Section 2101 of the American Rescue Plan Act provided $200,000,000 in supplemental funding to the Department of Labor to carry out worker protection activities, and for the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) for oversight of the Secretary's activities to prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19.  This funding will be available through September 30, 2023.  Of this amount, not less than $100,000,000 is for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and $12,500,000 is appropriated to OIG for the activities described above.  The remaining $87,500,000 has been allocated at the Department's discretion among the Wage and Hour Division (WHD), the Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP), the Office of the Solicitor (SOL), the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), and OSHA for the purposes described below.  Beginning with the third quarter of FY 2021, updates will be made to this page to show obligations to date and any adjustments to planned spending levels. 

American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 Worker Protection

Spend Plan and Obligations
(Dollars in Thousands)

Agency

Appropriation Amount

FY 2021 Spend Plan

FY 2021 3rd Qtr. Obligations

FY 2021 4th Qtr. Obligations

FY 2021 Total Obligations

Wage and Hour Division

21,275

5,260

 

 

 

Office of Workers' Compensation Programs

30,265

7,601

 

 

 

Office of the Solicitor

22,437

6,450

 

 

 

Mine Safety and Health Administration

13,245

5,177

 

 

 

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

100,278

43,380

 

 

 

Office of Inspector General

12,500

5,590

 

 

 

Total

200,000

73,458

 

 

 

 

Wage and Hour Division (WHD)

(Dollars in Thousands)

Appropriation Amount

FY 2021 Spend Plan

FY 2021 3rd Qtr. Obligations

FY 2021 4th Qtr. Obligations

 FY 2021 Total Obligations 

21,275

5,260

 

 

 

 

Wage and Hour will use $21,274,584 of the $200 million provided to the Department in the American Rescue Plan for worker protection activities.  Wage and Hour will use these funds to support 248 FTE over 3 years for ongoing activities that are necessary to protect workers and support employers during the rescue and recovery from the pandemic. These funds will be used to support:

  • Worker Outreach. Conducting outreach and partnering with stakeholders to reach essential COVID-19 frontline workers most vulnerable to violations of minimum wage, overtime, family and medical leave, child labor, and other worker protection laws. 
  • Safe On-Site Investigations. Renewing on-site enforcement strategies safely, in conformance with the DOL and Agency COVID-19 plans.
  • Compliance Assistance. Providing compliance assistance to employers delivering essential services.
  • Enforcement Coordination. Strengthening communications alignment and referral practices with federal, state, and local enforcement agencies related to COVID-19 worker protections. 
  • Help Lines. Delivering timely, responsive, help-line services during periods of significantly increased demand.
  • FFCRA. Ensuring workers are paid for COVID-19 related sick leave by resolving remaining cases arising under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).

 

Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP)


(Dollars in Thousands)

Appropriation Amount

FY 2021 Spend Plan

FY 2021 3rd Qtr. Obligations

FY 2021 4th Qtr. Obligations

 FY 2021 Total Obligations 

30,265

7,601

 

 

 

 

OWCP will use $30,265,074 of the $200 million provided to the Department in the American Rescue Plan for worker protection activities. OWCP will use this funding to support 183 FTE and cover related information technology costs to address the requirements of the American Rescue Plan Act. The agency will use these resources primarily to address an anticipated workload of over 80,000 COVID-related claims.

 

Office of the Solicitor (SOL) – Worker Protection


(Dollars in Thousands)

Appropriation Amount

FY 2021 Spend Plan

FY 2021 3rd Qtr. Obligations

FY 2021 4th Qtr. Obligations

 FY 2021 Total Obligations 

22,437

6,450

 

 

 

 

SOL will use $22,436,984 for 119 FTE over 2 ½ years to provide legal services in support of the Department's expanded worker protection activities related to COVID-19 under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Key aspects of SOL's legal services in support of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), Wage and Hour Division (WHD) and Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP) are summarized below.

  • OSHA: SOL will be providing intensive and fast-moving legal services to OSHA on a number of initiatives related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including (1) regulations and guidance regarding COVID-19 and infectious disease workplace safety, (2) enforcement of COVID-19 OSHA citations, (3) COVID-19 whistleblower cases, and (4) legal advice on administrative matters related to in-person enforcement activities, such as confidentiality, testing, and reporting.
  • MSHA: SOL will provide resource-intensive legal support to MSHA related to the COVID-19 pandemic in the areas of (1) enforcement, (2) rulemaking, guidance documents and training materials, and (3) legal advice for administrative/internal affairs related to in-person enforcement activities.
  • WHD: SOL will provide regular, resource-intensive assistance regarding WHD's initiatives related to the COVID-19 pandemic, to include: (1) development of COVID-19 policies and procedures, (2) COVID-19 legal advice for public guidance under statutes administered and enforced by WHD such as the FLSA, FMLA and H visa programs, (3) litigation of alleged violations of paid leave provisions of FFRCA, and (4) legal advice on WHD ARP outreach activities to the public.
  • OWCP and Federal Employees' Compensation Act (FECA): SOL will provide legal support for the development of new policies related to the new provision for federal workers diagnosed with COVID-19 to establish coverage under FECA, the workers' compensation statute for all federal employees.
  • General Legal Advice to the Department: As DOL activities surrounding COVID-19 and ARPA continue to grow, SOL will provide necessary supporting legal services in areas such as appropriations, procurement, administrative law, privacy, and information law, and enhanced litigation support needs.

 

Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA)

(Dollars in Thousands)

Appropriation Amount

FY 2021 Spend Plan

FY 2021 3rd Qtr. Obligations

FY 2021 4th Qtr. Obligations

 FY 2021 Total Obligations 

13,245

5,177

 

 

 

 

MSHA will use $13,244,975 of the $200 million provided to the Department in the American Rescue Plan for worker protection activities.  MSHA will fund 25 FTE in FY 2021 and 60 FTE by the end of FY 2023 and provide COVID-19 supplies to the agency's inspectors.  Additional inspectors will cover critical geographic areas based on workload analysis of the most vulnerable locations.  In addition, MSHA will provide expert advice and guidance in health hazard enforcement, support enforcement and regulatory activities by performing health and pandemic research, develop standards concerning miner exposure to silica and other health-related hazards, including an Emergency Temporary Standard for COVID- 19, support internal needs to address any safety and health risks, and work with mine operators to address mitigation of health concerns in mines. 

 

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

 

(Dollars in Thousands)

Appropriation Amount

FY 2021 Spend Plan

FY 2021 3rd Qtr. Obligations

FY 2021 4th Qtr. Obligations

 FY 2021 Total Obligations 

100,278

43,380

 

 

 

 

OSHA will use $100,278,383 provided to the Department in the American Rescue Plan for worker protection activities. OSHA will hire 82 FTE in FY21 and 408 FTE by the end of FY 2023 when these resources expire. Additionally, the bill language requires that $10,000,000 of this funding be used for Susan Harwood Training Grants, and at least $5,000,000 be for enforcement activities related to COVID–19 at high risk workplaces including health care, meat and poultry processing facilities, agricultural workplaces and correctional facilities.  OSHA plans to utilize the funding as follows:

  • Provide the necessary staff and technical expertise in Standards for work on the development of an Emergency Temporary Standard for COVID-19 and a permanent standard on infectious disease.
  • Bring on approximately 85 Compliance Safety and Health Officers in Enforcement to conduct inspections in support of a recently-launched National Emphasis Program focusing enforcement efforts on companies that put the largest number of workers at serious risk of contracting COVID-19, and other COVID-19 enforcement activities.
  • Hire approximately 25 Whistleblower investigators to respond to the growing number COVID-19 retaliation claims received by the agency.
  • Provide funding for State Plan States to ensure that they have adequate resources to maintain standards, the ability to enforce those standards, and the ability to protect workers from retaliation in an “at least as effective” manner as OSHA, specifically with regard to OSHA's efforts to ensure worker protections during the COVID-19 pandemic.  The additional funding will enable the States support approximately 65 CSHOs and to perform about 4,100 inspections under the three-year period covered by the ARP.
  • Support the purchase of technical equipment and supplies, including personal protective equipment, to protect the agency's CSHO staff as they conduct COVID inspections. 
  • Support additional training and course development for federal and State Plan CSHOs on standards (e.g., emergency temporary standard), policies, and guidance addressing COVID-19 in the workplace.  The request will also support the update and revision of an OSHA Training Institute Education Center course on Pandemic Illness Preparedness, and develop a new Infectious Disease course based on the agency's new standard.
  • $10,000,000 as specified in the ARP to support Susan Harwood Training Grants that support the development of training for employees and employers on identifying and addressing hazards associated with COVID-19 and other infectious diseases.  These grants will focus on training workers in industries where COVID-19 is prevalent, especially those that are likely to have at-risk, vulnerable worker populations.
  • Enhance public accessibility to OSHA datasets, statistics and safety and health information on the agency's website (OSHA.gov).  Specifically, OSHA intends to provide greater accessibility and transparency of information related to protecting workers from COVID-19.
  • Support the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management's Human Resources Center in their personnel and hiring support for all of OSHA national office directorates and regional offices new staffing needs.

 

Office of Inspector General (OIG)

(Dollars in Thousands)

Appropriation Amount

FY 2021 Spend Plan

FY 2021 3rd Qtr. Obligations

FY 2021 4th Qtr. Obligations

 FY 2021 Total Obligations 

12,500

5,590

 

 

 

 

With the $12,500,000 provided in the American Rescue Plan Act, OIG plans to use this funding to combat unprecedented levels of fraud activity in the Unemployment Insurance program, conduct oversight and investigative activities outlined in the multi-year OIG Pandemic Response Oversight Plan, and leverage data and predictive analytics to strengthen audit and investigative oversight.