DOL Hopes Agreement with Sonic Becomes Fast Food Industry Standard

The  Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the Department of Labor (DOL) and Sonic Industries Services Inc. – franchisor of the SONIC Drive-In restaurant chain – have signed a voluntary agreement to help SONIC’s independently owned and operated franchise locations comply with federal labor laws. As part of the agreement, the Oklahoma City-based franchisor will provide a […]

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OSHA Issues Guide on Respirable Crystalline Silica Standard

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has published a guide to help businesses comply with its new standard on exposure to respirable crystalline silica dust, a known carcinogen that can lead to silicosis, a lung disease. OSHA estimates that 2.3 million workers are exposed to the dust, including 2 million construction workers. The booklet […]

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HHS Improves HIPAA Breach Web Reporting Tool

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and its Office for Civil Rights (OCR) have launched a revised web tool that puts important information into the hands of individuals, empowering them to better identify recent breaches of health information and to learn how all breaches of health information are investigated and successfully resolved. The […]

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Labor Secretary Aims at Professional Licensing Deregulation

Speaking in Denver about apprenticeships, Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta pointed to licensing requirements as a barrier to employment that need to be streamlined. He noted that only one in 20 professions in the 1950s required licensing, but today it’s one in four. Appearing at the American Legislative Executive Council’s annual confab, Acosta noted that “the […]

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DOL to Seek Public Input on Creating a New Overtime Rule

The Department of Labor (DOL) announced it will publish a Request for Information (RFI) for the overtime rule on Wednesday, July 26, 2017. The RFI is an opportunity for the public to provide information that will aid the department in formulating a proposal to revise these regulations that define and delimit exemptions from the Fair […]

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Labor Secretary Forming an Apprenticeship Task Force

Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta is inviting interested persons to submit nominations for individuals to serve on the Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion. The creation of the task force is a key step in implementing President Donald J. Trump’s executive order to expand apprenticeships, according to a Department of Labor (DOL) news release. “Apprenticeships are […]

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CMS Seeks More Control Over Medicare Advantage Plans

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is seeking public comment before it submits a proposal for more review power over Medicare Advantage plans in order “to provide adequate access to covered services to meet the needs of the population served.” The CMS says it will submit the broader review plan to the Office […]

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Senate Republicans’ Repeal-Only Effort Collapses on the Heels of ‘Repeal and Replace’

Less than a day after more Republican defections doomed the Senate’s “repeal and replace” health care legislation, the option of “repeal now and replace later” went down in flames as well. Three GOP Senators immediately said they couldn’t vote for a repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare) without a replacement. Sens. Susan […]

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Senate Republicans Give Up on ‘Repeal and Replace’

With the defection of two more Senate Republicans from the effort to repeal and replace Obamacare, the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 has been withdrawn from a vote. On Monday, Sens. Mike Lee (Utah) and Jerry Moran (Kan.) issued statements declaring they would not vote for the revamped measure. They thus joined Sens. Rand Paul (Ky.) and […]

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OSHA to Launch Electronic Injury and Illness Reporting Tool Aug. 1

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) on Aug. 1 will launch its new Injury Tracking Application (ITA). The Web-based form allows employers to electronically submit required injury and illness data from their completed 2016 OSHA Form 300A. The application will be accessible from the ITA webpage. Last month, OSHA published a notice of proposed rulemaking to extend […]

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