Tag: obama

Obama Jobs Bill Proposes To Ban Discrimination Against Unemployed

As almost everyone knows, last week President Obama presented a $447 billion jobs bill, called the American Jobs Act, to a joint session of Congress full of proposals designed to stimulate the lagging U.S. economy.  What many people probably don’t know is that, tucked into the bill, is a provision that would make it unlawful … Continue Reading

IRS Issues HIRE Act Affidavit

The Internal Revenue Service released yesterday Form W-11, the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act Employee Affidavit.  Employers can use the form to claim the special payroll tax exemption that applies to many newly hired workers during 2010.  Click here to download a copy of Form W-11. The HIRE Act, which President Obama signed into law on … Continue Reading

President Obama Uses Recess Appointments to Fill NLRB, EEOC Seats

This week President Obama announced that he would make recess appointments to fill vacancies on the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).  The move allows the White House to bypass the Senate confirmation process, which promised to be extremely contentious.  The appointments will add two Democratic members to the … Continue Reading

President Obama to Sign Jobs Bill Today

President Obama is today expected to sign the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act, which in its final form passed The House of Representatives 217-201 on March 4 and the Senate 68-29  on March 17.  Click here to download the final version of the HIRE Act. Key provisions of the HIRE Act include: An exemption … Continue Reading

Federal Government to Crack Down on Misclassified “Independent Contractors?”

It’s always risky to misclassify someone who should be an employee as an "independent contractor," but President Obama’s 2011 budget proposal will increase the risks for employers.  According to this budget summary from the U.S. Department of Labor, the misclassification of employees as contractors is estimated to cost the Treasury Department over $7 billion in lost payroll … Continue Reading

COBRA Subsidy Extended Through February 28, 2010

As originally enacted as part of the 2009 stimulus package, the COBRA subsidy provided up to nine months of health insurance premium assistance for covered workers who were involuntarily terminated on or before December 31, 2009.  Last week, President Obama signed a bill that extends the COBRA subsidy for involuntarily terminated employees in two ways:  First, it extends the eligibility period … Continue Reading

President Obama Signs Expansion of FMLA Leave for Military Families

Earlier this week, President Obama signed the Fiscal Year 2010 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), a federal law that is enacted each fiscal year to specify the budget and expenditures of the United States Department of Defense.  This year, the NDAA contains two expansions of the exigency and caregiver leave provisions for military families under the Family … Continue Reading

President Obama Orders Federal Employees Not to Text While Driving

Last week, President Obama signed an executive order prohibiting all federal employees from text messaging while driving on official business or while using government equipment.  Click here to read President Obama’s executive order on texting while driving.  While President Obama’s order does not effect private employers, it does directs federal agencies to encourage contractors and their … Continue Reading

ICE Targets Employers by Launching I-9 Audit Program

Implementing a new audit initiative, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service (ICE) has served Notices of Inspection on 652 businesses nationwide.  The notices inform employers that ICE will be inspecting their I-9’s and other employment records to ascertain whether the employers are in compliance with federal immigration laws and regulations. The Obama administration appears to be taking a new approach … Continue Reading

FOREWARN Act Introduced – Changes to WARN Act in 2009?

Last week, the Federal Oversight, Reform, and Enforcement of the WARN (FOREWARN) Act was introduced in the House by Rep. George Miller (D-CA) and in the Senate by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH).  FOREWARN aims to amend the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act by requiring more and smaller employers to notify workers of  plant closings or mass … Continue Reading

Extension of Federal Benefits to Same-Sex Partners Falls Short of Goals

The memorandum issued by President Obama yesterday extends some benefits to the same-sex partners of federal employees, including access to a government insurance program that pays for long-term conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, and to sick leave to care for a sick same-sex partner or a non-biological child.  However, the extension did not provide eligibility … Continue Reading

Obama To Extend Job Benefits to Same-Sex Partners

The New York Times is reporting that President Obama will sign an order later today extending some — but not all — job benefits to the same-sex partners of federal employees.  According to reports, the order will come short of providing full health care coverage to same-sex partners.  Check back in with the Stoel Rives … Continue Reading

Major Budget Increases for Federal Labor and Employment Enforcment Agencies

The Obama Administration has released its fiscal year 2010 budget request.  Among the items are several increases for the federal agencies that oversee labor and employment matters.  Here are some highlights: $104.5 billion to the Department of Labor, an increase of 10 percent, to increase its staff and enforcement activity.  $283 million for the National Labor Relations … Continue Reading

President Obama Announces NLRB Nominations

Last Friday, President Obama announced his intention to nominate Craig Becker and Mark Pearce as Members to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the government agency that administers the National Labor Relations Act, the primary law governing relations between unions and employers in the private sector.  Click Here to read the White House Press release.  … Continue Reading

Senate Confirms Solis as Labor Secretary

The Senate confirmed California Representative Hilda Solis by a vote of 80 to 17 as the new Secretary of Labor in the Obama administration, ending several weeks of delays prompted by Republican concerns over her nomination and the disclosure that her husband paid $6,400 in tax liens earlier this year on his auto repair business. … Continue Reading

Stimulus Package Includes COBRA Subsidies

Among the provisions of the new stimulus package signed by President Obama are subsides for unemployed workers continuing their health care benefits through the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA).  The key points of the package are: Who is eligible?  Employees who have been involuntarily terminated between September 1, 2008 and December 31, 2009 with … Continue Reading

President Obama Nominates Wilma Liebman to Chair NLRB

Late last month, President Obama appointed Wilma B. Liebman to chair the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the agency that enforces federal labor law.  Click here to read the NLRB’s press release on the appointment.  Chairman Liebman has served on the Board since November 14, 1997.  First appointed by President Clinton, she is now serving her … Continue Reading

President Obama Signs Three Executive Orders Affecting Federal Contractors

On January 30, 2009 President Obama signed three executive orders affecting federal contractors and their employees.  Two of the three orders affect union rights.  (Click the title of each order to download it). Economy in Government Contracting.  Denies federal contractors reimbursement for funds spent on activities designed to persuade employees to join or to not join a union, such as … Continue Reading

E-Verify Delayed (Again) Until May 21

Another delay for implementation of the mandatory E-Verify system:  The Department of Homeland Security’s Citizenship and Immigration Services announced today that it will delay mandatory use of E-Verify until May 21, 2009.  Click here to read DHS’s press release.  Why the delay?  The Obama Administration wants additional time to review this and other rules that … Continue Reading

Obama Nominates Rep. Hilda Solis as Labor Secretary

Today’s New York Times is reporting that President-Elect Barack Obama will nominate California Representative Hilda Solis as his administration’s Secretary of Labor, the cabinet-level position that oversees the Department of Labor. John Sweeney, head of the AFL-CIO (a coalition of labor unions) praised the appointment of Solis to the position.  And not without good reason:  Solis has … Continue Reading

DOT Issues Final Rule on Commercial Drivers’ Hours

On November 19, the Department of Transportation‘s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration published a final rule on commercial drivers’ hours.  The key provisions: commercial motor vehicle drivers may continue to drive up to 11 hours within a single workday; and drivers may now reset their weekly limits after they have been off duty for at least 34 … Continue Reading

New Federal Legislation Would Penalize Employers’ Use of “Independent Contractors”

The U.S. Congress is currently considering legislation that would impose significant penalties on employers who improperly classify employees as "independent contractors" to avoid paying for benefits.  The Employee Misclassification Prevention Act (S. 3648) was introduced in the Senate on September 29, and is sponsored by Senators Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and John Kerry (D-Mass.).   … Continue Reading
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