Posts Tagged ‘executive order’

Trump Exec Order Aims to Reduce Regulatory Burdens on Apprenticeship, Vocational Programs

Amid tweeting on the Russia election meddling investigation, President Trump issued an executive order on Thursday aimed at giving a boost to apprenticeship and vocational training.

The Labor Department said in a statement that the executive order will expand apprenticeships and vocational training, close the skills gap and reduce regulatory burdens on workforce development programs.

“There are six million job openings in the United States,” said DOL Secretary Alex Acosta. “This is the highest number of job vacancies on record. American companies want to hire Americans, and Americans want to work. Apprenticeships teach the skills needed to find good jobs and to succeed in those jobs. Apprentices are a proven pathway to helping businesses find the workers they need, while helping workers launch prosperous careers without the crushing burden of student debt.”

In their remarks at the signing ceremony, the President and Secretary Acosta praised the White House Office of American Innovation and first daughter Ivanka Trump, a presidential adviser, for their leadership on this initiative.

The executive order calls on the Secretary of Labor, in consultation with the secretaries of education and commerce, to propose regulations that promote the development of apprenticeship programs by industry and trade groups, nonprofit organizations, unions and joint labor-management organizations. It also directs the departments of Commerce and Labor to promote apprenticeships to business leaders in critical industry sectors, including manufacturing, infrastructure, cybersecurity and health care.

“The U.S. Department of Labor will work expeditiously to execute the president’s vision and begin to implement measures to expand the apprenticeship and vocational training programs that can help our economy thrive, while keeping good, high-paying jobs in America,” Secretary Acosta said.


Virginia Governor Bans State From Contracting With Companies that Discriminate Against LGBT

The state of Virginia won’t be doing business anymore with companies that discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

That’s thanks to an executive order issued yesterday by Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe.

The policy applies to all executive branch contracts, including road-building contracts, but not to contracts entered into by the legislature or the courts.

The order brings the state in line with federal procurement policy, which already prohibits federal contractors from discriminating based on those protected grounds.

However, the order exempts private child-placing agencies. A conscience clause under state law prohibits the state government from denying contracts to adoption agencies that, for religious reasons, refuse to place children with certain people, such as those who are gay.

The executive applies to new contracts valued over $10,000 and any subcontractors whose work reaches that threshold.

The full text of Executive Order 61 is here.

New Obama Executive Order Requires Paid Sick Leave for Employees of Government Contractors

The hits keep coming for employees.  Today’s upbeat news comes from the White House, where President Obama has signed an executive order requiring government contractors to offer employees up to seven paid days of sick leave each year.

Employees would earn one hour of leave for every 30 hours worked, with a maximum of 7 days a year. Eligible workers could use their paid leave if they are sick or are caring for a sick relative. The leave also could be used for absences resulting from domestic violence or sexual assault.

The requirement will take effect in early 2017.

Here’s the text of the order establishing paid sick leave for federal contractors.


Labor Department Proposes Guidance to Implement Fair Pay, Safety Executive Order

Federal contractors, take note.

The U.S. Department of Labor today issued proposed guidance on enforcement of an executive order signed last summer by President Obama requiring all government contractors to comply with fair pay and workplace safety rules.

The Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order requires prospective federal contractors to disclose labor law violations and will give agencies more guidance on how to consider labor violations when awarding federal contracts.

The guidance is intended to assist contracting agencies and the contracting community in applying the order’s requirements, including evaluating the severity of labor violations.

DOL’s announcement said that under the guidance “most federal contractors will only have to attest that they comply with laws providing basic workplace protections; for those contractors that report violations, designated Labor Compliance Advisors will coordinate with the relevant enforcement agency experts to help them come into compliance.”

The public has 60 days to comment on the proposal.

Here’s the DOL announcement.

Female, Minority Applicants to Receive $170K in Comcast Settlement With U.S. Labor Department

A cable giant that does business with the federal government will have to pay up and reform its hiring practices to get past accusations that it discriminates against women and minorities.

Comcast Cable Corporation will pay nearly $190,000 in back pay and interest and change its hiring practices under terms of a settlement with the U.S. Department of Labor resolving allegations of gender and racial bias against the federal contractor. The allegations were brought under Executive Order 11246, the government’s directive requiring affirmative action and nondiscrimination by companies that have contracts with the federal government.

According to DOL investigators, the company steered 96 women into lower-paying positions that assisted customers with cable services rather than higher-paid positions providing customer assistance for Internet services because these positions were considered “technical.”

“Investigators also established that Comcast disproportionately rejected 100 African American, Asian, and Hispanic applicants for call center jobs because its hiring tests were neither uniformly applied nor validated as related to the job. This resulted in systemic hiring discrimination on the basis of race,” the DOL said.

The terms of the settlement require Comcast to:

  • Pay a total of $53,633.48 in back pay and interest to 96 current and former female employees;
  • Pay $133,366.52 in back pay and interest to 100 African-American, Asian and Hispanic applicants; and
  • Hire up to 31 members of the affected class as call center positions become available, to immediately correct any discriminatory practices, and to undertake self-monitoring measures to ensure that all compensation practices fully comply with the law.

Read more.


Gender Identity Bias Order Coming, Obama Says

On this July 4, the birthday of the United States, an announcement this week from the White House shows that our notions of equality keep expanding. At an event on Monday night, President Obama announced he will sign an executive order protecting federal employees from being discriminated against on the basis of sexual identity.

It’s another example of the president acting without Congress, which has refused to pass federal legislation that would ban discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in the private and public sector.

Obama’s powers are limited to the workforce over which he exercises authority–employees of the federal government.

A Happy 4th of July to all of my readers!

Obama Takes Aim at Contractor Pay Practices

Federal contractors could be forgiven for thinking they’re being picked on by the U.S. government.  President Obama today signed two documents putting those contractors’ pay practices under further scrutiny.

One–an executive order–prohibits contractors from retaliating against their employees because they discuss their pay with each other.

The other, a presidential memorandum, requires the Department of Labor to adopt rules requiring contractors to submit pay data to the department, broken down by race and gender.

Both moves are designed to highlight the Obama administration’s push for equal pay for women, who continue to earn about 77 cents on the dollar for every dollar a man makes.

And since Obama doesn’t have the constitutional authority to command the private sector to close the pay gap, he instead pressures contractors to get with the program.

It’s the latest in a string of executive orders to call attention to labor issues. Previously, Obama hit contractors up by raising their minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, and he’s also ordered DOL Secretary Thomas Perez to re-examine the regulations governing overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act, to limit the number of employees who are denied overtime for working more than a 40 hour workweek.