Department of Labor (31 - 40 of 1,019 items)
Unemployment Insurance: States' Reductions in Maximum Benefit Durations Have Implications for Federal Costs
GAO-15-281: Published: Apr 22, 2015. Publicly Released: May 21, 2015.
The unemployment insurance (UI) system, a federal and state partnership that provides benefits to eligible workers who have lost their jobs, was under financial pressures during the recent recession and recovery. Since 2011, nine states reduced the maximum length of time (duration) individuals could receive state benefits. These states reduced duration from 26 weeks to as few as 12 weeks, with 20...
Contingent Workforce: Size, Characteristics, Earnings, and Benefits
GAO-15-168R: Published: Apr 20, 2015. Publicly Released: May 20, 2015.
The size of the contingent workforce as a proportion of the total U.S. employed labor force can range widely, depending on how it is defined. Narrower definitions generally focus on employment that is temporary, and can result in estimates of less than 5 percent. Broader definitions include various employment arrangements, such as on-call, part-time, and self-employment, among others, and can resu...
Federal Employees' Compensation Act: Analysis of Benefits Associated with Proposed Program Changes
GAO-15-604T: Published: May 20, 2015. Publicly Released: May 20, 2015.
In 2012, GAO ran simulations to analyze proposals—similar to a proposal discussed in the Department of Labor's 2016 budget justification—to set initial Federal Employees' Compensation Act (FECA) benefits at a single compensation rate. GAO found that the proposals reduced the median wage replacement rates—the percentage of take-home pay replaced by FECA—for total-disability beneficiaries. S...
Regulatory Guidance Processes: Selected Departments Could Strengthen Internal Control and Dissemination Practices
GAO-15-368: Published: Apr 16, 2015. Publicly Released: May 18, 2015.
The four departments—Agriculture (USDA), Education (Education), Health and Human Services (HHS), and Labor (DOL)—and their selected components used guidance for multiple purposes, such as clarifying or interpreting regulations and providing grant administration information. The terminology used for agency guidance varied and agency components issued varying amounts of guidance, ranging from ab...
H-2A and H-2B Visa Programs: Increased Protections Needed for Foreign Workers
GAO-15-154: Published: Mar 6, 2015. Publicly Released: Mar 6, 2015.
More than 250,000 foreign workers entered the United States through the H-2A (agricultural) and H-2B (nonagricultural) visa programs in fiscal years 2009 through 2013. U.S. employers use a process that involves multiple federal agencies to petition for and employ temporary foreign workers through these visa programs. The Department of State (State) reported that most workers using these visas were...
Private Pensions: Participants Need Better Information When Offered Lump Sums That Replace Their Lifetime Benefits
GAO-15-74: Published: Jan 27, 2015. Publicly Released: Feb 26, 2015.
Little public data are available to assess the extent to which sponsors of defined benefit plans are offering participants immediate lump sums to replace their lifetime annuities, but certain laws and regulations provide incentives for use of this practice. Although the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has primary responsibility for overseeing pension sponsors' reporting requirements, it does not re...
Job Corps: Assessment of Internal Guidance Could Improve Communications with Contractors
GAO-15-93: Published: Jan 22, 2015. Publicly Released: Jan 22, 2015.
In selecting funding transfers and spending cuts to address Job Corps' projected funding gaps in program years 2011 and 2012, the Department of Labor's (DOL) Employment and Training Administration (ETA) considered various factors, including the potential effects on students and recommendations from stakeholders. After considering these factors, ETA used $38 million in funding transfers and impleme...
401(K) Plans: Greater Protections Needed for Forced Transfers and Inactive Accounts
GAO-15-73: Published: Nov 21, 2014. Publicly Released: Dec 22, 2014.
When a participant has saved less than $5,000 in a 401(k) plan and changes jobs without indicating what should be done with the money, the plan can transfer the account savings—a forced transfer—into an individual retirement account (IRA). Savings in these IRAs are intended to be preserved by the conservative investments allowed under Department of Labor (DOL) regulations. However, GAO found t...
Education and Workforce Data: Challenges in Matching Student and Worker Information Raise Concerns about Longitudinal Data Systems
GAO-15-27: Published: Nov 19, 2014. Publicly Released: Dec 19, 2014.
Over half of 48 grantee states that received a Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems (SLDS) or Workforce Data Quality Initiative (WDQI) grant have the ability to match data on individuals from early education into the workforce, based on GAO's analysis of 2013 Data Quality Campaign (DQC) survey data. The DQC is a nonprofit organization that supports the effective use of data to improve student achie...
Fair Labor Standards Act: Extending Protections to Home Care Workers
GAO-15-12: Published: Dec 17, 2014. Publicly Released: Dec 17, 2014.
The Department of Labor's (DOL) Home Care Rule is expected to increase the number of home care workers who qualify for minimum wage and overtime protections under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, as amended (FLSA). The Home Care Rule narrows the definition of companionship services and limits who may claim the companionship services exemption, among other changes. It is scheduled to go into e...