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 Decade: 2000-2009
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Emergency Unemployment Compensation

Emergency Unemployment Compensation

Date: July 11, 2008
Creator: Whittaker, Julie M.
Description: The Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program is a temporary unemployment insurance program that provides up to 13 additional weeks of unemployment benefits to certain workers who have exhausted their rights to regular unemployment compensation (UC) benefits. The program effectively begins July 6, 2008, and will terminate on March 28, 2009. No EUC benefit will be paid beyond the week ending July 4, 2009.
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Tax Treatment of Employer Educational Assistance for the Benefit of Employees

Tax Treatment of Employer Educational Assistance for the Benefit of Employees

Date: July 3, 2008
Creator: Levine, Linda
Description: Educational assistance offered by employers to their employees may be exempt from federal income tax under Section 127 and Section 132 of the Internal Revenue Code. Section 127 is the employer educational assistance exclusion; Section 132, the fringe benefit exclusion for working condition benefits (e.g., job-related eduction) among other benefits. Congress established the two tax provisions well before it enacted to her higher education tax benefits meant to assist taxpayers, their spouses, and dependents -- regardless of employment status -- pay current educational expenses incurred while obtaining postsecondary degrees and undertaking lifelong learning.
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Trafficking in Persons in Latin America and the Caribbean

Trafficking in Persons in Latin America and the Caribbean

Date: July 1, 2008
Creator: Seelke, Clare Ribando
Description: This report describes the nature and scope of the problem of trafficking in persons in Latin America and the Caribbean. It then describes U.S. efforts to deal with trafficking in persons in Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as discusses the successes and failures of some recent country and regional anti-trafficking efforts. The report concludes by raising issues that may be helpful for the 110th Congress to consider during its second session as it continues to address human trafficking as part of its authorization, appropriations, and oversight activities.
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Government Spending on Health Care Benefits and Programs: A Data Brief

Government Spending on Health Care Benefits and Programs: A Data Brief

Date: June 16, 2008
Creator: Jenson, Jennifer
Description: In a country where health spending accounts for more than 16% of gross domestic product (GDP), health care costs and spending are often described as a problem for consumers and their families; for employers that provide (or seek to provide) health benefits; and for government, which finances a mix of health care services, health research and training, and health safety programs. To describe government spending on health care benefits and programs, this report presents data from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
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The Fair Labor Standards Act: Continuing Issues in the Debate

The Fair Labor Standards Act: Continuing Issues in the Debate

Date: May 28, 2008
Creator: Whittaker, William G.
Description: This reports details the history of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). It focuses on the administration of the act and the interpretation of provisions, which Congress has left to the discretion of the Secretary of Labor. It also considers judicial decisions, which make up a substantial part of wage/hour issues and have an impact upon enforcement of the statute.
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Haiti: Legislative Responses to the Food Crisis and Related Development Challenges

Haiti: Legislative Responses to the Food Crisis and Related Development Challenges

Date: May 22, 2008
Creator: Seelke, Clare Ribando & Hornbeck, J. F.
Description: Haiti faces several interrelated challenges, the most immediate being a deepening food crisis that in April 2008 led to deadly protests and the ouster of Haiti's prime minister. Haiti also suffers from a legacy of poverty, unemployment, and underdevelopment that is compounding security problems for its new and fragile democracy. This report follows the current situation in Haiti and key legislative initiatives designed to help address Haiti's many challenges.
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Coal Excise Tax Refunds: United States v. Clintwood Elkhorn Mining Co.

Coal Excise Tax Refunds: United States v. Clintwood Elkhorn Mining Co.

Date: May 16, 2008
Creator: Lunder, Erika
Description: In 1998, a U.S. district court held that the imposition of the coal excise tax, or black lung excise tax, on coal destined for export was unconstitutional. The process of refunding the tax has been controversial. This is because some coal producers and exporters have attempted to bypass the limitations in the Internal Revenue Code's refund scheme for bringing suit under the Export Clause in the Court of Federal Claims, seeking damages from the United States in the amount of coal excise taxes paid. The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals held the court had jurisdiction under the Tucker Act to hear the suits and allowed them as an alternative to the Code's refund process. However, in a 2008 decision, United States v. Clintwood Elkhorn Mining Co., the Supreme Court unanimously held that taxpayers must comply with the Code's administrative refund process before bringing suit. Meanwhile, H.R. 1762 and S. 373 would provide an alternative method for taxpayers to receive coal excise tax refunds.
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Leave Benefits in the United States

Leave Benefits in the United States

Date: May 7, 2008
Creator: Levine, Linda
Description: This report begins by reviewing federal statutes that pertain directly or indirectly to employer provision of leave benefits for any purpose, including the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act. It then examines the incidence of different types of paid leave that U.S. employers voluntarily provide as part of an employee's total compensation (wages and benefits). The report closes with results from a federal government survey of the average direct cost to businesses of different types of leave.
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The Executive Schedule IV Pay Cap on General Schedule Compensation

The Executive Schedule IV Pay Cap on General Schedule Compensation

Date: February 15, 2008
Creator: Copeland, Curtis W.
Description: This report provides information on the effect of the Executive Schedule (EX-IV) pay cap on pay for General Schedule (GS) employees; and discusses the potential implications of the pay cap on salaries, pensions, and the ability of agencies to recruit and retain staff. The report also provides some background information on the GS and Executive Schedule pay systems and the annual pay adjustment processes in those systems.
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Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation: A Fact Sheet

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation: A Fact Sheet

Date: January 29, 2008
Creator: Topoleski, John J.
Description: The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) is a federal government agency established in 1974 by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) (P.L. 93- 406). It was created to protect the pensions of participants and beneficiaries covered by private sector, defined benefit (DB) plans. These pension plans provide a specified monthly benefit at retirement, usually either a percent of salary or a flat dollar amount multiplied by years of service. Defined contribution plans, such as ยง401(k) plans, are not insured. The PBGC is chaired by the Secretary of Labor, with the Secretaries of Treasury and Commerce serving as board members.
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