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Regulations

NDAA Bill Passes House Without ABC-Opposed Labor Provisions

On Dec. 7, the House of Representatives passed a finalized version of the $768 billion National Defense Authorization Act by a vote of 363 to 70. The compromise bill, negotiated by the House and Senate Armed Services Committees, incorporates elements of the version that passed the House in September and legislation approved by the Senate Armed Services Committee in July.

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Courts Block Three Federal COVID-19 Vaccination Mandates

Recently, courts have blocked three different federal vaccination mandates issued under the Biden administration. Read the important developments on the federal contractor, Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services and Occupational Safety and Health Administration vaccination mandates.

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DOL Issues Final Rule Increasing Federal Contractor Minimum Wage

On Nov. 22, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division issued its final rule implementing President Biden’s Executive Order 14026, Increasing the Minimum Wage for Federal Contractors, which applies to all workers performing work on or in connection with covered federal contracts. The minimum wage will increase to $15 per hour beginning Jan, 30, 2022, superseding a scheduled increase to $11.25 that will occur on Jan. 1 under EO 13658, Establishing a Minimum Wage for Contractors.

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6th Circuit to Hear Challenges to OSHA COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Testing Standard

On Nov. 16, via lottery, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit was chosen to hear challenges to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard, which applies to employers with 100 or more employees. This development follows the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit’s Nov. 12 stay order and OSHA’s announcement that it has suspended activities related to the implementation and enforcement of the ETS pending future developments in the litigation..

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ABC Seeks to Overturn OSHA COVID Vaccination and Testing ETS

In a Nov. 9 press release, ABC and its Alabama chapter announced that they filed a petition for review with the U.S. Court of Appeals in the 11th Circuit against the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration for its COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard, which applies to employers with 100 or more employees.

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ABC Urges OSHA to Extend Comment Deadline for Heat Injury and Illness Prevention Rulemaking

On Nov. 5, ABC submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration requesting a 60-day extension for the public to submit feedback on its advance notice of proposed rulemaking for Heat Injury and Illness Prevention in Outdoor and Indoor Work Settings, which will begin the process to consider a heat-specific workplace rule. ABC also requested comment extensions as a member of the Construction Industry Safety Coalition and Coalition for Workplace Safety.

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OSHA’s COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard Is Ready for Release

The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the Office of Management and Budget has concluded its review of the OSHA COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard rulemaking, which will apply to employers with 100 or more employees as required by President Biden’s Path Out of the Pandemic COVID-19 Action Plan.

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EEOC Releases COVID-19 Resources on Religious Accommodation Requests

On Oct. 28, as a reference for employers and employees, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission shared its own internal religious accommodation request form with the public. The EEOC stated, “While the EEOC’s internal forms typically are not made public, the EEOC shared this resource given the extraordinary circumstances employers and employees face due to the COVID-19 pandemic.” 

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Safer Federal Workforce Task Force Issues More New Vaccination FAQs for Federal Contactors

On Nov. 1, the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force posted new frequently asked questions for federal contractors, whose covered employees must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 by Dec. 8 unless the contractor is legally required to provide an accommodation for medical or religious reasons. The new FAQs cover vaccination and safety protocols, scope and applicability of task force guidance for federal contractors and compliance.

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Proposed Revisions to Buy American Act Must Aim to Reduce Contractor Burden

On Oct. 28, ABC submitted comments to the U.S. Departments of Defense, General Services Administration and National Aeronautics and Space Administration to urge the agencies to clarify several aspects of the proposal and provided recommendations to reduce the burden and costs for federal contractors to comply with the Buy American Act.

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