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House Budget Bill Will Greatly Expand Workplace Enforcement Efforts

Published on: July 16, 2021

Authors: Daniel W. Chasen

Topics: Employment Law

The House 2022 appropriations bill for the Department of Labor and National Labor Relations Board will increase agency enforcement budgets by up to 33%.
  • Wage and Hour’s budget will increase 22% while OSHA’s budget will jump by almost 17%.  OSHA is also instructed to “adopt policies that encourage the use of full penalties or a penalty multiplier for serious violations in large businesses.”

  • Federal contractors can expect significantly more audits as OFCCP’s budget will skyrocket by 33%.

  • Greater scrutiny of employer mental health parity requirements with EBSA’s budget rising by almost 15% to hire additional health investigators who will focus exclusively on parity compliance.

  • NLRB’s budget will increase by almost 16% to implement an electronic voting system, and to increase its capacity to conduct outreach and collaborate with community-based organizations.

Inter-agency enforcement collaboration:  The House report identifies a need for more inter-agency collaboration between the Department (including WHD and OSHA), Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the National Labor Relations Board to enforce labor and civil rights laws fully and effectively.  

The House Appropriations Committee passed the measure largely along party lines, setting it up for a full House vote later this month. 

These large increases are likely to be enacted according to Mark Wilson, HR Policy Vice President of Health and Employment Policy and former Deputy Assistant Secretary at DOL.  “You only see budget increases of this size when Democrats are fully in control of both branches of government and while employers can expect greater enforcement next year, the full impact will be felt in 2023 and beyond after new investigators are hired and trained.” 

Daniel W. Chasen

Vice President, Workplace Policy, HR Policy Association

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