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Obama’s 2015 budget: Less for DOL, but more for EEOC enforcement

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in Employment Law,Human Resources

The Obama administration’s proposed 2015 budget calls for a slight reduction in federal funding for the U.S. Department of Labor but more money for EEOC enforcement.

The two agencies enforce some of the laws most important to U.S. employers, including the Fair Labor Standards Act, the FMLA, the ADA and most anti-discrimination laws.

The administration is requesting $11.8 billion to run the DOL in fiscal year 2015, which begins Oct. 1, 2014. That’s 1.7% less than the department received in 2014.

Reflected in the proposed budget is the assumption that Congress will authorize an increase in the federal minimum wage from the current $7.25 per hour to $10.10 per hour.

It’s far from certain that Congress will go along with that plan—just as it’s unlikely to approve the White House’s budget without substantial changes. While the president is required to submit a budget proposal, it’s up to Congress to appropriate the funds, and the administration’s request is widely considered just a starting point for negotiations.

Wage-and-hour enforcement receives a modest funding increase in the DOL’s proposed 2015 budget.

Among the administration’s other DOL budget priorities: More job training and assistance for the long-term unemployed, retraining and “reemployment” services for veterans and block-grant funding for states to launch paid family and medical leave programs.

The proposed 2015 budget would increase funding for the EEOC, with a $365.5 million budget request, up from $364 million in 2014.

The additional dollars would go almost exclusively toward enforcing discrimination and harassment laws in private-sector workplaces.

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