Congressional Research Service Reports - Browse

ABOUT BROWSE FEED

Farm Labor: The Adverse Effect Wage Rate (AEWR)

Description: American agricultural employers have long utilized foreign workers on a temporary basis, regarding them as an important labor resource. At the same time, the relatively low wages and adverse working conditions of such workers have caused them to be viewed as a threat to domestic American workers. Some have argued that foreign guest workers compete unfairly with U.S. workers — both in terms of compensation that they are willing to accept and by making it somewhat more difficult for domestic workers to organize and to bargain with management. To mitigate any “adverse effect”for the domestic workforce, a system of wage floors was developed that applies, variously, both to alien and citizen workers: i.e., the adverse effect wage rate (AEWR). This report deals with one element of immigration (i.e., namely the H-2A workers). It introduces the adverse effect wage rate, it examines the concerns out of which it grew, and it explains at least some of the problems that have been encountered in giving it effect.
Date: April 14, 2005
Creator: Whittaker, William G.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

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.
Date: March 11, 2005
Creator: Schwemle, Barbara L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

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).
Date: February 7, 2005
Creator: Whittaker, William G.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA): Services in Private Schools under P.L. 108-446

Description: This report examines the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004, P.L. 108-446, which makes several changes to the previous law regarding children with disabilities in private schools. Generally, children with disabilities enrolled by their parents in private schools are to be provided special education and related services to the extent consistent with the number and location of such children in the school district served by a LEA pursuant to several requirements. These requirements include new provisions relating to direct services to parentally placed private school children with disabilities, the calculation of the proportionate amount of funds, and a requirement for record keeping.
Date: February 7, 2005
Creator: Jones, Nancy Lee
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

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.
Date: January 26, 2005
Creator: Rawson, Jean M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Employees: Pay and Pension Increases Since 1969

Description: Pay increases for current federal employees and cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for retired federal employees often differ because they are based on changes in different economic variables. Increases in pay for civilian federal workers are indexed to wage and salary increases in the private-sector, as measured by the Employment Cost Index (ECI), while federal retirement and disability benefits are indexed to price increases as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI). This report discusses the procedures for determining such increases.
Date: January 21, 2005
Creator: Purcell, Patrick J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Taxation of Unemployment Benefits

Description: Unemployment compensation (UC) benefits have been fully subject to the federal income tax since the passage of the Tax Reform Act of 1986 (P.L. 99-514). Individuals who receive UC benefits during a year may elect to have the federal (and in some cases state) income tax withheld from their benefits. Legislation was introduced in the 108th Congress that would have repealed the taxation of UC benefits, provided a two-year suspension of the taxation of UC benefits, or transferred the proceeds from taxing UC benefits to the Unemployment Trust Fund. This report provides an overview of the taxation of UC benefits and legislation related to taxing UC benefits.
Date: January 14, 2005
Creator: Scott, Christine
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA)

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.
Date: January 10, 2005
Creator: Whittaker, Julie M
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Gender Wage Gap and Pay Equity: Is Comparable Worth the Next Step?

Description: This report examines the trend in the male-female wage gap and the explanations offered for its existence. Remedies proposed for the gender wage gap's amelioration are addressed, with an in-depth focus on the comparable worth approach to achieving "pay equity" or "fair pay" between women and men.
Date: December 20, 2004
Creator: Levine, Linda
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Affirmative Action Revisited: A Legal History and Prospectus

Description: 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.
Date: December 15, 2004
Creator: Dale, Charles V.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Social Security Reform: Economic Issues

Description: This report tackles the issue of Social Security reform from an economic perspective that focuses not merely on reform that achieves programmatic sustainability (sustainability within the trust fund), but reform that achieves sustainability for the government and economy as a whole. The President has indicated that Social Security reform will be a major issue in the 109th Congress. For some time comprehensive reform has been an issue of debate in Congress, but no major action has occurred.
Date: December 3, 2004
Creator: Gravelle, Jane & Labonte, Marc
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Cost-of-Living Adjustments for Federal Civil Service Annuities

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.
Date: October 19, 2004
Creator: Purcell, Patrick J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Social Security: The Cost-of-Living Adjustment in January 2005

Description: This report discusses how the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for Social Security benefits are determined. The 2.7% COLA payable in January 2005 was triggered by the rise in the CPI-W (Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers) from the third quarter of 2003 to the third quarter of 2004. 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.
Date: October 19, 2004
Creator: Sidor, Gary
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department