US Department of Labor outlines upcoming worker-centered protections in Biden-Harris administration Spring 2021 Regulatory Agenda
WASHINGTON, DC – A mother of two struggles to budget for child care expenses on an hourly income of $11.50 as a call center worker with a federal contractor. A construction company owner learns they’ve lost another federal contract because a competitor was able to underbid the job by not paying livable wages. Socially conscious investors want to maximize their savings and do the planet some good, but are frustrated by the investment options available to do that.
As part of the Biden-Harris administration’s Spring 2021 regulatory agenda – published today as required by Executive Order 12866 – the U.S. Department of Labor is announcing a series of anticipated regulatory actions to ensure the well-being of these workers, employers and others.
The order requires the publication of an agenda of regulations that contains a listing of all the regulations the Department of Labor expects to have under active consideration for promulgation, proposal or review during the coming one-year period.
The department’s portions of the agenda published today include actions to implement the Biden-Harris Administration’s priorities in the areas of economic relief, wages, climate change and racial equity. It also includes proposals to withdraw the obstacles to protecting and strengthening workers’ economic security and civil rights that the prior administration put in place.
Regulatory protections include:
- Increasing the Minimum Wage for Federal Contractors: In response to Executive Order 14026, “Increasing the Minimum Wage for Federal Contractors,” the department’s Wage and Hour Division is drafting regulations that will increase the hourly minimum wage rate paid by parties that contract with the federal government to $15 for those employees working on or in connection with a covered federal government contract.
- Fairness for Workers Who Rely on Tips: The Wage and Hour Division is also engaged in rulemaking to address the economic security of tipped workers.
- Modernizing the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts Regulations: The DBRA requires the payment of locally prevailing wages and fringe benefits to laborers and mechanics as determined by the department. The Wage and Hour Division is proposing to update and modernize the regulations implementing the DBRA to provide ensure workers are truly paid prevailing wages on federal construction contracts.
- Re-examining our approach to investments that tackle climate change: To implement Executive Order 13990, “Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis,” and Executive Order 14030, “Climate-Related Financial Risks,” the Employee Benefits Security Administration is undertaking a review of regulations under Title I of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, including “Financial Factors in Selecting Plan Investments” and “Fiduciary Duties Regarding Proxy Voting and Shareholder Rights.”
Prior rulemakings are also being proposed for withdrawal because of their deleterious effects on the lives of working people, including a rule on labor standards in apprenticeship.
The entirety of the department’s semiannual agenda is available online at www.reginfo.gov.