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News & Press: Government Affairs

Federal Legislation Update

Monday, February 29, 2016  
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OVERTIME DEBATE INTENSIFIES More than 100 U.S. House members signed a letter last week asking Department of Labor Secretary Tom Perez to put the brakes on proposed overtime changes. Separately, House Education & Workforce Committee Chair John Kline (R-Minn.) and Workforce Protections Subcommittee Chair Tim Walberg (R-Mich.) asked Perez to supply documentation by month's end on how DOL collected feedback on its overtime plan. Last summer the agency refused to extend its comment period because it said it had conducted sufficient outreach to affected groups in the year leading up to the proposal. As you may remember, the DOL plan would automatically entitle anyone earning under $50,440 a year to overtime pay, more than double today's $23,660 threshold.

HOUSE PASSES MENU-LABELING BILL The U.S. House passed a bill by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) to make revisions to the federal menu-labeling law. The measure now moves to the Senate, where the timetable is uncertain. The NRA did not actively oppose the bill in a letter to the Hill, but instead, they engaged in conversations with Members of Congress about our position.

DOL SLOW-WALKING THE H-2B PROCESS Complaints are mounting as employers press Department of Labor for quicker turnaround on H-2B visa certifications. H-2B visas bring in temporary seasonal help when U.S. workers aren't available. DOL appears to be resisting a series of employer-supported H-2B changes Congress included in the FY 2016 omnibus spending bill. Some changes are aimed at cutting red tape and reducing some heavier-handed enforcement. Another change broadens the pool by ensuring that visa holders from 2013, 2014 and 2015 don't count against the 66,000-visa limit for FY 2016. 

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