Latest Government Shutdown Avoided. Another week in Washington, D.C., and our legislators have avoided yet another shutdown. At least this time, there seems to be a bit of a plan to put a bow on this debate once and for all (until, of course, discussions begin for the fiscal year (FY) 2025 spending kickoff). Here is what happened this week. With spending for certain government functions set to expire on March 1, 2024, the U.S. Congress passed—and President Biden signed—a continuing resolution that will extend six government funding bills (including funding for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)) until March 8, 2024, and a remaining six bills (including funding for the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)) until March 22, 2024. There is still a ways to go before this matter is completely wrapped up, but the initial threat of a federal shutdown this week has been avoided.

Senate Committee (Barely) Approves Su (Again). On February 27, 2024, during a closed-door meeting, the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) voted to advance the nomination of Julie Su to be secretary of labor. The 11–10 party-line vote (with no Republicans voting for Su) was the second time the HELP Committee had voted to approve Su’s nomination (and with an identical vote tally). In a speech this week on the floor of the U.S. Senate, Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA), ranking member of the committee, noted that since Su’s original nomination in 2023, “concerns over Ms. Su’s leadership of DOL have grown.” Senator Cassidy also noted that he had made a formal request of Committee Chair Bernie Sanders (I-VT) to hold a hearing for Su, but “the Chair denied our request and is instead ramming through Ms. Su’s nomination behind closed doors without a full public hearing in the Committee.” Senator Cassidy continued, “The Chair’s decision to not hold a public hearing on Ms. Su is unacceptable and shows a lack of transparency from the Majority. It undermines the Committee’s constitutional duty to advise and consent on presidential nominees.” The next step for Su is a vote on the Senate floor, though it is unclear how or why she may have the necessary votes this time around.

EEOC Announces 2023 EEO-1 Reporting Window. The EEOC has announced that the 2023 EEO-1 Component 1 data collection will open on April 30, 2024, and employers will have until June 4, 2024, to file their reports. Of course, the Buzz will be watching for future attempts by the Commission to amend the EEO-1 report to require the disclosure of employee wage and hours worked data. To that end, in approving this EEO-1 information collection, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) noted the following: “OMB also recommends that EEOC seek the input of affected stakeholders about any revisions as early as possible, and provide respondents with ample notice before making revisions in order to minimize burdens.” James A. Patton, Jr., and Kiosha H. Dickey have the details.

H-1B Registration Kicks Off With New Process. The FY 2025 H-1B cap lottery selection process will open at noon on Wednesday, March 6, 2024. Pursuant to the rule finalized by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on February 2, 2024, (“Improving the H-1B Registration Selection Process and Program Integrity”), the beneficiary-centric selection procedure will be implemented for H-1B visa holders, in which “[e]ach unique beneficiary who has a registration submitted on their behalf will be entered into the selection process once, regardless of how many registrations are submitted on their behalf.” The changes are intended to increase the integrity of the process and reduce fraud.

OSHA Reporting Deadline. March 2, 2024, is the deadline for covered employers to electronically submit their required injury and illness reporting information to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

OFCCP Seeks Fed Contractor Data. In a surprise move that was not forecasted in recent regulatory agendas, late last week the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) published a notice of its intent to resurrect the Monthly Employment Utilization Report (CC–257). According to the notice, “With the proposed CC– 257, construction contractors will provide information on employee work hours and employee count by race/ ethnicity, gender, and trade in the covered area.” Covered construction contractors would be required to provide this information to OFCCP on a monthly basis. Despite the proposed change in policy and the potential costly burden on contractors, OFCCP is proposing this change via the Paperwork Reduction Act, rather than through the Administrative Procedure Act’s rulemaking process. Emily M. Halliday and Lauren B. Hicks have the details.

A Commanding Vote. On February 28, 2024, the U.S. House of Representatives passed, by a vote of 348–55, the D.C. Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium Campus Revitalization Act (H.R. 4984). If enacted, the bill would require the secretary of the interior to transfer administrative jurisdiction over the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium Campus to the District of Columbia. Looking down the road, the bill would potentially enable the National Football League’s Washington Commanders to play their home games on the site (the franchise played at RFK Stadium from 1961 through 1996). The Commanders currently play their home games in Maryland, and judging from the vote tally on the bill, it looks like Maryland wants to keep it that way. Of eight representatives from Maryland, seven voted against the bill, and one—Representative Jamie Raskin (D)—did not vote.

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