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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

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 Legislation was introduced in the 108th Congress that would have repealed the taxation of UC benefits, provided a two-year suspension of the taxation of UC benefits, or transferred the proceeds from taxing UC benefits to the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

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

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

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

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

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

Association Health Plans: Legislation in the 109th Congress

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.
Date: May 26, 2005
Creator: Hearne, Jean P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

DR-CAFTA Labor Rights Issues

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?
Date: June 2, 2005
Creator: Bolle, Mary Jane
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

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.
Date: July 13, 2005
Creator: Salaam-Blyther, Tiaji; Hanrahan, Charles E. & Cook, Nicolas
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Affirmative Action: Justice O'Connor's Opinions

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.
Date: July 19, 2005
Creator: Dale, Charles V.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department