April 10, 2013
Prior to the web chat on the U.S. Department of Labor’s proposed budget, Acting Secretary of Labor Seth D. Harris released the Department of Labor’s fiscal year 2014 budget request.
Among budget highlight affecting the aggregates industry is an additional $5.8 million for Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) programs to help in the prevention of death, disease and injury from mining. It also includes $2.5 million to implement recommendations from the internal review conducted following the Upper Big Branch Mine incident.
The budget would have a $5.9 million increase in funds for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to enforce laws that protect workers and others from retaliation for reporting unsafe practices.
Also included is nearly $14 million to prevent the misclassification of workers as independent contractors, which deprives workers of benefits and protections.
The budget would add $3.4 million for the Wage and Hour Division to support more enforcement of the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act, as well as $5 million to create a State Paid Leave Fund to aid workers who need to take time off to care for family members.
The budget request also includes an initiative to encourage companies to fully fund their pension benefits. The initiative would authorize the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. (PBGC) board to adjust premiums and take into account risks that different retirement plan sponsors poste to their retirees. The Department of Labor estimates the PBGC, under the initiative, to save $25 billion in the next 10 years.
For more information about the Department of Labor’s fiscal year 2014 budget request, visit dol.gov/budget.