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<DOC> DEPARTMENT OF LABOR (DOL) 1994 Regulatory Plan Executive Summary In the preamble of Executive Order 12866, President Clinton states that the American people deserve a system of government regulations that works for them; one that protects and improves their health, safety, environment, and well-being and improves the performance of the economy without imposing undue burden on society. The Department of Labor plays a major role in achieving this very important goal of the President. The Department of Labor is one of the largest enforcement agencies within the U.S. Government, administering and enforcing over 180 Federal statutes and their implementing regulations. These regulations cover an estimated 7 million establishments and over 100 million current and former employees, as well as job applicants and retirees. DOL's 1994 Regulatory Plan includes 21 of the Department's most important significant regulations from five of our major regulatory agencies: Employment Standards Administration (ESA), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration (PWBA), Employment and Training Administration (ETA), and Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). These regulations were selected because of their significant impact on the economy or other government agencies and because they comprise the essential elements of each agency's regulatory efforts. While these regulations represent those that are likely to have the greatest impact, it is important to note that the Department views every regulatory effort it undertakes as important and necessary. Equally important to our regulatory responsibilities is the way that we regulate. As a Department, we are committed to regulatory policies that acknowledge the importance of the private sector and private markets. Our goal is to develop regulations that are effective, consistent, sensible and understandable. To this end, we are committed to coordinating with other government agencies and working closely with target populations and the regulated community whenever appropriate. The DOL Regulatory Role The Department of Labor's rulemaking work represents one of the most important and necessary functions of the U.S. Government. These rulemakings directly impact the lives of millions of workers in a wide variety of areas as evidenced by the diverse statutes the Department administers. The Department is charged with the responsibility for protecting America's work force under the Occupational Safety and Health Act and the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act. The Department is also charged with enforcing a number of statutes pertaining to labor standards for workers, such as the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act, the Employee Polygraph Protection Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and certain provisions of the Immigration Reform and Control Act. Among these labor standards are those that guarantee minimum wages and overtime premium payments, protect child labor, set minimum working conditions for agricultural workers and guarantee family leave to workers for the birth or adoption of a child, or if the workers or their family members experience a serious health condition. Other labor statutes are narrower in scope and relate only to those working for government contractors (such as the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts and the McNamara- O'Hara Service Contract Act) or to certain groups of employees (like the Federal Employees' Compensation Act or the Black Lung Benefits Act). DOL has also undertaken rulemaking related to laws such as the Job Training Partnership Act and the Trade Adjustment Assistance programs that provide essential job training services to workers who are just entering the job market or who are dislocated. Lastly, the Department is charged with enforcing the nondiscrimination and affirmative action requirements of Executive Order 11246 and a number of statutes such as sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and section 481 of the Job Training Partnership Act. Through these regulations, DOL seeks to ensure that Federal contractors and certain Federal grant recipients provide a level playing field to all applicants, employees and program participants. In addition, workers and beneficiaries are protected through the Department's efforts to monitor pension and welfare plans (including group health plans) under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. In order to carry out this responsibility, DOL regulations spell out the standards and requirements that must be met by plan administrators and fiduciaries. DOL is also responsible for overseeing certain aspects of the internal affairs of labor organizations under the Labor- Management Reporting and Disclosure Act. Administration of each of these statutes requires the promulgation of rules that explain to the affected community exactly what their responsibilities are. DOL's Regulatory Priorities Given the Department's extensive mandate, our regulatory plan was developed around essential regulations necessary to assure American workers healthy, safe and fair working conditions. One of the highest priorities for the Department is for OSHA to issue its building-block standards on exposure assessment, medical surveillance, safety and health programs, ergonomics, and recordkeeping. These proposals will address multiple hazards present in most workplaces in a generic fashion. They are essential to OSHA's standard-setting priorities because they will address the potential occupational hazards facing the majority of America's work force. Other important priorities are the proposed amendments to the regulations implementing Executive Order 11246 to ensure nondiscrimination and affirmative action obligations, to the regulations pertaining to child labor and the exemption from minimum wage and overtime rules for executive, administrative and professional employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act. MSHA will also address the need to update the Agency's existing standards on exposure to potentially harmful chemical substances and to noise, and will develop criteria for the approval of diesel-powered equipment in underground mines. The Department's regulatory plan also reflects the Administration's commitment to employment and training. We are focusing on building a reemployment system that includes the following features: high quality and longer-term training, a focus on customers and feedback from them, simplified access to programs and services, and better quality information on labor markets and on the performance of service providers. During the coming year, ETA and the Veterans Employment and Training Service (VETS) will review existing regulations in areas where Administration legislative initiatives, such as the proposed Reemployment Act, will necessitate regulations being revised, replaced, or repealed. Where possible, new and revised regulations will attempt to incorporate the features and key principles of the new reemployment system. One specific rule being developed by the Department that incorporates some features of the new reemployment system is the proposed rule to implement amendments to the Trade Act made by Title V of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act. Regulating in a Smart Way As a major regulatory agency, DOL recognizes the importance of regulating in a smart way. The Department upholds the objectives of the Executive Order 12866 to enhance planning and coordination with respect to both new and existing regulations and to make the regulatory process more accessible to the public. Already, we have made significant strides in this area. The building-block standards proposed by OSHA represent a good example of regulating in a smart way. By addressing multiple hazards in a generic fashion, these proposals will ensure consistency across regulations. For instance, Section 6(b) of the OSH Act requires, where appropriate, that OSHA standards include provisions for exposure monitoring. Currently, a variety of substance-specific standards include requirements for exposure monitoring while hundreds of substances in OSHA's Z-tables have no such requirement. A generic standard for exposure assessment would satisfy section 6(b)(7) of the Act, with respect to Z-table substances in the Air Contaminants Standards (29 CFR 1910.1000). Another example of regulating in a smart way is OSHA's review of certain existing standards. For instance, OSHA plans to issue a revision to its outdated walking and working surfaces standard with a performance-oriented final standard, which will permit more flexibility in compliance. OSHA is also utilizing negotiated rulemaking as an alternative regulatory approach to address the hazards of steel erection. Similar examples can be found in other areas of the Department. ESA's proposal to amend Executive Order 11246 will streamline, clarify and reduce paperwork requirements associated with compliance. The Mine Safety and Health Administration will soon publish a proposed rule on Testing and Evaluation of Mining Products by Independent Laboratories and Use of Equivalent Approval Requirements. As recommended by the National Performance Review, this rule will allow certain mining equipment and products to be tested and approved by nationally recognized independent laboratories. This rule benefits from a proper use of the private sector to permit the agency to shift resources toward product audits in the field. Regulations Included in the Plan Twenty-one regulations are included in DOL's 1994 Regulatory Plan. These regulations acknowledge DOL's important role in rulemaking and the importance of regulating in a smart way. As previously mentioned, these regulations were also selected because of their significant impact on the economy or other Government agencies. A detailed description for each follows. _______________________________________________________________________ DOL--Employment Standards Administration (ESA) ___________________________________________________________ PRERULE STAGE ___________________________________________________________ 95. CHILD LABOR REGULATIONS, ORDERS AND STATEMENTS OF INTERPRETATION (ESA/W-H) Legal Authority: 29 USC 203 CFR Citation: 29 CFR 570 Legal Deadline: None Abstract: Section 3(1) of the Fair Labor Standards Act requires the Secretary of Labor to issue regulations with respect to minors between 14 and 16 years of age ensuring that the periods and conditions of their employment do not interfere with their schooling, health, or well- being. The Secretary also is directed to designate occupations that may be particularly hazardous for minors 16 and 17 years of age. Child Labor Regulation No. 3 sets forth the permissible industries and occupations in which 14- and 15-year-olds may be employed, and specifies the number of hours in a day and in a week, and time periods within a day, that such minors may be employed. The Department has invited public comment in considering whether changes in technology in the workplace and job content over the years require new hazardous occupations orders, and review of some of the applicable hazardous occupation orders and the method of their promulgation. Comment has also been solicited on whether revisions should be considered in the permissible hours and time of day standards for 14- and 15-year-olds. Comment has also been sought on appropriate changes required to implement school-to-work transition programs. Statement of Need: Because of changes in the workplace and the introduction of new processes and technologies, the Department is undertaking a comprehensive review of the regulatory criteria applicable to child labor. Other factors necessitating a review of the child labor regulations are changes in places where young workers find employment opportunities, the existence of differing Federal and State standards, and the divergent views on how best to correlate school and work experiences. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Secretary of Labor is directed to provide by regulation or by order for the employment of youth between 14 and 16 years of age under periods and conditions which will not interfere with their schooling, health and well-being. The Secretary is also directed to designate occupations that may be particularly hazardous for youth between the ages of 16 and 18 years or detrimental to their health or well-being. The Secretary has done so by specifying, in regulations, the permissible industries and occupations in which 14- and 15-year-olds may be employed, and the number of hours per day and week and the time periods within a day in which they may be employed. In addition, these regulations designate the occupations declared particularly hazardous for minors between 16 and 18 years of age or detrimental to their health or well-being. Public comment has been invited in considering whether changes in technology in the workplace and job content over the years require new hazardous occupation orders or necessitate revision to some of the existing hazardous orders. Comment has also been invited on whether revisions should be considered in the permissible hours and time-of-day standards for the employment of 14- and 15-year-olds, and whether revisions should be considered to facilitate school-to-work transition programs. When developing regulatory proposals (after receipt of public comment on the advance notice of proposed rulemaking), the Department's focus will be on assuring healthy, safe and fair workplaces for young workers, and at the same time making regulatory standards less burdensome to the regulated community. Alternatives: Full regulatory alternatives will be developed after receipt and analysis of the public comments responding to the advance notice of proposed rulemaking. Alternatives likely to be considered include specific additions or modifications to the hazardous occupation orders and changes to the hours 14- and 15-year-olds may work. Anticipated Costs and Benefits: Preliminary estimates of the anticipated costs and benefits of this regulatory action will be developed once decisions are reached on particular proposed changes in the child labor regulations. Benefits will include safer working environments and fewer injuries to young workers. Risks: An assessment of the magnitude of the risk addressed by this action and how it relates to other risks within the jurisdiction of DOL will be prepared once decisions are reached on particular proposed changes in the child labor regulations. Timetable: _______________________________________________________________________ Action DFR Cite _______________________________________________________________________ Final Action on 56 FR 5862612 11/20/91 Final Action Eff56 FR 58626 12/20/91 ANPRM 59 FR 25167 05/13/94 ANPRM Comment Pe59 FR 40318 10/11/94 NPRM 05/00/95 Small Entities Affected: Undetermined Government Levels Affected: Undetermined
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