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 Decade: 2000-2009
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Globalization, Worker Insecurity, and Policy Approaches
This report discusses the global economy, or what many call globalization, which has a growing impact on the economic futures of American companies, workers, and families. Increasing integration with the world economy makes the U.S. and other economies more productive. For most Americans, this has translated into absolute increases in living standards and real disposable incomes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94109/
Converting Retirement Savings into Income: Annuities and Periodic Withdrawals
To a worker contemplating retirement, there is perhaps no more important question than "How long will my money last?" Congress has a strong interest in the income security of older Americans because much of their income is either provided directly from public programs like Social Security, or in the case of pensions and retirement accounts, is subsidized through tax deductions and deferrals. This report discusses risks involved with retirement fund disbursement and strategies for dealing with such risks. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83870/
Converting Retirement Savings into Income: Annuities and Periodic Withdrawals
To a worker contemplating retirement, there is perhaps no more important question than "How long will my money last?" Congress has a strong interest in the income security of older Americans because much of their income is either provided directly from public programs like Social Security, or in the case of pensions and retirement accounts, is subsidized through tax deductions and deferrals. This report looks at strategies to help deal with the following risks: longevity, investment, inflation, and unexpected events. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83896/
Immigration-Related Worksite Enforcement: Performance Measures
Over the past few years, the media have been filled with reports about worksite enforcement operations, commonly referred to as immigration raids. These operations represent the public face of efforts by the Department of Homeland Security to curtail the employment of unauthorized immigrants. According to 2006 estimates, there are some 7.8 million unauthorized workers in the U.S. civilian workforce. Enforcement activity by the Department of Labor (DOL) is also relevant to a discussion of federal efforts to curtail unauthorized employment. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83889/
Immigration: The Effects on Low-Skilled and High-Skilled Native-Born Workers
The report opens with a discussion of how to analyze the impact of immigrants on the pay and job opportunities of native-born workers. It then uses this framework to examine and interpret the empirical literature on the subject. The report concludes with a discussion of policy implications. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29491/
Immigration: The Effects on Low-Skilled and High-Skilled Native-Born Workers
The report opens with a discussion of how to analyze the impact of immigrants on the pay and job opportunities of native-born workers. It then uses this framework to examine and interpret the empirical literature on the subject. The report concludes with a discussion of policy implications. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29490/
Federal Tort Claims Act
The Federal Tort Claims Act is the statute by which the United States authorizes tort suits to be brought against itself. With exceptions, it makes the United States liable for injuries caused by the negligent or wrongful act or omission of any federal employee acting within the scope of his employment, in accordance with the law of the state where the act or omission occurred. This report discusses, among other things, the application of the Feres doctrine to suits for injuries caused by medical malpractice in the military, the prohibition of suits by victims of atomic testing, Supreme Court cases interpreting the discretionary function exception, the extent to which federal employees may be held liable for torts they commit in the scope of their employment, and the government contractor defense to products liability design defect suits. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29494/
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/
401(k) Plans and Retirement Savings: Issues for Congress
Over the past 25 years, defined contribution (DC) plans - including 401(k) plans - have become the most prevalent form of employer-sponsored retirement plan in the United States. This report describes seven major policy issues with respect to defined contribution plans: 1) access to employer-sponsored retirement plans; 2) participation in employer-sponsored plans; 3) contribution rates; 4) investment choices; 5) fee disclosure; 6) leakage from retirement savings; and 7) converting retirement savings into income. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26189/
Immigration: The Effects on Low-Skilled and High-Skilled Native-Born Workers
The report opens with a discussion of how to analyze the impact of immigrants on the pay and job opportunities of native-born workers. It then uses this framework to examine and interpret the empirical literature on the subject. The report concludes with a discussion of policy implications. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26088/
The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN)
Congress has passed legislation to facilitate the reemployment of workers who through no fault of their own are let go by their employers. Among these laws is the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act, P.L. 100-379, enacted in 1988. This report discusses the WARN Act in brief, especially as related to Congress's renewed interest in the Act due to the current financial crises and recession. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26202/
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/metadc26296/
Trafficking in Persons: U.S. Policy and Issues for Congress
Trafficking in persons (TIP) for the purposes of exploitation is believed to be one of the most prolific areas of international criminal activity and is of significant concern to the United States and the international community. This report discusses the global and ongoing problem of TIP in detail, as well as anti-TIP programs and U.S. and international efforts to combat TIP. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26268/
Leave Benefits in the United States
This report begins by reviewing the federal statutes that pertain directly or indirectly to employer provision of leave benefits for any purpose, including a discussion of the California and New Jersey family leave insurance programs. The report than 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 business of different types of leave. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26263/
The Davis-Bacon Act: Institutional Evolution and Public Policy
This report examines policy issues the Davis-Bacon Act has sparked through the years and which remain a part of the Davis-Bacon debate of the 1990s. These include such questions as: wage rate determination procedures, reporting requirements under the Copeland Act, an appropriate threshold for activation of the statute, interagency relationships with respect to Davis-Bacon enforcement and compliance activity, administrative or judicial appeals procedures, the use of "helpers" and other low-skilled workers on covered projects, and the right of a President to suspend the statute as well as the conditions under which such a suspension may occur. That the fundamental premise of the Act remains in contention after 60 years may be, itself, part of the public policy debate. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26044/
Foreign Science and Engineering Presence in U.S. Institutions and the Labor Force
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. Many in the scientific community maintain that in order to compete with countries that are rapidly expanding their scientific and technological capabilities, the country needs to bring to the United States those whose skills will benefit society and will enable us to compete in the new-technology based global economy. This report analyzes this issue in detail and includes discussion of related legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26122/
The Labor Market during the Great Depression and the Current Recession
This report analyzes the labor market experiences of workers during the 1930s, which encompassed the almost five years of the Great Depression. Because it was a period very distant and different from today, considerable time is devoted to examining the employment and unemployment measures available at that time. The report ends by comparing the labor market conditions of the 1930s with those encountered by workers thus far during the recession that began in December 2007. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26169/
Davis-Bacon: The Act and the Literature
The Davis-Bacon Act of 1931, as amended, requires that contractors, engaging in certain federal contract construction, pay workers on such projects not less than the locally prevailing wage for comparable work. In addition, such contractors are required to file payroll reports and to meet other administrative and labor standards requirements. Included in this report is a bibliography of published materials dealing with the Davis-Bacon Act and related issues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26061/
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation: A Fact Sheet
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 §401(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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26069/
Social Security and Medicare Taxes and Premiums: Fact Sheet
Financing for social security -- Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance -- and the Hospital Insurance part of Medicare is provided primarily by taxes levied on wages and net self-employment income. Financing for the Supplementary Medical Insurance portion of Medicare is provided by premiums from enrollees and payments from the government. This report describes these taxes and premiums. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26042/
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/
Federal Employees: Pay and Pension Increases Since 1969
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26065/
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/
Cost-of-Living Adjustments for Federal Civil Service Annuities
Cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) are based on the rate of inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). All CSRS retirees and survivors receive COLAs. Under FERS, however, non-disabled retirees under age 62 do not receive COLAs. This report discusses cost-of-living adjustments for government retirees, as well as related legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26058/
Social Security: The Cost-of-Living Adjustment in January 2009
The 5.8% COLA payable in January 2009 was triggered by the rise in the CPI-W from the third quarter of 2007 to the third quarter of 2008. This COLA triggers identical percentage increases in Supplemental Security Income (SSI), veterans' pensions, and railroad retirement benefits, and causes other changes in the Social Security program. Although COLAs under the federal Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and the federal military retirement program are not triggered by the Social Security COLA, these programs use the same measuring period and formula for computing their COLAs. Their recipients will also receive a 5.8% COLA in January 2009. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26056/
H.R. 6500, The Thrift Savings Plan Enhancement Act of 2008
This report describes the various aspects of the Thrift Savings Plan Enhancement Act of 2008. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10781/
Emergency Unemployment Compensation
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10770/
Tax Treatment of Employer Educational Assistance for the Benefit of Employees
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10765/
Government Spending on Health Care Benefits and Programs: A Data Brief
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). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10758/
Coal Excise Tax Refunds: United States v. Clintwood Elkhorn Mining Co.
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10743/
Haiti: Legislative Responses to the Food Crisis and Related Development Challenges
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10741/
Labor-Management Relations and the Federal Aviation Administration: Background and Current Legislative Issues
This report discusses labor-management relations at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the 2006 implementation of a new labor contract on air traffic controllers. The FAA's ability to implement the new contract with its controllers was arguably supported by a mediation procedure prescribed by federal law. This report provides background information on the mediation procedure, discusses litigation involving the FAA and two labor organizations, and examines legislative attempts to amend the existing system. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10723/
Unemployment Compensation (Insurance) and Military Service
The Unemployment Compensation (UC) program contains several provisions relevant to current and former military service personnel and their families. The UC program does not provide benefits for military servicemembers on active duty. However, former active duty military personnel (and certain reservists) separated from active duty may be eligible for Unemployment Compensation for Ex-Servicemembers (UCX). Spouses of military service personnel who voluntarily quit a job to accompany their spouses on account of a military transfer may be eligible for UC benefits, based on the laws of the state where the civilian spouse was employed. States may choose to create provisions that remove or limit these tax increases in certain situations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10668/
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Coverage of Contagious Diseases
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), provides broad nondiscrimination protection for individuals with disabilities in employment public services, public accommodations and services operated by private entities, transportation, and telecommunication. This report briefly discusses the Americans with Disabilities Act's statutory provisions relating to contagious diseases and relevant judicial interpretations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10648/
Military Base Closures: Socioeconomic Impacts
The most recent Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission submitted its final report to the Administration on September 8, 2005. In the report, the commission rejected 13 of the initial Department of Defense recommendations, significantly modified the recommendations for 13 other installations, and approved 22 major closures. The loss of related jobs, and efforts to replace them and to implement a viable base reuse plan, can pose significant challenges for affected communities. This report explores the potential economic impact of military closures on communities, especially rural communities, which are more heavily affected by such closures and suffer from slower economic recovery times in such instances. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10639/
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/
Trafficking in Persons: The U.S. and International Response
Trafficking in people for prostitution and forced labor is one of the most prolific areas of international criminal activity and is of significant concern to the United States and the international community. The overwhelming majority of those trafficked are women and children. In December 2005, Congress adopted the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2005. The State Department, on June 5, 2006, issued a mandate that categorized countries into four groups according to the efforts they were making to combat trafficking. Those countries (Tier Three) that do not cooperate in the fight against trafficking have been made subject to U.S. sanctions since 2003. In the second session of the 109th Congress, both chambers are expected to continue to address the human trafficking issue as part of their authorization, appropriations, and oversight activities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10488/
Foreign Science and Engineering Presence in U.S. Institutions and the Labor Force
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10524/
Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA)
The Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) program provides monetary assistance to individuals unemployed as a direct result of a major disaster and who are not eligible for regular Unemployment Compensation (UC) benefits. DUA is funded through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). DUA is administered by the Department of Labor (DOL) through each state’s UC agency. In the 109th Congress, P.L. 109-176 was signed into law on March 6, 2006, extending the duration of DUA benefits from 26 to 39 weeks for victims of the Hurricane Katrina and Rita disasters. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10158/
Foreign Science and Engineering Presence in U.S. Institutions and the Labor Force
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10169/
Toward More Effective Immigration Policies: Selected Organizational Issues
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9993/
Topics in Aging: Income of Americans Age 65 and Older, 1969 to 2004
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9995/
The Workforce Investment Act (WIA): Program-by-Program Overview and FY2007 Funding of Title I Training Programs
Title I of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA) (P.L. 105-220) authorizes several job training programs, including Youth, Adult, and Dislocated Worker Activities, Job Corps, the Native American Program, the Migrant and Seasonal Farmworker Program, and the Veterans’ Workforce Investment Program. This report briefly summarizes each WIA program, the FY2007 budget request, and for comparison, the FY2006 appropriation (P.L. 109-149). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9992/
Toward More Effective Immigration Policies: Selected Organizational Issues
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9969/
Topics in Aging: Income of Americans Age 65 and Older, 1969 to 2004
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9971/
The Workforce Investment Act (WIA): Program-by-Program Overview and FY2007 Funding of Title I Training Programs
Title I of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA) (P.L. 105-220) authorizes several job training programs, including Youth, Adult, and Dislocated Worker Activities, Job Corps, the Native American Program, the Migrant and Seasonal Farmworker Program, and the Veterans’ Workforce Investment Program. This report briefly summarizes each WIA program, the FY2007 budget request, and for comparison, the FY2006 appropriation (P.L. 109-149). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9968/
Navy Ship Deployments: New Approaches - Background and Issues for Congress
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9889/
Foreign Science and Engineering Presence in U.S. Institutions and the Labor Force
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9878/
Trafficking in Persons: The U.S. and International Response
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9751/
Foreign Science and Engineering Presence in U.S. Institutions and the Labor Force
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9545/
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