The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) regulatory agenda was released on May 21 and lists the priorities of the administration and the rulemakings they expect to release this year. The most recent agenda focuses on overtime requirements, the persuader rule and more. 

Here is what you can expect from the Department of Labor in 2015:

Blacklisting Proposal 
What to Expect: On May 27, 2015, DOL issued proposed guidance memo and the Federal Acquisition Regulatory (FAR) Council issued a proposed rule. The public is given until July 27, 2015 to submit written comments.  

About the Proposal: DOL has issued proposed guidance and the FAR Council issued a proposed rule implementing President Obama’s July 31, 2014, "Blacklisting" Fair Pay and Fair Workplaces Executive Order (EO) 13673. ABC has serious concerns with the EO and proposed regulations implementing this order, which is a draconian change in longstanding federal contracting rules and will result in unworkable reporting requirements and increase the frequency of bid protests, which will irreparably harm the federal acquisition process and prevent qualified small businesses from pursuing federal contracts. For more information visit: www.abc.org/blacklisting.

OVERTIME REQUIREMENTS
What to Expect: A proposal to implement the president’s directive, which will be issued by DOL’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), is expected to be issued in June 2015

About the Proposal: In March 2014, President Obama issued a memorandum directing DOL to “modernize and streamline” overtime regulations for executive, administrative and professional employees that has the potential to affect all employers covered under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), including the majority of construction contractors, subcontractors and suppliers.

While no details have been made public, DOL is believed to be considering an increase in the current overtime regulation’s salary threshold from $24,000 to as high as $50,000. In addition, DOL will likely make significant changes to the current test used to determine whether an employee’s duties and responsibilities exempt him or her from overtime requirements.

PERSUADER RULE 
What to Expect: DOL continues to list the controversial “persuader” rule on the regulatory agenda and plans to issue the final rule by December 2015.  

About the Proposal: The proposal would severely narrow long-standing reporting exemptions for employers and third-party experts, and redefines labor relations “advice.”  It will greatly restrict employers’ ability to receive third-party advice to educate their employees about collective bargaining. Actions that were previously considered privileged communications or advice would now carry onerous requirements for employers, attorneys and association staff.

‘EQUAL OPPORTUNITY’ IN APPRENTICESHIP
What to Expect: The Employment Training Administration (ETA) is aiming to release its "Equal Opportunity" in apprenticeship proposal by June 2015

About the Proposal: DOL’s ETA plans to revise the equal employment opportunity regulatory framework for the National Apprenticeship Act. The proposal would revise the actions construction contractors are required to take to implement affirmative action programs in areas of recruitment, training and apprenticeship.  

Other Proposals from DOL:
  • Non-Retaliation for Disclosure of Compensation Information; Final Rule, August 2015
  • Hours Worked Under the Fair Labor Standards Act; RFI, August 2015
  • Requirement  to Report Summary Data on Employee Compensation; Final Rule, November 2015
  • Construction Contractors Affirmative Action Requirements; Proposed Rule, November 2015