Biden budget tackles worker misclassification and safety (2)
The budget plan the administration released on Friday called on the US Department of Labor to receive $ 7.5 billion in the coming fiscal year to bolster efforts to protect workers, including to eliminate misclassifications .
“The Administration is also committed to putting an end to the abusive practice of misclassifying employees as independent contractors, which deprives these workers of essential protections and benefits,” says the budget plan.
Biden’s emphasis on misclassifying workers could have implications across the economy, including in the concert industry, where companies like
The president’s call to pursue the misclassification of workers included a commitment to work with Congress “to develop comprehensive legislation to strengthen and extend protections” against workers who are wrongly denied employee status.
Indeed, this language reinforced the White House’s commitment to pass a sweeping overhaul of federal labor law that was approved in the House earlier this year. The Trade Union Right Protection Act includes a new employment standard that would make it difficult for companies to continue labeling workers in the odd-job economy – and in many other industries – as independent contractors under of the national labor relations law.
Since Biden took office, the Department of Labor has shifted to targeting enforcement actions on employers that allegedly denied workers overtime pay, minimum wages and other federal protections by failing them. not classifying as employees.
The White House’s FY2022 budget request, which begins in October, asks Congress to help the administration focus on misclassification by giving the DOL a 14% increase in annual appropriations overall, to $ 14.2 billion.
This recommended increase would be distributed among increased resources for workplace law enforcement, vocational training and investments in unemployment insurance, among others.
In all labor agencies, the White House has proposed that:
- DOL’s wages and hours division would be allocated $ 276 million, compared to $ 246 million for fiscal 2021;
- the National Labor Relations Board would receive $ 302 million, compared to $ 274 million for the current fiscal year;
- the Occupational Safety and Health Administration would receive $ 664.6 million, up from $ 592 million at present;
- the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission would get $ 446 million, an increase from $ 404.5 million the previous year;
- Mine Safety and Health Administration would receive $ 447.2 million million, compared to $ 379.8 million;
- Employee Benefits Security Administration would receive $ 218 million, compared to $ 181 million in fiscal 2021;
- the Office of Federal Contractors Compliance Programs would receive $ 141 million, compared to $ 106 million;
- and the Office of Union-Management Standards would receive $ 52 million, an increase from $ 44 million in fiscal 2021.
The White House budget is just a proposition; final decisions rest with Congress.
The Biden administration also called for an overall increase in spending for DOL’s largest sub-agency, the Employment and Training Administration, including a $ 100 million increase in registered apprenticeship funds. designed to expand vocational training opportunities for people of color, women and other under-represented groups.
ETA is also believed to be responsible for distributing $ 3.7 billion in public subsidies to make employment services accessible to workers separated from their jobs by the pandemic and other disasters, a 6% increase from to the previous year. The proposal includes a $ 50 million increase in job training programs for former inmates and young adults who have not completed high school.
The 10% hike the administration was considering for the NLRB would end eight years of budget stagnation for the agency that oversees union protections for workers in private companies.
Labor advocates say more money is needed to fill the depleted ranks of the agency, which has suffered a 26% loss in the past decade. The largest staff reductions have occurred in regional offices that handle complaints and oversee union elections.
The NLRB’s regional offices were also strapped for cash under the Trump administration, when the agency’s leadership did not spend $ 5.7 million of its allocation in fiscal 2019.
Speaker of the House appropriations
Union advocates say the NLRB would need even more money to implement the PRO Act, Democrats’ sweeping proposal to extend union rights to new working populations, if it were to win the Senate approval.
Money for safety
Biden’s plan seeks more money to protect workers as the economy emerges from the coronavirus pandemic.
OSHA’s proposal – a 12% increase – includes $ 225 million for safety and health enforcement and $ 25 million for whistleblower protection efforts. For fiscal 2021, OSHA has set aside $ 231.7 million for law enforcement and $ 18.6 million for the whistleblower program.
Congress has already approved $ 100 million for the agency through 2023 through pandemic relief legislation, of which $ 75 million is expected to be spent on hiring and training inspectors and investigators.
Biden’s proposal calls for the addition of 362 new positions, including 207 in law enforcement and 63 in whistleblower programs. This would bring the agency’s total workforce to 2,246 people.
As of March, OSHA had a field staff of 975 inspectors and supervisors, and a labor secretary.
The White House has proposed an 18% increase for MSHA, which oversees the protection of workers in surface and underground mines. It would also add 324 new positions to the agency, including 216 for law enforcement, bringing the total number of authorized positions to 2,031.
Biden’s $ 13.4 million proposal for the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board, it deviates markedly from the Trump administration’s four budget proposals, which sought to shut down the agency. Each time, Congress has rejected Trump’s White House proposal.
Protect the workplace
The proposed increase for the EEOC would help fund the Biden administration’s “whole-of-government” initiative to advance equity.
EEOC President Charlotte Burrows, Democrat, also announced earlier that the agency would hire 450 staff, a wave of activities that may require additional funding in the coming fiscal year.
The proposed 20% increase for EBSA under Biden’s plan would be the largest in seven years for the agency, which regulates private sector employee benefit plans such as retirement programs and health insurance.
Likewise, Biden’s plan offers a 33% raise to OFCCP, the Department of Labor’s watchdog for federal contractors. The agency has already stepped up enforcement efforts under the Biden administration.
– With the help of Bruce Rolfsen, Fatima Hussein, Paige Smith and Austin R. Ramsey