-KY) are the cosponsors, which should come as no surprise. Kentucky produces 95 percent of the world's bourbon, contributing $8.6 billion to the state's economy each year (though it is a myth that bourbon needs to be made in Kentucky), so this is simply good constituent work for the two Bluegrass State senators ahead of the Senate's August recess.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
 
In association with
Related Topics
 
Related Articles
 
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions