The Obama administration is proposing a $12.1-billion budget for the Department of Labor (DOL) for Fiscal Year 2014, starting this October. That represents an increase of $20 million.

But when in comes to the enforcing agencies with the DOL, including the Wage and Hour Division (WHD), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and others, the increase is $37.7 million, out of a total $1.8 billion allocation.

The administration released its budget yesterday.

Highlights of the FY 2014 budget request include:

  • An additional $5.8 million for Mine Safety and Health Administration enforcement programs to pursue strategies that prevent death, disease and injury from mining, and $2.5 million to implement recommendations from the internal review conducted in the wake of the Upper Big Branch Mine disaster.
  • An additional $5.9 million to bolster the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's enforcement of the numerous laws that protect workers and others from retaliation for reporting unsafe and unscrupulous practices.
  • Nearly $14 million to combat the misclassification of workers as independent contractors, which deprives workers of benefits and protections to which they are legally entitled and puts law-abiding businesses at a disadvantage against employers who violate the law.
  • An additional $3.4 million for the Wage and Hour Division to support greater enforcement of the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act.
  • $5 million for the creation of a State Paid Leave Fund to assist workers who need to take time off to care for a child or other family member.
  • An initiative to encourage companies to fully fund their pension benefits by authorizing the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. board to adjust premiums and take into account the risks that different retirement plan sponsors pose to their retirees. Under the initiative, the PBGC is estimated to save $25 billion over the next decade.