The Biden Administration's 2021 Spring regulatory agenda has 54 total pending actions currently under review, including seven at the Department of Labor (DOL)
As required by Executive Order (E.O.) 12866, on Friday, June 11, 2021, the Biden administration published its spring 2021 agenda. The Department of Labor (DOL) has the second most regulatory actions currently under review at seven. Their portion of the agenda includes “actions the Biden-Harris Administration’s priorities in the areas of economics relief, wages, climate change, and racial equity.”
Within the DOL the regulatory protections include:
Office of Federal Contracts Compliance Programs (OFCCP)
The OFCCP has the following three proposed rules identified in the spring agenda:
- Rescission of certain provisions related to the religious exemption for federal contractors and subcontractors;
- Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) regulations updates to 41 CFR Part 60-40; and
- Modification of procedures to resolve potential employment discrimination.
Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
In response to E.O. 14026, WHD is drafting regulations that will increase the hourly minimum wage rate to $15 for employees working on or in connection with a covered government contract. The WHD is also involved in rulemaking to address the economic security of tipping workers.
The WHD is proposing to update and modernize the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts Regulations to ensure workers are paid prevailing wages on federal construction contracts.
Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)
To implement E.O. 13990 “Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis,” and E.O. 14030 “Climate-Related Financial Risks,” the EBSA is reviewing regulations under Title I of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) including “Financial Factors in Selecting Plan Investments” and “Fiduciary Duties Regarding Proxy Voting and Shareholder Rights.”
Additionally, the Biden administration is considering withdrawing prior rulemakings, including the rule on labor standards in apprenticeship.
The current administration was unhappy with regulations issued at the end of 2020 broadening the religious exemption and is taking steps to rescind those regulations.
The third item refers to the recently adopted (December 10, 2020) Pre-Determination Notice regulations. That rule was intended “…to increase clarity and transparency…establish clear parameters…and enhance efficient enforcement…” However, all the proposed rulemaking says is that the agency “will modify certain provisions…of the final rule, and “…promote effective enforcement…” Sounds like the same thing.
This is similar to when administrations changed and the Active Case Management directive was eliminated in favor of Active Case Enforcement, or methods for identifying pay discrimination changed from SSEGs to PAGs. The wording of the proposal is so vague that it’s difficult to determine at this point what the current administration intends to change in the PDN regulations, but OutSolve will keep clients posted as the situation develops.
Meanwhile, clients must be prepared and engaged with proactive activities, with their AAPs and their pay self-analysis. If you’d like additional information on OutSolve’s Pay Equity Analysis or other compliance services, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 888-414-2410.