People

Biden signs Rescue bill, boosting TMF and adding pandemic leave for feds

The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act was signed into law on Thursday. In addition to a massive influx of funding to support Americans harmed by the economic fallout of the pandemic, there is funding available for IT modernization and provision to help the federal workforce cope with COVID-19.

TMF money, more leave in Senate's take on COVID relief

The $1.9 trillion relief package could give federal employees up to 15 weeks of pandemic-related paid leave.

Acquisition

DOL looks to roll back Trump's exemption for religious orgs in contracting

The agency plans going to reverse the rule through notice and comment rulemaking, a process that could take months.

Digital Government

Billions went to fraudulent unemployment claims in 2020, IG memo reports

Fraudulent unemployment benefit claims since March could end up costing tens of billions of dollars, the memo says.

Digital Government

Wyden bill looks to overhaul unemployment benefit tech

The $500 million bill would pay for the Department of Labor to help develop new benefits technology capabilities to share with states and to establish a digital services team to develop and maintain the tech.

Digital Government

Labor nominee says that unemployment tech needs to be updated

Lawmakers are looking to President Biden's Labor Secretary nominee Marty Walsh for help on modernizing unemployment insurance delivery, worker safety and stimulating growth in STEM jobs.

Acquisition

Labor secretary nominee comes with a long record on union issues, contracting oversight

During his time as mayor, Marty Walsh pursued actions to increase the amount of minority-, women- and veteran-owned contractors in Boston.

Acquisition

Labor Dept. official says religious exemption for some contractors won't allow discrimination

Civil rights groups caution that the rule change that allows faith-based organizations that are also federal contractors to favor their members in hiring could lead to employment discrimination.

Acquisition

Judge halts enforcement of diversity training crackdown on contractors

A nationwide injunction blocks sections of the order that apply to contractors and grant recipients, including a hotline created for employees to report training materials.

Acquisition

New rule lets contractors seek religious exemptions to anti-discrimination policies

The move will make it easier for companies that are organized around faith-based activities to evade certain civil rights laws and policies when making hiring decisions.

Workforce

Lawmakers probe telework's impact on federal jobs, hiring

Although the move to telework has presented challenges, agency officials told senators at a hearing emphasized the benefits in terms of hiring and productivity.

Acquisition

Key questions remain for contractors about diversity training regulations

Although a Department of Labor official says diversity training is still possible for federal contractors under the new policies, confusion over the guidelines has already resulted in cancelled training as agencies and contractors hit pause rather than risk violating a Trump administration executive order.

Acquisition

Business groups nationwide complain about diversity training crackdown

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce led a nationwide coalition of trade associations and business groups in a letter opposing the Trump administration's executive order on diversity and inclusion training.

Acquisition

Tech groups slam Trump's diversity training executive order

The pushback comes as the Labor Department tries to explain what the memo does and does not allow with regard to diversity training.

Workforce

Senate bill seeks oversight of telework, PPE for the federal workforce

A group of Senate Democrats is proposing legislation to create labor-management task forces inside government to review pandemic-related workforce policies.

House Appropriations keeps moving on FY21 funding billls

Appropriation for the Departments of Education, Labor and Health and Human Services clears committee, includes emergency funding for state unemployment programs.

Workforce

Chairman to exit Thrift Board next week

Embattled Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board chairman Michael Kennedy will exit the agency June 30 as part of a Trump administration overhaul of the agency.

Workforce

Federal appeals court denies union push for emergency coronavirus safety rules

The AFL-CIO had sought to force OSHA to issue an emergency temporary standard that would have addressed infectious disease in the workplace.

Software glitch, mismanagement cost OSHA $92 million

A whistleblower accused Treasury and Labor officials of failing to address an error in debt processing software that wiped out $92 million in uncollected workplace safety fines.

Workforce

White House pushes Thrift Board to back off China index investment

Citing national security and economic risks, senior officials instructed the Secretary of Labor to overturn plans by the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board to buy a fund that includes investments in China.

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