EEO-1 Component 2 Data Collection Starts Today

Pay data collection for 2017 and 2018 for EEO-1 filers — called Component 2 — starts today with the opening of a dedicated portal.

The data collection was ordered by a federal judge in National Women’s Law Center, et al., v. Office of Management and Budget, et al.

Businesses with at least 100 employees and federal contractors with at least 50 employees and a contract of $50,000 or more with the federal government must file the EEO-1 form.

The workforce snapshot period is an employer-selected pay period between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31 of the reporting year. Federal contractors and other private employers with fewer than 100 employees are not required to report Component 2 compensation data.

FILING SPECIFICATIONS

COMPONENT 2 FAQs


NOTE: The details in this blog are provided for informational purposes only. All answers are general in nature and do not constitute legal advice. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. The author specifically disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the reliance on or use of this blog.
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EEOC Nominations Sent for Confirmation

President Trump has nominated Republican Keith Sonderling of the Labor Department to fill a vacancy on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and at the same time re-nominated Democrat Charlotte Burrows for another five-year term.

Burrows’ term expired July 1 but she can remain on the board while the Senate works on her confirmation. Sonderling is a deputy administrator with the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the Department of Labor (DOL).

The EEOC in May was given a Republican majority when Janet Dhillon was confirmed for a seat and became chair of the commission. The party ruling the White House generally gets to name three of the five commissioners along with two from the minority party.


NOTE: The details in this blog are provided for informational purposes only. All answers are general in nature and do not constitute legal advice. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. The author specifically disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the reliance on or use of this blog.
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Obamacare Appeals Hearing on Track Despite Request for Delay

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals originally set a deadline of today for the filing of supplemental briefs on the question of whether Blue State attorneys general (AGs) and the House of Representatives have standing in the case of the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare), and surprisingly, Red State AGs requested a 20-day extension, which was denied.

Instead, the court gave all parties a two-day extension until 5 p.m. this Friday.

Blue State AGs pressed for the oral arguments to take place as scheduled because a delay would contribute to uncertainty in health care availability, especially as insurance companies struggle to meet upcoming deadlines on rates for 2020 policies.

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NOTE: The details in this blog are provided for informational purposes only. All answers are general in nature and do not constitute legal advice. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. The author specifically disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the reliance on or use of this blog.
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5th Circuit Adds New Wrinkle to Obamacare Ruling Appeal

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals is set to hear arguments on appeal of a district judge’s ruling that the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare) is unconstitutional, but it is now questioning whether anyone has the standing to argue against the ruling.

fifth-circuit-court-rejects-fiduciary-ruleThe Trump administration’s Department of Justice (DOJ) has already agreed in toto with Judge Reed O’Connor’s ruling, so the appeals court is asking what to do “if the federal defendants’ change in position [to agree entirely with the judge’s ruling] has mooted the controversy and no other defendant has standing to appeal.”

No other defendant refers to the Democrats in the House of Representatives and Blue State attorneys general, both of whom are set to argue in favor of the ACA and have already filed briefs for the July 9th hearing. They now have seven days from yesterday to file additional briefs justifying their standing to even appear in court.

University of Michigan law professor Nicholas Bagley, writing about the development on Twitter, concludes: “If neither the blue states nor the House has standing, it would mean that no one has standing to appeal the decision. That would effectively leave the lower court decision unappealable.”

Which would mean Judge O’Connor’s ruling would stick as is.


NOTE: The details in this blog are provided for informational purposes only. All answers are general in nature and do not constitute legal advice. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. The author specifically disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the reliance on or use of this blog.
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Supreme Court Upholds Power of Regulators, Mostly…

In a case that various interest groups wanted to see end what is known as “Auer deference,” the Supreme Court instead affirmed the 1997 decision behind the principle but in so doing sought to place limits on government regulators.

The Auer deference means that justices at all levels should defer to government agencies’ interpretations of regulations if the regulations are ambiguous.

In a decision that saw different justices offering different opinions for their support of Auer v. Robbins, the precedent-setting case, Justice Elena Kagan, writing for the court, emphasized that in order for a government agency’s interpretation to be valid, the interpretation must be reasonable, authoritative and based on expertise.

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NOTE: The details in this blog are provided for informational purposes only. All answers are general in nature and do not constitute legal advice. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. The author specifically disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the reliance on or use of this blog.
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DOL Issues NPRM for Long-Awaited Apprenticeship Program

Two years after an executive order by President Trump asked the Department of Labor (DOL) to develop an apprenticeship program, the department this morning finally announced it had issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to accomplish that very goal.

labor-department-begins-independent-contractor-definition

Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta

The NPRM, according to the department, establishes a process for the U.S. Department of Labor to advance the development of high-quality, industry-recognized apprenticeship programs (IRAPs).

The DOL further announced awards totaling $183.8 million to support the development and expansion of apprenticeships for educational institutions partnering with companies that provide a funding match component.  The department will also make available an additional $100 million for efforts to expand apprenticeships and close the skills gap.

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NOTE: The details in this blog are provided for informational purposes only. All answers are general in nature and do not constitute legal advice. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. The author specifically disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the reliance on or use of this blog.
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SCOTUS to Hear Case on Obamacare Risk Corridor Payments

The Supreme Court today agreed to hear a case brought by health insurance companies claiming they are owed $12 billion by the government for unfunded Obamacare risk corridor payments.

only-one-of-two-known-photos-of-supreme-court-in-session

This 1932 photo of the Supreme Court, taken by a camera smuggled into the courtroom, is one of only two known to exist. Photography in the chamber is forbidden.

Risk corridor payments were designed to compensate those insurance companies that ended up with a sicker (and therefore more expensive) population of enrollees. The money was supposed to be collected from insurers with healthier populations, but the funds never added up to enough to compensate the losers fully.

The insurance companies expected the federal government to cover the shortfall, but Congressional Republicans engineered a series of budget riders forbidding the use of general funds to compensate the insurers.

Now the insurers want the money they believe is still owed to them, some $12.3 billion in all. They claim they set their insurance premiums lower in expectation of compensation for their losses and are accusing the government of “bait-and-switch” tactics.

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NOTE: The details in this blog are provided for informational purposes only. All answers are general in nature and do not constitute legal advice. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. The author specifically disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the reliance on or use of this blog.
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Five Cities Sue Trump Administration Over Obamacare

A coalition of five cities has sued President Trump and officials at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for deliberately “sabotaging” the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare).

white-house-receives-joint-employer-proposalThe suit hinges on a clause in the Constitution and on the judicial review powers set forth in the Administrative Procedure Act (APA).

The clause in question is known as the “take care” clause, which requires the president to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.” The APA, on the other hand, allows courts to throw out government regulations deemed “arbitrary and capricious.”

Administrative lawyers argue that the Constitution gives the president wide latitude to make policy decisions affecting laws and their enforcement.

One other case relying on the “take care” clause resulted in a 4-4 tie upon Supreme Court review. That case involved President Obama and his decision to delay the deportation of millions of undocumented immigrants. (The case was heard when the court had just eight sitting justices after the death of Antonin Scalia.)

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NOTE: The details in this blog are provided for informational purposes only. All answers are general in nature and do not constitute legal advice. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. The author specifically disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the reliance on or use of this blog.
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Drug Companies Sue HHS to Block Price Rule

They’re mad as heck and they ain’t gonna take it anymore, so we’ll see you in court, says Big Pharma.

hhs-resets-hipaa-finesMerck, Eli Lilly and Amgen are being joined by the National Association of Advertisers in suing the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) over a rule taking effect in July that will force manufacturers to reveal pricing in their consumer drug ads.

Their bone of contention: The rule violates their freedom of speech and will deter patients from using the drugs because list prices are generally higher than market prices, which are subject to negotiation and are often lower, according to the lawsuit.

“If the drug companies are embarrassed by their prices or afraid that the prices will scare patients away, they should lower them,” HHS spokesperson Caitlin Oakley said. “President Trump and Secretary Azar are committed to providing patients the information they need to make their own informed health care decisions.”


NOTE: The details in this blog are provided for informational purposes only. All answers are general in nature and do not constitute legal advice. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. The author specifically disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the reliance on or use of this blog.
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New Rules Could Shake Up Employment-Based Health Insurance

The Trump administration is rolling out rules that will allow employers to fund Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) so that their employees can purchase health insurance on their own. The rules, which take effect on Jan. 1, 2020, are currently being finalized by the departments of Treasury, Labor and Health and Human Services.

The rules follow on the heels of President Trump’s October 2017 Executive Order 13812, “Promoting Healthcare Choice and Competition Across the United States.”

HRAs will be funded entirely by employers without requiring employee contributions. The funds in the HRAs will accrue to the employees and their family members tax-free.

The White House expects 800,000 employers to choose this defined benefit contribution option, which is expected to affect 11 million employees and their families.

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NOTE: The details in this blog are provided for informational purposes only. All answers are general in nature and do not constitute legal advice. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. The author specifically disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the reliance on or use of this blog.
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