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 Decade: 2000-2009
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Regulating Private Pensions: A Brief Summary of ERISA

Regulating Private Pensions: A Brief Summary of ERISA

Date: January 15, 2004
Creator: Purcell, Patrick
Description: This report briefly discusses the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), and how it protects the interests of participants and beneficiaries in private-sector employee benefit plans. ERISA covers a number of fringe benefits provided by employers, but most of its provisions deal with pension plans. Pension plans sponsored by the federal, state, and local governments, or by churches generally are exempt from ERISA.
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The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA): A Summary

The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA): A Summary

Date: March 4, 2009
Creator: Schierow, Linda-Jo
Description: This report summarizes the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) and the major regulatory programs that mandate reporting by industrial facilities of releases of hazardous chemicals to the environment, as well as local planning to respond in the event of significant, accidental releases.
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Minority Contracting and Affirmative Action for Disadvantaged Small Businesses: Legal Issues

Minority Contracting and Affirmative Action for Disadvantaged Small Businesses: Legal Issues

Date: February 24, 2006
Creator: Dale, Charles V
Description: This report discusses the minority participation “goals” that have been an integral part of federal policies to promote racial and gender equality in contracting on federally financed construction projects and in connection with other large federal contracts.
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Military Technicians: The Issue of Mandatory Retirement for Non-Dual-Status Technicians

Military Technicians: The Issue of Mandatory Retirement for Non-Dual-Status Technicians

Date: March 28, 2000
Creator: Kapp, Lawrence
Description: This report describes the mandatory retirement provisions for certain “non-dual-status” military technicians contained in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2000 (P.L. 106-65), discusses the stated rationale behind the policy, and quantifies the impact it will likely have on individual technicians.
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Worker Safety in the Construction Industry: The Crane and Derrick Standard

Worker Safety in the Construction Industry: The Crane and Derrick Standard

Date: November 21, 2008
Creator: Levine, Linda
Description: This report first examines the incidence of fatal and nonfatal on-the-job injuries in the private sector. It next analyzes the causes of fatalities in the construction industry and the involvement of cranes in those deaths. The report then addresses the status of a proposed rule to update the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) crane and derrick standard. It closes with an overview of jurisdictions having safety regulations for cranes more stringent, in whole or part, than the existing federal standard.
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The Family and Medical Leave Act: Recent Legislative and Regulatory Activity

The Family and Medical Leave Act: Recent Legislative and Regulatory Activity

Date: October 2, 2007
Creator: Levine, Linda
Description: This report begins with a brief overview of the major features of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and its regulations The various proposals that have been made to amend the act since its inception more than a decade ago are then categorized and discussed. It closes with a review of legislative and regulatory activity.
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The Family and Medical Leave Act: Recent Legislative and Regulatory Activity

The Family and Medical Leave Act: Recent Legislative and Regulatory Activity

Date: January 3, 2008
Creator: Levine, Linda
Description: This report begins with a brief overview of the major features of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and its regulations The various proposals that have been made to amend the act since its inception more than a decade ago are then categorized and discussed. It closes with a review of legislative and regulatory activity.
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The Americans with Disabilities Act: Toyota Motor Manufacturing v. Williams

The Americans with Disabilities Act: Toyota Motor Manufacturing v. Williams

Date: January 15, 2002
Creator: Jones, Nancy L.
Description: The Supreme Court, in Toyota Motor Manufacturing v. Williams, held that to be an individual with a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) an individual must have substantial limitations on abilities that are central to daily life,rather than only to those abilities used in the workplace. In an unanimous opinion written by Justice O’Connor, the Court interpreted the definition of individual with disability narrowly to exclude individuals who are limited only in the performance of manual tasks associated with their job. This report will briefly discuss Williams and its implications for the ADA.
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Proposed Colombia Free Trade Agreement: Labor Issues

Proposed Colombia Free Trade Agreement: Labor Issues

Date: November 24, 2008
Creator: Bolle, Mary Jane
Description: This report examines three labor issues and arguments related to the pending U.S.-Colombia free trade agreement (CFTA): violence against trade unionists; impunity (accountability for or punishment of the perpetrators); and worker rights protections for Colombians. This report addresses this issue at length, including the arguments for and against the agreement, as well as general U.S.-Colombia economic relations.
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Fruits, Vegetables, and Other Specialty Crops: A Primer on Government Programs

Fruits, Vegetables, and Other Specialty Crops: A Primer on Government Programs

Date: January 26, 2005
Creator: Rawson, Jean M.
Description: U.S. farmers grow more than 250 types of fruit, vegetable, tree nut, flower, ornamental nursery, and turfgrass crops in addition to the major bulk commodity crops. Although specialty crops are ineligible for the federal commodity price and income support programs, they are eligible for other types of U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) support, such as crop insurance, disaster assistance, and, under certain conditions, ad hoc market loss assistance payments. This report describes the federal programs of importance to the specialty crop sector, and provides the most recent funding information available for them.
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DR-CAFTA Labor Rights Issues

DR-CAFTA Labor Rights Issues

Date: June 2, 2005
Creator: Bolle, Mary Jane
Description: The U.S.-Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement (DRCAFTA) is the eighth free trade agreement to include labor protections.1 Labor concerns tend to focus on three main questions: (1) How strong are labor laws in DRCAFTA countries?2 (2) Are those labor laws being adequately enforced? and (3) Does DR- CAFTA comply with the principal negotiating objectives for trade agreements outlined in the Trade Act of 2002?
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Proposed Colombia Free Trade Agreement: Labor Issues

Proposed Colombia Free Trade Agreement: Labor Issues

Date: November 24, 2008
Creator: Bolle, Mary Jane
Description: This report examines three labor issues and arguments related to the pending U.S.-Colombia free trade agreement (CFTA): violence against trade unionists; impunity (accountability for or punishment of the perpetrators); and worker rights protections for Colombians. This report addresses this issue at length, including the arguments for and against the agreement, as well as general U.S.-Colombia economic relations.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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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Trafficking in Persons: U.S. Policy and Issues for Congress

Trafficking in Persons: U.S. Policy and Issues for Congress

Date: July 2, 2009
Creator: Wyler, Liana Sun
Description: Trafficking in persons (TIP) for the purposes of exploitation is both an international and a domestic crime that involves violations of labor, public health, and human rights standards. This report focuses on human trafficking both internationally and within the United States. The report begins with an overview of human trafficking including a discussion of the definition of human trafficking, the scope of the problem globally, and an examination of the victims. It follows with an analysis of global anti-trafficking efforts by the United States and the international community. The report then focuses on trafficking into and within the United States, examining relief for trafficking victims in the United States and discussing U.S. law enforcement efforts to combat domestic trafficking. The report concludes with an overview of anti-trafficking legislation and an analysis of policy issues related to human trafficking.
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Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education: FY2009 Appropriations

Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education: FY2009 Appropriations

Date: January 15, 2009
Creator: Smith, Pamela W.; Skinner, Rebecca R. & Mayer, Gerald
Description: This report discusses budget appropriations that is one part of a complex federal budget process that includes budget resolutions, appropriations (regular, supplemental, consolidated, and continuing) bills, rescissions, and budget reconciliation bills. This report is a guide to one of the 13 regular appropriations bills that Congress considers each year. It is designed to supplement the information provided by the House and Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittees.
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Association Health Plans, Health Marts and the Small Group Market for Health Insurance

Association Health Plans, Health Marts and the Small Group Market for Health Insurance

Date: July 31, 2003
Creator: Hearne, Jean P
Description: An estimated 41.2 million people were without health insurance in 2001. Legislation under consideration by the 108th and earlier Congresses is intended to assist small employers in offering health insurance as a benefit to their workers. A new bill, H.R. 4281, introduced on May 5, 2004, The Small Business Health Fairness Act of 2003 (H.R. 6601s. 545), and a number of bills from the earlier Congresses include provisions creating new groups for small firms to join or encouraging the growth of existing groups so that small employers can band together to offer coverage to their employees.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Association Health Plans, Health Marts and the Small Group Market for Health Insurance

Association Health Plans, Health Marts and the Small Group Market for Health Insurance

Date: July 7, 2003
Creator: Hearne, Jean P
Description: An estimated 41.2 million people were without health insurance in 2001. Legislation under consideration by the 108th and earlier Congresses is intended to assist small employers in offering health insurance as a benefit to their workers. A new bill, H.R. 4281, introduced on May 5, 2004, The Small Business Health Fairness Act of 2003 (H.R. 6601s. 545), and a number of bills from the earlier Congresses include provisions creating new groups for small firms to join or encouraging the growth of existing groups so that small employers can band together to offer coverage to their employees.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Association Health Plans: Legislation in the 109th Congress

Association Health Plans: Legislation in the 109th Congress

Date: May 26, 2005
Creator: Hearne, Jean P
Description: An estimated 41.2 million people were without health insurance in 2001. Legislation under consideration by the 108th and earlier Congresses is intended to assist small employers in offering health insurance as a benefit to their workers. A new bill, H.R. 4281, introduced on May 5, 2004, The Small Business Health Fairness Act of 2003 (H.R. 6601s. 545), and a number of bills from the earlier Congresses include provisions creating new groups for small firms to join or encouraging the growth of existing groups so that small employers can band together to offer coverage to their employees. Opponents of the AHP approach raise concerns that unintended negative consequences would arise, negating the benefits that the new groups would create. While the proposed AHPs are not likely to immediately undermine the small group market, they are likely to require additional features to significantly expand insurance coverage among the uninsured.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Association Health Plans, Health Marts and the Small Group Market for Health Insurance

Association Health Plans, Health Marts and the Small Group Market for Health Insurance

Date: May 10, 2004
Creator: Hearne, Jean P
Description: An estimated 41.2 million people were without health insurance in 2001. Legislation under consideration by the 108th and earlier Congresses is intended to assist small employers in offering health insurance as a benefit to their workers. A new bill, H.R. 4281, introduced on May 5, 2004, The Small Business Health Fairness Act of 2003 (H.R. 6601s. 545), and a number of bills from the earlier Congresses include provisions creating new groups for small firms to join or encouraging the growth of existing groups so that small employers can band together to offer coverage to their employees.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Association Health Plans, Health Marts and the Small Group Market for Health Insurance

Association Health Plans, Health Marts and the Small Group Market for Health Insurance

Date: June 5, 2003
Creator: Hearne, Jean P
Description: An estimated 41.2 million people were without health insurance in 2001. Legislation under consideration by the 108th and earlier Congresses is intended to assist small employers in offering health insurance as a benefit to their workers. A new bill, H.R. 4281, introduced on May 5, 2004, The Small Business Health Fairness Act of 2003 (H.R. 6601s. 545), and a number of bills from the earlier Congresses include provisions creating new groups for small firms to join or encouraging the growth of existing groups so that small employers can band together to offer coverage to their employees.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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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Federal Employees: Pay and Pension Increases Since 1969

Federal Employees: Pay and Pension Increases Since 1969

Date: January 8, 2009
Creator: Purcell, Patrick
Description: Under the terms of the Federal Employees' Pay Comparability Act of 1990 (P.L. 101-509), pay for civilian federal employees is adjusted each year to keep the salaries of federal workers competitive with comparable occupations in the private sector. The annual increases in federal employee pay are based on changes in the cash compensation paid to workers in the private sector, as measured by the ECI. Under certain circumstances, the President may limit the annual increase in federal pay by executive order. Federal law also requires Social Security benefits and the pensions paid to retired federal employees to be adjusted each year. The COLAs for both Social Security and civil service pensions are based on the rate of inflation as measured by the CPI.
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Employment-Related Issues in Bankruptcy

Employment-Related Issues in Bankruptcy

Date: November 1, 2005
Creator: Jeweler, Robin
Description: This report provides an overview of the status of employee wages and benefits, including retiree benefits, when an employer files in bankruptcy, and the amendments made to the U.S. Bankruptcy Code by the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act. This report examines those provisions in the U.S. Bankruptcy Code which govern the priority of employee wage and benefit claims, including severance payments; procedures for a chapter 1 1 debtor to modify benefits under a collective bargaining agreement; and procedures for a chapter 11 debtor to modify retiree life and health insurance benefits. It examines the role of employees on creditor committees and procedures in bankruptcy that facilitate lawsuits that may be directed at an employer/debtor. Finally, it considers the treatment accorded some aspects of managerial compensation, such as retention bonuses.
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Foreign Science and Engineering Presence in U.S. Institutions and the Labor Force

Foreign Science and Engineering Presence in U.S. Institutions and the Labor Force

Date: September 14, 2006
Creator: Matthews, Christine M.
Description: The increased presence of foreign students in graduate science and engineering programs and in the scientific workforce has been and continues to be of concern to some in the scientific community. Enrollment of U.S. citizens in graduate science and engineering programs has not kept pace with that of foreign students in those programs. In addition to the number of foreign students in graduate science and engineering programs, a significant number of university faculty in the scientific disciplines are foreign, and foreign doctorates are employed in large numbers by industry. This report explains this issue in detail, as well as probable causes of said incongruity.
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