The Obama administration wants more money for wage-and-hour enforcement next year, even as it asks for less funding overall for the Department of Labor.
The administration’s final budget request–for fiscal year 2017, which begins Oct. 1–seeks $12.8 billion to fund the DOL next year, less than the $13.2 billion it asked for last year. Congress wound up granting the department $12.2 billion.
The DOL’s FY2017 budget, however, proposes spending $277 million on Wage and Hour Division enforcement activities. That’s $50 million more than Congress granted in 2016.
Some of that will surely go to implementation and enforcement of a new final rule–due this year–for paying overtime to white-collar employees. Also highlighted in the WHD 2017 budget: plans to focus on misclassification of employees as independent contractors.
Other notable 2017 initiatives:
More than $2 billion for a Paid-Leave Partnership Initiative to assist up to five states to launch paid-leave programs. Some of that would fund development of paid family and medical leave programs at the state level.
More than $205 million for the Employee Benefits Security Administration to bolster employer-based retirement plans. EBSA also proposes an additional $100 million to finance pilots to test new ways of making retirement benefits more accessible and portable for workers.
A cost-neutral suite of reforms to modernize and improve the Unemployment Insurance program so more workers have access to benefits if they lose a job.
Online resource: Find a summary of the DOL’s 2017 budget request at dol.gov/general/budget.
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