On April 10th, the Department of Labor released its fiscal year 2014 budget request. As reported in a press release describing the budget request, the DOL has asked for $12.1 billion in discretionary funding to support “President Obama's plan to strengthen the economy and grow the middle class through continued investments in training and resources for job seekers.” The request seeks significant resources devoted to putting veterans to work, and to creating employment opportunities for the long-term unemployed and low-income adults and youths.
Key elements of the budget request include:
- $50 million to identify reemployment strategies to help veterans, military family members, and members of the National Guard and Reserve,
- $10 million to identify effective strategies to improve outcomes for disconnected youths,
- Nearly $14 million to “combat the misclassification of workers as independent contractors, which deprives workers of benefits and protections to which they are legally entitled and puts law-abiding businesses at a disadvantage against employers who violate the law,”
- $3.4 million to support greater enforcement of the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act, and
- $5 million to create a State paid leave fund to assist workers who need to take time off to care for a child or other family member.