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Seyfarth Shaw Policy Matters Newsletter - May 2, 2019

05/02/2019

Latest on the EEO-1.  Today, in response to a federal court order that has been discussed here previously, the EEOC announced that, in mid-July, it would begin collecting the 2017 and 2018 Component 2 data (completed by September 30).  Separately, employers must submit Component 1 data by May 31, 2019; the EEOC is tightening that deadline, having exchanged an automatic (upon request) 30-day extension for a 14-day extension.  For more on the issue, see Seyfarth’s Client Alert.  We will continue to be deeply involved in evaluating these issues as further developments roll out; after several webinars on the practical aspects of implementing the Court’s order, many compliance questions remain.  Stay tuned for further information.

House Appropriators Propose $1.2 Billion Increase for DOL.  Earlier this week, the House Appropriations Committee released its proposed Labor-HHS spending bill for FY2020.  On the very next day, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies approved the bill, which would increase DOL’s budget by 10% from current spending levels, and ignores the Trump Administration’s proposal to cut the budget by an equivalent amount.  The bill heads next to the full committee.

Senate Labor-HHS Subcommittee Holds Hearing on DOL Budget.  Meanwhile, the Senate counterpart held a
hearing on the Trump Administration’s FY2020 budget request for the Department of Labor, where the sole witness was Secretary of Labor Acosta.  Whether House and Senate appropriators can reach an agreement on the Labor Department’s — or any other Department’s —budget remains to be seen.

Acosta Testifies at House Education & Labor Committee Hearing.  Before venturing to the Senate side of the Hill, Secretary Acosta spent the better part of a day answering questions in a sometimes contentious hearing at the House Education & Labor Committee.  The five-plus hour (including recess)
hearing covered the waterfront of the Department’s regulatory and enforcement initiatives and priorities, as well as provided an opportunity for Secretary Acosta to explain that the Administration does not currently support a change to the federal minimum wage.

Equality Act Passes House Judiciary.  As expected, the Equality Act (H.R. 5) passed the House Judiciary Committee, with the vote breaking along party lines.  As a reminder, the Equality Act , would amend existing civil rights laws to extend antidiscrimination protections to LGBTQ Americans in a wide variety of contexts.  Passage continues to be expected in the House; the bill’s future in the Senate remains uncertain.

Equal Rights Amendment Back in House Judiciary.  In a busy week — that was also expected to include a hearing on the Mueller Report with Attorney General Barr — a House Judiciary subcommittee held a hearing on the Equal Rights Amendment.  A joint resolution would remove the deadline from the preamble of the original constitutional amendment that passed Congress in 1972, leaving it one state shy of the 38 states needed for ratification (and, more significantly, with no deadline to obtain that ratification).

Hartongensis Confirmed to Head PBGC.  Gordon Hartogensis was
confirmed by the U.S. Senate by a 72-27 margin.  Hartogensis will now head the Pension Benefits Guaranty Corporation.  He is the second labor-related nominee to benefit from the eased Senate rules surrounding nominations, joining Cheryl Stanton, who this week officially took the helm at the Wage & Hour Division.

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