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House Approves Measure To Avoid Freight Rail Strike, Backs Paid Leave Resolution

ABC joined with more than 400 organizations in a letter calling on Congress to intervene in an ongoing labor standoff that threatens a stoppage of rail service. The letter asks members of Congress, absent a preferred voluntary agreement, to use their authority READ MORE
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Regulations

Final Rule Implements Health Insurance Exchanges

On March 12, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published a final rule on health insurance exchanges, which combines policies from two other proposed rules published last summer. READ MORE

Reduction in Design Value for Southern Pine Lumber Effective June 1

Beginning on June 1, the design values for certain types of visually graded Southern Pine lumber will be reduced, according to a Jan. 11 decision by the American Lumber Standard Committee. 
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Judge: NLRB Can Require Poster But May Revise Penalty Provisions

On March 2, a U.S. District Court issued a decision in the legal challenge against the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) biased “employee rights” notice posting requirement, ruling that the NLRB has the authority to mandate the notice posting itself, but it cannot impose an up-front, blanket penalty policy for failure to post.
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Final Regulations Issued on Summary of Benefits and Coverage

On Feb. 14, the Departments of Treasury, Labor and Health and Human Services issued final regulations regarding the summary of benefits and coverage and the uniform glossary for group health plans and health insurance coverage in the group and individual markets. The final regulations are effective April 16, 2012. READ MORE

ABC Critical Of OFCCP Proposal On Hiring Of Disabled Workers

ABC on Feb. 21 filed comments with the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) in response to a proposed rule that would set a national hiring goal for federal contractors to employ workers with disabilities, in addition to requiring greatly increased recordkeeping and affirmative action steps. Under the proposal, OFCCP would mandate federal contractors to set a goal of having persons with disabilities comprise at least 7 percent of their workforces. OFCCP is also considering an additional goal of having at least 2 percent of federal contractors’ employees comprised of persons with “certain particularly severe” disabilities. 
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FAQs About Certain Provisions In PPACA Now Available

The Departments of Labor (DOL), Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Treasury in February issued a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding automatic enrollment, employer shared responsibility, and waiting periods under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). READ MORE

USDA Withdraws Procurement Rule Reminiscent of Clinton-Era Blacklisting Policy

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced it is withdrawing a Dec. 1 direct final rule that would have altered the USDA’s procurement policies to require federal contractors to certify that they, as well as their subcontractors and suppliers, were in compliance with all applicable labor laws. 
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OSHA 2012 Agenda Lists Actions On I2P2, Confined Spaces, And Silica

In the Department of Labor (DOL) 2012 regulatory agenda released in January, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) listed action items on Injury and Illness Prevention Programs (I2P2); confined spaces in construction; crystalline silica exposure limits; and walking work surfaces; among other issues.
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ABC-Led Coalition Advances Lawsuit Against NLRB “Ambush" Election Rule

The ABC-led Coalition for a Democratic Workplace (CDW), along with co-plaintiff U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Feb. 3 filed a motion in federal court seeking summary judgment in a lawsuit to overturn the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) “ambush election” rule. 
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DOL Proposes Hiring Goal For Federal Contractors To Employ Disabled Workers

The Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) issued a proposed rule that would set a national hiring goal for federal contractors to employ workers with disabilities, in addition to requiring more recordkeeping and strengthening affirmative action policies. 
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