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 Decade: 2000-2009
 Year: 2005
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Affirmative Action: Justice O'Connor's Opinions

Affirmative Action: Justice O'Connor's Opinions

Date: July 19, 2005
Creator: Dale, Charles V.
Description: An examination of Justice O’Connor’s opinions reveals a gradual shift in perspective regarding the legal and constitutional standards to be applied in evaluating governmental affirmative action efforts, and the manner of their application in various legal and factual settings. This report briefly surveys decisions of retiring Justice Sandra Day O’Connor in affirmative action cases, an area where her opinions have frequently determined the outcome.
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
Child Labor in West African Cocoa Production: Issues and U.S. Policy

Child Labor in West African Cocoa Production: Issues and U.S. Policy

Date: July 13, 2005
Creator: Salaam-Blyther, Tiaji; Hanrahan, Charles E & Cook, Nicolas
Description: This report outlines how and where cocoa is produced, discusses the use of abusive child labor in the industry, efforts by Congress to counter abusive child labor — including the Harkin-Engel Protocol, and initiatives by affected governments and international organizations to address the problem. This report also provides possible policy options that might undertaken to stop the use of child labor in cocoa production.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Computer Services Personnel: Overtime Pay Under the Fair Labor Standards Act

Computer Services Personnel: Overtime Pay Under the Fair Labor Standards Act

Date: February 7, 2005
Creator: Whittaker, William G
Description: The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA), as amended, is the primary federal statute in the area of minimum wages and overtime pay. Through administrative rulemaking, the Secretary of Labor has established two tests through which to define eligibility under the Section 13(a)(1) exemption: a duties test and an earnings test. In the 106th Congress, legislation was introduced by Representatives Andrews and Lazio that would have increased the scope of the exemption: first, by expanding the range of exempt job titles, and then, through a relative reduction in the value of the earnings threshold or test. For example, were the minimum wage increased to $6.15 per hour, as pending proposals would do, the value of the computer services exemption threshold would be 4.5 times the federal minimum wage. Ultimately, neither bill was enacted, but the issue has re-emerged as H.R. 1545 (Andrews) and H.R. 546 (Quinn).
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Cost-of-Living Adjustments for Federal Civil Service Annuities

Cost-of-Living Adjustments for Federal Civil Service Annuities

Date: October 18, 2005
Creator: Purcell, Patrick J
Description: 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). COLAs for both CSRS and FERS are determined by the average monthly CPI-W during the third quarter (July to September) of the current calendar year and the third quarter of the previous year.
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The Davis-Bacon Act: Suspension

The Davis-Bacon Act: Suspension

Date: September 26, 2005
Creator: Whittaker, William G
Description: The Davis-Bacon Act is one of several statutes that deals with federal government procurement. Enacted in 1931, Davis-Bacon requires, inter alia, that not less than the locally prevailing wage be paid to workers engaged in federal contract construction. This report reviews the several cases during which the Davis-Bacon Act was suspended and will likely be updated as developments make necessary.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Davis-Bacon Suspension and Its Legislative Aftermath

Davis-Bacon Suspension and Its Legislative Aftermath

Date: October 3, 2005
Creator: Whittaker, William G
Description: During the last week of August 2005, Hurricane Katrina gathered strength in the Atlantic and moved against the gulf states. On September 8, 2005, amid the devastation left in Katrina’s wake, President George W. Bush suspended the Davis-Bacon Act as it applies to certain jurisdictions in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. Although the President has the authority, under Section 6 of the Act, to render such suspensions during a national emergency, that authority has rarely been utilized.1 This report analyzes the legislative aftermath of the suspension.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA)

Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA)

Date: January 10, 2005
Creator: Whittaker, Julie M
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA)

Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA)

Date: September 14, 2005
Creator: Whittaker, Julie M
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
DOD's National Security Personnel System: Provisions of Law and Implementation Plans

DOD's National Security Personnel System: Provisions of Law and Implementation Plans

Date: March 11, 2005
Creator: Schwemle, Barbara L
Description: This report discusses each of the provisions in Title XI of P.L. 108-136 and plans to implement the law. Title XI of the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2004, P.L. 108-136, includes provisions on a National Security Personnel System (NSPS) for the Department of Defense (DOD) and provisions on personnel management that are applicable government-wide. The law was enacted on November 24, 2003.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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