Congressional Drama (Beltway Buzz, October 1, 2021) – Employment and HR
United States: Congressional Drama (Beltway Buzz, October 1, 2021)
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The Beltway Buzz is a weekly update summarizing work and employment news inside the Beltway and clarifying how what’s happening in Washington, DC could impact your business.
Congress drama. There was drama this week on Capitol Hill, as Congress juggled four major issues: federal government funding, a bipartisan bill to rebuild our nation’s infrastructure, a 3.5 $ on “human infrastructure” and imminence debt limit crisis. Here is what happened :
- On September 30, 2021, Congress passed a short-term appropriation bill to narrowly avoid a federal government shutdown after Democrats agreed to remove a provision that would have raised the debt ceiling. The bill continues to fund only until December 3, 2021, so the threat of closure will resume in just a few weeks. Federal contractors should be wary.
- Democrats have continued to rethink their strategy on the “human infrastructure” bill (which includes federal paid holidays, adds unfair labor practices and penalties to the national labor relations law, and increases fines by under the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Occupational Safety and Health Act) after it was revealed that Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) would not agree to spend more than $ 1, $ 5 trillion. As the Buzz previously wrote of the bill, “a Democratic defector could scuttle it all.”
- Additionally, on September 30, 2021, President Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) delayed a vote in the United States House of Representatives on the bipartisan infrastructure bill after members of the Progressive Congressional Caucus threatened to defeat the bill in light of the uncertainty surrounding humanity. bill on infrastructure. The House is due to reconsider the bipartisan infrastructure bill today, October 1, 2021.
- In the absence of congressional action, the United States will default almost entirely $ 29 trillion in national debt bonds by October 18, 2021. Congress has made no tangible progress on this issue this week and, shockingly!
Guidelines on the mandate of the federal contractor Vax. September 24, 2021, just after the Buzz was published last week, the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force published advice implement President Biden’s proposal Executive Decree 14042, “Ensuring Adequate COVID Security Protocols for Federal Contractors.” The highlights of the orientation are as follows:
- Employees of covered federal contractors must be vaccinated against COVID-19 by December 8, 2021. (Unlike the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s [OSHA] pending temporary COVID-19 emergency standard [ETS], there is no alternative to testing.) Accommodations may be available for employees with disabilities or with genuine religious beliefs.
- The guidelines cover “service contracts and contract-like instruments” valued over $ 250,000, but do not cover “subcontracts only for the supply of products”. The requirements of the directives are reflected in lower level subcontracts.
- The vaccination requirement covers employees “working on or in connection with a covered contract or working at a covered subcontractor workplace”. This includes certain remote employees and employees who might not even be working on or in connection with a covered contract.
- The guidelines state that covered contractors subject to OSHA’s upcoming COVID-19 ETS or “other workplace safety standards” must still adhere to the COVID-19 protocols set out in the guidelines.
NLRB GC: University athletes are employees. On September 29, 2021, the General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board, Jennifer Abruzzo, issued a memorandum to regional agents declaring that “some players in academic institutions are employees under the law and have the right to be protected from retaliation when exercising their rights under section 7”. There are other notable points in the memorandum:
- Incorrect classification as ULP. The Advocate General states: “[B]Because these Players in Academic Institutions are employees under the Act, … I will pursue an independent violation of Section 8 (a) (1) of the Act when an employer wrongly classifies Players in Academic Institutions as student-athletes.
- Social activism is PCA. “Activism regarding (…) racial justice issues, including open support for the Black Lives Matter movement, directly concerns terms of employment and is a protected concerted activity.”
- Joint employer. The memorandum also notes that the attorney general can pursue theories of joint employer liability and “will consider bringing charges against a conference or sports association even if some member schools are public institutions.”
USCIS offers the DACA Reg. September 28, 2021, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) proposed a rule to reinstate and reaffirm the Deferred Action Program for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) after it was ordered by a federal court in July 2021. The eligibility requirements of the proposed settlement are very similar to the program requirements created in June 2012 memorandum by Janet Napolitano, then secretary of internal security. By going through the rulemaking process and soliciting public comment, USCIS seeks to restore prior procedural steps important to establishing the DACA that the federal court said were lacking.
COVID-19 tax credit program expires. September 30, 2021 was the last day of the federal program that allowed employers to receive tax credits for the costs associated with voluntarily implementing policies relating to emergency paid sick leave and family leave related to the COVID-19. At present, Congress does not seem interested in renewing the program.
Souvenir of Romualdo Pacheco. In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month, the Buzz shines the spotlight on José Antonio Romualdo Pacheco. Born in 1831 to a prominent family in California when the territory was still part of Mexico, Pacheco became a politician, statesman, and diplomat in the mid to late 1800s. Pacheco’s political career began in 1853 at the age of 22, when he became a judge in San Luis Obispo County. This position helped Pacheco rise to a higher position as the Treasurer of California, and later, as Lieutenant Governor of the State. In 1875, Pacheco became governor of California. He was elected to the United States House of Representatives three times in the late 1870s and early 1880s. Pacheco is the first and only Hispanic to be governor of California, and he was the first Hispanic to sit in the US Congress.
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