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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Employer Stock in Retirement Plans: Investment Risk and Retirement Security
This CRS Report begins by describing the shift from traditional defined benefit pensions to defined contribution plans – like the 401(k) – that has occurred over the last 20 to 25 years. It then summarizes recent research findings on the extent to which employees’ retirement savings are invested in employer stock. The third section of the report outlines the provisions of federal law that define an employer’s duty to manage its retirement plan in the best interest of the plan’s participants. The report concludes with a summary of pension reform legislation passed by the House of Representatives in April 2002 and a description of several pension reform bills that have been introduced in the Senate in 2002. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs2821/
Employer Stock in Retirement Plans: Investment Risk and Retirement Security
This CRS Report begins by describing the shift from traditional defined benefit pensions to defined contribution plans – like the 401(k) – that has occurred over the last 20 to 25 years. It then summarizes recent research findings on the extent to which employees’ retirement savings are invested in employer stock. The third section of the report outlines the provisions of federal law that define an employer’s duty to manage its retirement plan in the best interest of the plan’s participants. The report concludes with a summary of pension reform legislation passed by the House of Representatives in April 2002 and a description of several pension reform bills that have been introduced in the Senate in 2002. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs4654/
Jordan-U.S. Free Trade Agreement: Labor Issues
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Jordan-U.S. Free Trade Agreement: Labor Issues
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Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA)
Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) provides assistance to previously employed or self- employed individuals rendered unemployed as a direct result of a major disaster and who are not eligible for regular federal/state unemployment insurance (UI). DUA is federally funded through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), but is administered by the state UI agencies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs3234/
Navy Ship Deployments: New Approaches - Background and Issues for Congress
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NAFTA Labor Side Agreement: Lessons for the Workers Rights and Fast-Track Debate
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NAFTA Labor Side Agreement: Lessons for the Workers Rights and Fast-Track Debate
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Enforceability of Mandatory Arbitration Agreements:
In Wright v. Universal Maritime Service Corp., the U.S. Supreme Court found that a mandatory arbitration clause in a collective bargaining agreement was not enforceable because it failed to specify arbitration as the covered employees' sole method of obtaining relief for their statutory claims. Without such explicit language in the agreement, the union could not have made a "clear and unmistakable waiver" of the employees' rights to a judicial forum. Although the Court identified a "clear and unmistakable waiver" standard for determining whether a mandatory arbitration agreement could be enforced, it refrained from deciding whether a union could actually bargain for such a waiver digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1850/
Offshoring (a.k.a. Offshore Outsourcing) and Job Insecurity Among U.S. Workers
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Jordan-U.S. Free Trade Agreement: Labor Issues
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Jordan-U.S. Free Trade Agreement: Labor Issues
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The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): The Definition of Disability
The threshold issue in any Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) case is whether the individual alleging discrimination is an individual with a disability. The ADA definition is a functional one and does not list specific disabilities. This report discusses the definition of "disability." It also briefly discusses the Supreme Court's opinions and analyze how the lower courts are interpreting the Supreme Court's holdings. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9274/
Affirmative Action Revisited: A Legal History and Prospectus
Affirmative action remains a focal point of public debate as the result of legal and political developments at the federal, state, and local levels. This report discusses legislation related to affirmative action, as well as legal rulings on the topic and the federal government's role in first establishing and, later, attempting to curb affirmative action policies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs6845/
Affirmative Action Revisited: A Legal History and Prospectus
Affirmative action remains a focal point of public debate as the result of legal and political developments at the federal, state, and local levels. This report discusses legislation related to affirmative action, as well as legal rulings on the topic and the federal government's role in first establishing and, later, attempting to curb affirmative action policies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs6844/
Collective Bargaining and Homeland Security
This report discusses the personnel provisions of H.R. 5710, the Homeland Security Act of 2002, and the President’s existing authority under 5 U.S.C. § 7103(b)(1) to exclude the employees of certain agencies from the ability to bargain collectively. H.R. 5710, described as a revised version of the original White House proposal to create a new Department of Homeland Security, was passed by the House on November 13, 2002. H.R. 5710 includes language related to the President’s authority under 5 U.S.C. § 7103(b)(1). In addition, the report reviews the concept of successorship, whereby a union may retain its status as the exclusive representative of employees acquired by a new employer. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs3230/
Terrorism: The New Occupational Hazard
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Civil Service Retirement Bills in the 106th Congress
Among the civil service retirement issues addressed in bills introduced thus far in the 106th Congress are the correction of retirement coverage errors for federal employees assigned to the wrong retirement system; immediate eligibility for federal employees to participate in the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP); improved portability of pension benefits; and repeal of the temporary increase in employee retirement contributions that was mandated by the Balanced Budget Act of 1997. Other bills would expand TSP eligibility to include members of the armed services; improve pension coverage for temporary and part-time federal employees; and designate several categories of federal employees as law enforcement officers for purposes of determining their retirement benefits. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1241/
Collective Bargaining and Homeland Security
This report discusses the personnel provisions of H.R. 5710, the Homeland Security Act of 2002, and the President’s existing authority under 5 U.S.C. § 7103(b)(1) to exclude the employees of certain agencies from the ability to bargain collectively. H.R. 5710, described as a revised version of the original White House proposal to create a new Department of Homeland Security, was passed by the House on November 13, 2002. H.R. 5710 includes language related to the President’s authority under 5 U.S.C. § 7103(b)(1). In addition, the report reviews the concept of successorship, whereby a union may retain its status as the exclusive representative of employees acquired by a new employer. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs3231/
Flexible Spending Accounts and Medical Savings Accounts: A Comparison
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Flexible Spending Accounts and Medical Savings Accounts: A Comparison
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Flexible Spending Accounts and Medical Savings Accounts: A Comparison
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Flexible Spending Accounts and Medical Savings Accounts: A Comparison
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Flexible Spending Accounts and Medical Savings Accounts: A Comparison
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Older Workers: Employment and Retirement Trends
This report begins by describing the change in the age distribution of the U.S. population that will occur between 2010 and 2030 and by summarizing the historical data on the labor force participation of older workers. This discussion is followed by an analysis of data from the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey (CPS) on employment and receipt of pension income among persons aged 55 and older. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc689486/
Social Security: Coverage of Household Workers - A Fact Sheet
On October 22, 1994, President Clinton signed legislation (P.L. 103-387) that changes social security coverage of household workers. The new law changed the threshold to a yearly amount and raised it (to $1,000 in 1994, indexed thereafter to average wage growth-it became $1,100 in 1998, 1,200 in 2000, and 1,300 in 2001). It remains at $1,300 in 2002. In addition, the new law exempted most domestic workers under age 18, and provided that Social Security and unemployment taxes will be reported on the employer's annual federal tax return. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26035/
Social Security: Raising the Retirement Age Background and Issues
The Social Security "full retirement age" will gradually rise from 65 to 67 beginning with people who attain age 62 in 2000 (i.e., those born in 1938). Early retirement benefits will still be available beginning at age 62, but at lower levels. To help solve Social Security's long-range financing problems, it has been proposed that these ages be raised further. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26050/
Steel: Legacy Cost Issue
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Steel: Legacy Cost Issue
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Salaries and Allowances: The Executive Branch
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National Security Whistleblowers
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Navy Ship Deployments: New Approaches -- Background and Issues for Congress
The Navy is implementing or experimenting with new kinds of naval formations, more flexible forward-development schedules, forward-homeporting additional Navy ships, and long-duration deployments with crew rotation (which the Navy calls Sea Swap). These changes, which form a key part of Navy transformation, raise several potential issues for Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10254/
State and Local Restrictions on Employing, Renting Property to, or Providing Services for Unauthorized Aliens: Legal Issues and Recent Judicial Developments
This report discusses the constitutional issues raised in relation to state and local laws intended to deter the presence of unauthorized aliens, along with the implications that federal civil rights statutes might have on the implementation and enforcement of measures restricting such persons' ability to obtain employment, housing, or other state and local benefits or services. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700536/
Federal Hiring Flexibilities for Emergency Situations: Fact Sheet
n the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), in a September 13, 2001 memorandum to executive branch agencies, identified various hiring flexibilities that can be used to meet staffing needs in emergency situations. This report provides information on each of the flexibilities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8179/
Securities Arbitration: Background and Question of Fairness
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Tax Treatment of the Use of Employer-Provided Aircraft for Entertainment: Current Law and Issues for Congress
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Whistleblower Protections Under Federal Law: An Overview
This report provides an overview of key aspects of the 18 selected federal statutes applicable to individuals in certain private-sector industries. It focuses on the protections provided to employees who believe they have been subject to retaliation, rather than on how or where alleged misconduct should be disclosed. In addition, the report also includes an overview of the Whistleblower Protection Act. While state law may also provide whistleblower protections for employees, this report focuses only on the aforementioned federal statutory provisions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc122254/
Unauthorized Aliens Residing in the United States: Estimates Since 1986
This report discusses a rise in the unauthorized resident ("illegal") alien population from 1986 to 2010. It looks at reasons that illegal aliens stay resort to breaking the law and how illegal aliens affect the workforce in certain industries. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94099/
Vietnam's Labor Rights Regime: An Assessment
Report regarding Vietnam that gives context to a bilateral trade agreement under consideration by the U.S. Congress. From the summary: "This report details Vietnam's law and policy in six areas of labor rights: the right of association/collective bargaining; forced labor; child labor; health and safety; wages, hours and welfare benefits; and discrimination. This report also provides international context by contrasting the Vietnamese and Chinese labor rights regimes." Includes an appendix of Vietnamese labor laws (p. 37) digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs3540/
Numerical Limits on Employment-Based Immigration: Analysis of the Per-Country Ceilings
The report opens with brief explanations of the employment-based preference categories and the per-country ceilings governing annual admissions of LPRs. The focus is on the major employment-based preference categories. The report continues with a statistical analysis of the pending caseload of approved employment-based LPR petitions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83988/
Regulating Private Pensions: A Brief Summary of ERISA
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29496/
Plant Closings, Mass Layoffs, and Worker Dislocations: Data Issues
For at least 15 years Members of Congress have continued to ask: How many U.S. manufacturing plants have closed? For at least 15 years they have continued to ask: How many U.S. manufacturing plants have relocated abroad, and where have they gone? For at least 15 years the answer has been: For the most part, those questions can't be answered, based on Government data. How many plants are moving to Mexico? What industries and what States are the plants from? How many U.S. workers are losing their jobs as a result? It appears that still, after two legislative attempts to mandate collection of these data, the Government publishes no counts of U.S. plant closings, and almost no information on plant relocations. Options for strengthening the data systems include addressing three main weaknesses: inadequate data program design, a plant closing definition that misses its mark, and publication of partial instead of complete survey results. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26029/
The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA): A Summary
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700693/
Minority Contracting and Affirmative Action for Disadvantaged Small Businesses: Legal Issues
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10846/
Military Technicians: The Issue of Mandatory Retirement for Non-Dual-Status Technicians
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1049/
Overview of Labor Enforcement Issues in Free Trade Agreements
This report discusses free trade agreements (FTAs) that have enforceable labor provisions, grouped into four model types. It outlines the provisions for each and identifies two types of labor enforcement issues: (1) those that relate to the FTA provisions themselves, including their definitions and their enforceability, and (2) those that relate to executive branch responsibilities, such as resource availability and determining dispute settlement case priorities. This report does not address other labor issues in the various free trade agreements, including cooperative consultation and capacity-building provisions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824681/
Proposed Colombia Free Trade Agreement: Labor Issues
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463414/
Fruits, Vegetables, and Other Specialty Crops: A Primer on Government Programs
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9119/
DR-CAFTA Labor Rights Issues
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? digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7663/
The Proposed U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement
This report examines three labor issues and arguments related to the pending U.S.-Colombia free trade agreement (CFTA; H.R. 5724 and S. 2830): violence against trade unionists; impunity (accountability for or punishment of the perpetrators); and worker rights protections for Colombians. The congressional debate surrounding the agreement has mostly centered on the violence issues in Colombia. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31485/