Budget puts forward the American Jobs Plan and the American Families Plan
According to the Secretary of Labor, Marty Walsh, “the President’s Budget renews the Department of Labor’s commitment to help America’s workers, particularly those from disadvantaged communities, find pathways to high-quality, good-paying jobs.” “The president’s initiatives also restore the department’s capacity to protect the health, safety, rights and financial security of all workers.”
At the Department of Labor (DOL), the budget would:
- Expand registered apprenticeship opportunities – the budget proposes $285 million for registered apprenticeships, up by $100 million from the 2021 enacted level.
- Help workers find pathways to good-paying jobs – the budget proposes an increase of $203 million to Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act state grants to make employment services and training available to more dislocated workers, low-income adults and disadvantaged youth.
- Make improvement to the Unemployment Insurance (UI) system – the budget requests $100 million to support the development and deployment of IT solutions in states to ensure proper delivery of UI benefits.
- Rebuild capacity to protect workers’ rights, benefits and safety – the budget proposes a nearly $300 million to worker protection agencies, including $73 million for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), $67 million for the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), $35 million for the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), and $37 million for the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA).
- Protect workers’ paychecks – the budget proposes an increase of more than $30 million for the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) to combat worker misclassification and enforce of wage issues, including prevailing wages and family and medical leave (FMLA).
The proposed funds to the OFCCP will rebuild enforcement capacity and increase outreach and compliance assistance programs.
The OFCCP’s budget proposal adds 188 employees, including compliance officers. OFCCP Director Yang has already stated her interest in in-depth compliance audits, with an emphasis on identifying and remedying systemic pay discrimination. The budget proposal also includes a “racial equity initiative”, designed to identify employment practices effective in closing racial pay gaps, increasing recruiting and hiring of workers of color, and facilitating their promotion into senior level and executive positions. While Congress has the final word in determining how much of a budget increase the OFCCP will actually receive, an increase can be expected. In addition, the budget proposal provides a good idea of where the agency hopes to go.
In light of this, OutSolve’s Census comparison and Compensation Risk Analysis tools can help put clients “ahead of the curve” with respect to both racial equity and pay discrimination issues. If you’d like additional information on any of OutSolve’s compliance services, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 888-414-2410.