Beltway Buzz - March 2019

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Paycheck Fairness Act Advances. On February 26, 2019, the U.S. House Committee on Education and Labor voted, along party lines, to approve the Paycheck Fairness Act (PFA). Republican amendments to limit attorneys’ fees and to strike the pay data collection provisions of the bill were not adopted. As a reminder, the PFA would amend the Equal Pay Act of 1963 by replacing the “factor other than sex” defense with a “bona fide factor other than sex” defense that must be “job-related” and “consistent with business necessity”; would provide for uncapped compensatory and punitive damages; would require the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs to develop mechanisms for the collection of employee compensation data from employers; and would enact prohibitions on the use of, or inquiry into, job applicants’ pay histories. The next stop for the bill will be the House floor.

OSHA Reporting Due Date. The Buzz recently wrote about the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) changes to its 2016 injury and illness recording regulation that eliminated the requirement for employers to electronically submit Form 300 (Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses) and Form 301 (Injury and Illness Incident Report). However, the recent changes left intact the requirement that covered employers file Form 300A (Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses). The deadline for filing Form 300A for calendar year 2018 is March 2, 2019.

Workplace Violence. There was a congressional hearing on February 27, 2019, that garnered quite a bit of media attention. Of course, we are talking about the U.S. House Subcommittee on Workforce Protections hearing entitled Caring for Our Caregivers: Protecting Health Care and Social Service Workers from Workplace Violence. All joking aside, workplace violence is obviously a very serious matter for employees and employers alike, particularly in healthcare and social assistance settings. So much so that OSHA is in the early stages of developing a standard aimed at preventing workplace violence in these settings. The recently introduced Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act (H.R. 1309) would dramatically accelerate this process by requiring OSHA to issue an interim workplace violence prevention standard covering these industries within one year of its enactment. Republicans on the committee acknowledged the need for a standard but expressed concern that the bill would undercut the ongoing rulemaking process.

Nominees Advance. There were some developments this week on the nominations front, to wit:

  • On February 27, 2019, the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) advanced the nominations of Cheryl Stanton (nominated to be administrator of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division), Scott A. Mugno (nominated to be assistant secretary of labor for OSHA), and Janet Dhillon (nominated to be a member of the EEOC). Of course, this has happened before (multiple times) for these nominees. They will now join the still-lengthy queue of nominees awaiting confirmation on the Senate floor.
  • The Senate HELP Committee also advanced the nominations of Marco M. Rajkovich Jr., William I. Althen, and Arthur R. Traynor III to be members of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission. They, too, will have to wait in line.
  • Apropos of this nominee bottleneck on the Senate floor, Politico is reporting that Senate Republicans are on the verge of making procedural changes that would dramatically limit the debate time allotted for most nominees. If this change is made, it will likely have the effect of speeding up that long queue we mentioned above. However, like any other change to existing rules or precedent, there is always the chance that this move could backfire when the political winds blow differently.

Arbitration News. Readers of the Buzz know that arbitration is a hot button policy issue these days. Thus, it is perhaps no surprise that, on February 28, 2019, Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Representative Hank Johnson (D-GA), Representative Jerry Nadler (D-NY), and Representative Bobby Scott (D-VA) announced that they will introduce the Forced Arbitration Injustice Repeal (FAIR) Act. The FAIR Act would ban arbitration in both consumer and employment contracts. There are no original Republican cosponsors, but previous bills that limited (but not banned) arbitration received some bipartisan support, so the Buzz will be watching this bill closely.

GC Memo on Non-Member Rights. National Labor Relations Board General Counsel Peter Robb recently issued a memorandum (it is dated February 22, 2019, but was only made public this week) relating to compulsory union dues deductions and dues checkoff obligations. In the memorandum, Robb encourages the Board to issue a decision that would require labor unions to be more transparent with regard to the initial notice it must provide to employees subject to a union security clause of their statutory right to refrain from joining the union. The memorandum further addresses instances in which limitations on employees’ abilities to revoke their dues deduction authorizations are unlawful. Employers should pay particular attention to this portion of the memorandum because they are doing the deducting and remitting and may be liable in certain situations.

Revel in History. February 25, 2019, marked the 149th anniversary of the swearing in of Hiram Revels as the first African American senator and member of Congress. In 1870, Revels—then an educator and minister—was elected overwhelmingly by the Mississippi state legislature to serve the remainder of the term that was vacated in 1861 when Mississippi seceded. According to a contemporary account in the New York Times, “[t]here was not an inch of standing or sitting room in the galleries” when Revels was sworn in, as Southern Democrats erroneously argued that Revels had become a U.S. citizen only after the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1866 and therefore did not meet the citizenship requirements to be a senator. Revels served until March of 1871, whereupon he returned to Mississippi. His successor in the Senate, James L. Alcorn, later appointed Revels as the first president of the eponymously named Alcorn University, now known as Alcorn State University (alma mater of Medgar Evers, Alex Haley, and Steve McNair, among others).

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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JD Supra Privacy Policy

Updated: May 25, 2018:

JD Supra is a legal publishing service that connects experts and their content with broader audiences of professionals, journalists and associations.

This Privacy Policy describes how JD Supra, LLC ("JD Supra" or "we," "us," or "our") collects, uses and shares personal data collected from visitors to our website (located at www.jdsupra.com) (our "Website") who view only publicly-available content as well as subscribers to our services (such as our email digests or author tools)(our "Services"). By using our Website and registering for one of our Services, you are agreeing to the terms of this Privacy Policy.

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Information for EU and Swiss Residents

JD Supra's principal place of business is in the United States. By subscribing to our website, you expressly consent to your information being processed in the United States.

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You can make a request to exercise any of these rights by emailing us at privacy@jdsupra.com or by writing to us at:

Privacy Officer
JD Supra, LLC
10 Liberty Ship Way, Suite 300
Sausalito, California 94965

You can also manage your profile and subscriptions through our Privacy Center under the "My Account" dashboard.

We will make all practical efforts to respect your wishes. There may be times, however, where we are not able to fulfill your request, for example, if applicable law prohibits our compliance. Please note that JD Supra does not use "automatic decision making" or "profiling" as those terms are defined in the GDPR.

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California Privacy Rights

Pursuant to Section 1798.83 of the California Civil Code, our customers who are California residents have the right to request certain information regarding our disclosure of personal information to third parties for their direct marketing purposes.

You can make a request for this information by emailing us at privacy@jdsupra.com or by writing to us at:

Privacy Officer
JD Supra, LLC
10 Liberty Ship Way, Suite 300
Sausalito, California 94965

Some browsers have incorporated a Do Not Track (DNT) feature. These features, when turned on, send a signal that you prefer that the website you are visiting not collect and use data regarding your online searching and browsing activities. As there is not yet a common understanding on how to interpret the DNT signal, we currently do not respond to DNT signals on our site.

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For non-EU/Swiss residents, if you would like to know what personal information we have about you, you can send an e-mail to privacy@jdsupra.com. We will be in contact with you (by mail or otherwise) to verify your identity and provide you the information you request. We will respond within 30 days to your request for access to your personal information. In some cases, we may not be able to remove your personal information, in which case we will let you know if we are unable to do so and why. If you would like to correct or update your personal information, you can manage your profile and subscriptions through our Privacy Center under the "My Account" dashboard. If you would like to delete your account or remove your information from our Website and Services, send an e-mail to privacy@jdsupra.com.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Privacy Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our Privacy Policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use our Website and Services following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this Privacy Policy, the practices of this site, your dealings with our Website or Services, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at: privacy@jdsupra.com.

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How We Use Cookies and Other Tracking Technologies

We use cookies and other tracking technologies to:

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There are different types of cookies and other technologies used our Website, notably:

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Analytics/Performance Cookies. JD Supra also uses the following analytic tools to help us analyze the performance of our Website and Services as well as how visitors use our Website and Services:

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Controlling and Deleting Cookies

If you would like to change how a browser uses cookies, including blocking or deleting cookies from the JD Supra Website and Services you can do so by changing the settings in your web browser. To control cookies, most browsers allow you to either accept or reject all cookies, only accept certain types of cookies, or prompt you every time a site wishes to save a cookie. It's also easy to delete cookies that are already saved on your device by a browser.

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Updates to This Policy

We may update this cookie policy and our Privacy Policy from time-to-time, particularly as technology changes. You can always check this page for the latest version. We may also notify you of changes to our privacy policy by email.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about how we use cookies and other tracking technologies, please contact us at: privacy@jdsupra.com.

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