News

Top Democrats Introduce Legislation to Strengthen Collective Bargaining Rights for Public-Sector Workers

by Staff

06.26.19   WASHINGTON, DC - Today, U.S. Congressman Donald Norcross (NJ-01), a member of the House Committee on Education and Labor, alongside the Committee Chair Robert "Bobby" Scott (VA-03) and Representatives Frederica Wilson (FL-24), Matt Cartwright (PA-08) and Abby Finkenauer (IA-01), introduced legislation to guarantee public-service workers in every state have the right to stand together and negotiate for fair wages and working conditions. "Workers win when they join together and advocate to raise … Continue Reading


House Panel Debates Religious Freedom in Healthcare

by Shannon Firth

06.26.19   WASHINGTON -- House Democrats argued that a law meant to protect Americans' religious liberties has been exploited in ways that infringe on others' civil rights, particularly those of women and the LGBTQ community. The "Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA)" which has been law for more than 25 years, is being "twisted" in ways that its authors never intended, said Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) chair of the House Committee on Education and Labor, during a hearing on Tuesday. RFRA, which passed … Continue Reading


Virginia Lawmakers Take Sides on Recent Religious Freedom Ruling

by Michael Pope

06.25.19   A recent Supreme Court decision upended how courts view religious freedom, making it possible for corporations to deny certain health services to female employees based on a religious exemption. Now, two Virginia Congressman are now heavily involved in the debate. Congressman Bobby Scott of Newport News is working with Massachusetts Democrat Joe Kennedy to overturn what they see as the problems created by the recent Supreme Court decision in Burwell versus Hobby Lobby. Scott says that decisi… Continue Reading


Trump Administration Proposes New Type of Apprenticeship

by Eric Morath

06.24.19   WASHINGTON-The Labor Department released its proposal Monday to create a new type of apprenticeship that would be run by business groups, colleges and other entities, rather than by the federal government. Releasing the proposed guidelines moves a step closer to finalizing President Trump's goal, laid out two years ago, of expanding access to apprenticeships by removing the Labor Department from day-to-day management of such programs. Apprenticeships, which combine on-the-job training and cl… Continue Reading


Bobby Scott asks GAO to examine Job Corps reversal

by Ian Kullgren

06.24.19   House Education and Labor Chairman Bobby Scott (D-Va.) today asked the Government Accountability Office to examine the Trump administration's abandoned plan to close nine Job Corps Centers. Although Scott praised the administration's decision to cancel the closures, he asked GAO to investigate whether the administration followed the Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act and whether the initial announcement damaged recruiting and enrollment. Scott also sent a long list of questions to Labor Secre… Continue Reading


Congress members ask GAO to study fallout from death of DOL fiduciary rule

by Greg Lacurci

06.24.19   High-level Democrats in the Senate and House of Representatives have asked a congressional watchdog to study the fallout from the now-defunct Department of Labor fiduciary rule, including the regulation's effect on a wide range of business practices and how those practices have changed since the rule was killed in court. Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., chairman of the House Committee on Education and Labor, and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., ranking member of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor… Continue Reading


Government Watchdog Asked to Examine DOL Fiduciary Rule Fallout

by Ted Godbout

06.24.19   FIDUCIARY RULES AND PRACTICES Marking the one-year anniversary of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals' Order vacating the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule, key Democratic members of Congress have asked the Government Accountability Office to examine how the financial services industry has responded since then. In their letter to GAO, Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, and Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA), chairma… Continue Reading


Democrats Demanding Clarity on Fallout From the DOL Fiduciary Rule

by Patrick Donachie

06.24.19   Leading Democrats in Congress are asking the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) to investigate how the financial services industry responded to last year's ruling by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to vacate the Department of Labor's 2016 fiduciary rule. Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.), chairman for the House Committee on Education and Labor, and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), the Ranking Member for the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, co-signed a letter to GA… Continue Reading


Fiduciary rule's demise prompts call for review

by Brian Croce

06.21.19   Two leading Democrats want the Government Accountability Office to examine the impacts of a federal court vacating the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule last year. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, and Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., chairman of the House Committee on Education and Labor, wrote Friday to GAO Comptroller General Gene Dodaro with the request. "In the past year, DOL appears to have done little, if anything, to wa… Continue Reading


Regulators Resist Call For Action In Response To Black Lung Epidemic

by Howard Berkes and Huo Jingnan

06.21.19   The nation's top coal mine safety regulator told members of Congress on Thursday that existing safety regulations are sufficient to protect miners from toxic dust, despite calls for change amid an epidemic of advanced black lung disease among coal miners in Appalachia. Assistant Secretary of Labor David Zatezalo, testifying before the House Workforce Protections Subcommittee, said sampling from coal mines shows a 99 percent compliance rate with rules designed to limit workers' exposure to silic… Continue Reading


Congressional Panel Hears Black Lung Testimony, MSHA Chief Says No New Policy Needed

by Sydney Boles

06.21.19   A Congressional panel heard testimony and had some sharp questions Thursday about the epidemic of black lung disease among Appalachian miners. Labor leaders are calling on federal regulators to strengthen protections for miners and several lawmakers wanted to know why the country's top mine safety agency is not doing more in response to the dramatic increase in the preventable but deadly disease. Progressive massive fibrosis, the most severe form of black lung disease, now afflicts roughly 2,50… Continue Reading


Regulators Resist Call For Action In Response To Black Lung Epidemic

by Howard Berkes

06.20.19   The nation's top coal mine safety regulator told members of Congress on Thursday that existing safety regulations are sufficient to protect miners from toxic dust, despite calls for change amid an epidemic of advanced black lung disease among coal miners in Appalachia. Assistant Secretary of Labor David Zatezalo, testifying before the House Workforce Protections Subcommittee, said sampling from coal mines shows a 99% compliance rate with rules designed to limit workers' exposure to silica, the … Continue Reading


Mine Safety Chief Urged to Cut Silica Limit to Stem Black Lung

by Sam Pearson

06.20.19   The Trump administration's top mine safety official declined to say if silica exposure limits should be lowered amid pressure from House Democrats to address rising levels of black lung disease in former coal miners. The issue was addressed June 20 at a hearing of the House Education and Labor Committee's Subcommittee on Workforce Protections, where Democratic lawmakers expressed concern that, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, a federal research agency, and… Continue Reading


Schools Underreporting Use Of Restraint And Seclusion, GAO Finds

by Michelle Diament

06.19.19   U.S. Department of Education data on how frequently restraint and seclusion are used in the nation's schools is incomplete and inaccurate, government investigators say. Numbers reported through the agency's civil rights data collection drastically undercount schools' use of the practices, which disproportionately affect students with disabilities, the Government Accountability Office said in a report released this week. GAO indicated that the Education Department needs to take "immediate action… Continue Reading


As Congressional Panel Focuses On Black Lung, Miners Health Advocates Urge Stronger Health Protections

by Sydney Boles

06.19.19   A Congressional panel heard testimony and had some sharp questions Thursday about the epidemic of black lung disease among Appalachian miners. Labor leaders are calling on federal regulators to strengthen protections for miners and several lawmakers wanted to know why the country's top mine safety agency is not doing more in response to the dramatic increase in the preventable but deadly disease. Progressive massive fibrosis, the most severe form of black lung disease, now afflicts roughly 2,50… Continue Reading


Top Trump health official warned against controversial ObamaCare changes in private memo

by Peter Sullivan

06.14.19   A top Trump administration health official warned against controversial changes that could undermine ObamaCare in a private memo last year that was released by House Democrats on Friday. One of the three changes was later finalized by the administration, despite the warning from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma in the memo. And the other two have not yet been proposed but remain under consideration. House Democrats said Friday the fact that the administratio… Continue Reading


With nurses watching, lawmakers push OSHA on anti-workplace violence

by Mark Gruenberg

06.13.19   WASHINGTON-With National Nurses United members in the crowd monitoring them, the Democratic-run House Education and Labor Committee voted on party lines to push the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to, within a year, unveil a rule to force hospitals and nursing homes to create and implement programs to reduce workplace violence. The measure, HR1309, was one of three pro-worker bills the panel approved on June 11, all by party-line votes. All three measures also overc… Continue Reading


Lawmakers take another crack at solving multi-employer pension plan problems

by Mark Gruenberg

06.12.19   WASHINGTON-Heeding the pleas of workers and unions who could see their pensions go down the drain in the next six years, the Democratic-run House Education and Labor Committee approved HR397, to fix multi-employer pension plans' problems. The 26-18 vote on June 11 was on party lines. If eventually approved, the measure would help those financially ailing plans with 30-year repayable federal loans to shore up their assets and value, at affordable interest rates. The loans would come from a trust… Continue Reading


Healthcare violence bill advances

by Elizabeth Newman

06.11.19   Legislation that would require employers to have a prevention plan for workplace violence has moved forward after being marked up in committee. The Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act (HR 1309), sponsored by Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT), was voted out of the House Committee on Education and Labor on Tuesday. Workplaces covered under the bill include skilled nursing facilities, hospice, hospitals, residential treatment facilities, group homes and federal hea… Continue Reading


Bill requiring OSHA to develop health care violence standard advances

by Gloria Gonzalez

06.11.19   The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and Labor adopted a bill to require the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration to promulgate a standard to prevent workplace violence in the health care and social services industry on a 26-18 vote. H.R. 1309, the Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act, aims to address the issue of workplace violence against health care and social service workers, who experience violent incidents at dispro… Continue Reading

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