Expanding Employment, Training, and Apprenticeship Opportunities for 16- and 17-Year-Olds in Health Care Occupations Under the Fair Labor Standards Act
The Department of Labor (Department) is proposing this rule to enhance employment, training, and apprenticeship opportunities for 16- and 17-year-olds in health care occupations in the United States while maintaining worker safety. The changes proposed in this rule also respond to the concerns of a bipartisan, bicameral group of congressional lawmakers. The youth- employment provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) ensure that when youth work, the work is safe and does not jeopardize their health, well-being, or education. Pursuant to those provisions, 16- and 17-year-old employees generally cannot work in a nonagricultural occupation governed by any of the Department's Hazardous Occupations Orders (HOs). HO 7 prohibits youth from working in occupations involving the operation of a power-driven patient lift. Patient lifts, however, substantially differ in form and function from the other equipment that the HO governs, including forklifts, backhoes, cranes, and other heavy industrial equipment. Additionally, patient lifts are safer for workers than the alternative method of manually lifting patients. In response to significant public input and bipartisan, bicameral requests from Members of Congress, the Department proposes to remove the operation of power-driven patient lifts from the list of activities that HO 7 prohibits. This proposal, if finalized, would increase the participation of young workers in health care occupations and enhance their future career skills and their earning potential, without reducing worker safety.
Establishing a Minimum Wage for Contractors, Notice of Rate Change in Effect as of January 1, 2019
The Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the U.S. Department of Labor (the Department) is issuing this notice to announce the applicable minimum wage rate for workers performing work on or in connection with federal contracts covered by Executive Order 13658, beginning January 1, 2019. Executive Order 13658, Establishing a Minimum Wage for Contractors (the Executive Order or the Order), was signed on February 12, 2014, and raised the hourly minimum wage for workers performing work on or in connection with covered federal contracts to $10.10 per hour, beginning January 1, 2015, with annual adjustments thereafter as determined by the Secretary of Labor (the Secretary) in accordance with the methodology set forth in the Order. The Secretary's determination of the Executive Order minimum wage rate also affects the minimum hourly cash wage for tipped employees performing work on or in connection with covered contracts. The Secretary is required to provide notice to the public of the new minimum wage rate at least 90 days before the rate takes effect. The applicable minimum wage under the Executive Order is currently $10.35 per hour, in effect since January 1, 2018. Pursuant to the Executive Order and its implementing regulations in the Code of Federal Regulations, notice is hereby given that beginning January 1, 2019, the Executive Order minimum wage rate that generally must be paid to workers performing work on or in connection with covered contracts will increase to $10.60 per hour. Notice is also hereby given that, beginning January 1, 2019, the required minimum cash wage that generally must be paid to tipped employees performing work on or in connection with covered contracts will increase to $7.40 per hour.