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HR legislation unlikely to move this year in either House or Senate

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in Employment Law,Human Resources

Don’t expect any HR-related federal legislation to pass this year. According to Michael Aitken, the Society for Human Resource Management’s government affairs vice president, there’s neither the political will nor the time on Congress’s calendar to move any bills before the end of the year.

Speaking at SHRM’s annual conference June 20 in Washington, D.C., Aitken said Congress will be in session for just a relative handful of days between now and October, when it adjourns before the fall elections.

To be sure, Congress will talk about passing HR-related legislation; they just won’t do anything about it. Expect hearings on three topics:

Pay equity: The drive for equal pay for men and women has drawn “bipartisan interest,” Aitken said. Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R.–N.H.) has introduced S.2070, the Gender Advancement in Pay (GAP) Act, which would create civil penalties for employers that willfully engage in gender-based pay discrimination and prohibit retaliation against employees for discussing their pay. A companion bill could be introduced in the House of Representatives this year.

Affordable Care Act: On June 22, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan released a Republican plan to overhaul the nation’s health insurance system, scrapping the ACA. “Repeal is unlikely,” Aitken said—and a SHRM statement opposed a provision that would threaten the tax-free status of employer-provided coverage.

Overtime rules: Legislation has been introduced in both the House and Senate to nullify the Department of Labor’s new rules on white-collar overtime pay, but Aitken said the measures are unlikely to attract enough support to pass or survive an expected veto by President Obama.

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