Federal Agencies Plan to Address Gig-Worker Status, Pay-Data Collection

White House released spring 2020 regulatory agenda

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Washington, D.C.

The federal government plans to propose a rule on gig-worker classification, revise pay-data collection rules and address student workers' right to unionize, according to the spring 2020 regulatory agenda, which was issued later than expected due to the coronavirus pandemic.

President Donald Trump's administration has been particularly focused on deregulation and limiting the cost of any new regulations. "By amending and eliminating regulations that are ineffective, duplicative, and obsolete, the administration can promote economic growth and innovation and protect individual liberty," according to an announcement from the White House Office of Management and Budget. "Agencies are committed to careful assessment of the costs and benefits of each regulatory and deregulatory action and to ensuring that the benefits of regulations substantially justify the costs."

We've rounded up resources and articles from SHRM Online and other trusted outlets on the news.

Gig-Worker Classification

In the spring regulatory agenda, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced a new plan to issue a proposed rule on how to determine if workers are independent contractors or employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Independent contractors, including many gig-economy workers, are not eligible for minimum wage, overtime and other employment benefits.

(Bloomberg Law)

(Visit SHRM's resource page on independent contractors)

EEOC Pay-Data Reporting

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) might propose a rule on collecting employee pay data from certain businesses. "The EEOC is considering initiating a rulemaking … that may include a new reporting requirement by which employers would submit pay data or related information as reasonable, necessary or appropriate for the enforcement of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Equal Pay Act," according to the agenda. The EEOC would seek public comment on the proposal regarding how to collect pay data and the potential benefits and burdens of collecting the information.    

(White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs)

Student Worker Unions

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) plans to issue a final rule this year on student workers' right to organize. The NLRB will be "engaging in rulemaking to establish the standard for determining whether students who perform services at a private college or university in connection with their studies are employees" and therefore eligible to join a union under the National Labor Relations Act.

(White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs)

Enforcement and Community Outreach

Deregulation has been a major priority for the Department of Labor (DOL), and the federal government wants to make processes less burdensome for employers, according to DOL officials. Cheryl Stanton, the DOL's Wage and Hour Division administrator, noted that the department is still focused on enforcement. "We have not changed our commitment to low-wage workers who are in vulnerable situations," she said. The division is also focused on community outreach, she said, to help employers comply with rules and regulations and to ensure that workers understand their rights.

(SHRM Online)

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