Please note: As of January 20, 2021, information in some news releases may be out of date or not reflect current policies.
U.S. Department of Labor Announces Actions to Assist Americans Impacted By Hurricane Barry
WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor today announced actions it is taking to assist Americans in states affected by Hurricane Barry.
"The Department of Labor is actively engaged in Administration-wide efforts to help those impacted by Hurricane Barry," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta. "As Americans come together to help each other, the Department of Labor is committed to supporting recovery efforts."
U.S. Department of Labor actions taken regarding Hurricane Barry include the following:
- The Employment and Training Administration (ETA) is prepared to provide Disaster Dislocated Worker Grants to help affected states address workforce needs. The disbursement of funds will be determined as needs are assessed by state and local partners. ETA is prepared to assist in administering Disaster Unemployment Assistance in the case of a Presidential Disaster Declaration.
- The Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) is coordinating with other federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Treasury, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, on the release of compliance guidance for employee benefit plans, and plan participants and beneficiaries in the wake of Hurricane Barry.
- The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) is prepared to temporarily suspend select federal contractor requirements, allowing businesses involved in hurricane relief the ability to prioritize recovery efforts.
- The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) is responding to Hurricane Barry’s impact on mines, and stands ready to respond more generally with specialized equipment and personnel.
- The Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS) is working with its grantees to identify flexibility and additional funding needs for its programs. VETS staff is prepared to offer assistance to employers, members of the National Guard and Reserves, and members of the National Disaster Medical System and Urban Search and Rescue service who may be deployed in support of rescue and recovery operations.
- The Wage and Hour Division (WHD) will be prioritizing all calls in the affected areas to continue to provide uninterrupted service to workers and employers.
- The Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS) issued a special enforcement advisory that would temporarily ease reporting and other regulatory burdens on labor organizations, labor relations consultants, and employers affected by Hurricane Barry.
- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is actively engaged with the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Administration, Environmental Protection Agency, and other federal agencies and is prepared to provide assistance.
- OSHA is evaluating the damage and will make a determination about the suspension of enforcement upon completion, and compliance assistance will be available during the recovery effort. OSHA will continue to respond to fatal workplace incidents and life altering injuries. OSHA is actively engaged with the intergovernmental response.
- Public Service Announcements – in English and Spanish – have been prepared for broadcast emphasizing the need to work safely in affected areas during recovery efforts. Other hurricane recovery safety materials are available at OSHA.gov.
The Department will continue to monitor developments regarding Hurricane Barry and take additional actions as necessary. For additional information, please visit the Department's Severe Storm and Flood Recovery Assistance webpage.