DOL Solicitor Highlights Worker Misclassification as Enforcement Priority in FWPC Webinar

November 05, 2021

HR Policy staff and members were joined by U.S. Solicitor of Labor Seema Nanda and others to examine the Biden administration’s labor law and policy agenda and what changes employers can expect in the second installment of the Future Workplace Policy Council’s Fall Conference discussion series

“Our number one mission is that we are making sure we are enforcing the laws fully for workers, retirees, and job seekers,” Ms. Nanda said.  She emphasized the importance of “sustainable and predictable” regulation and policymaking for the regulated community: “We are looking to have things that are sustainable and not flip-flopping every few years, which is not good for anyone.”

Nanda specifically highlighted worker misclassification as a targeted area for enforcement, as well as retaliation cases.  In general, she noted that the Department was looking to increase enforcement across all covered areas, and that the Department is focusing on cases that carry the most impact given limited resources.  She also noted that the increased financial resources earmarked for the DOL in the President’s FY2022 budget, as well as in the budget reconciliation bill, are “long overdue.”

Carolyn K. Fisher, Vice President, Global Labor Relations, PepsiCo, Inc., was joined by Scott Randolph, Senior Vice President, Employee Relations Executive, Bank of America, and Kate S. O’Scannlain, Partner, Jones Day and former U.S. Solicitor of Labor, in a discussion on the labor issues employers are currently grappling with.  The discussion was moderated by Roger King, HR Policy's Senior Labor and Employment Counsel.

Company speakers highlighted the convergence of labor shortages, ‘Striketober,’ and the Emergency Temporary Standard as challenges.  Ms. Fisher and Mr. Randolph discussed the compliance challenges associated with the federal contractor vaccine mandates and the ETS, while Ms. O’Scannlain described common issues she is seeing from employers on this front and noted that there is “lots of confusion and misinformation regarding vaccine mandates.” 

Join us next week for a discussion on how the Biden administration will implement labor and employment reform through executive action on federal contractors, featuring Jenny Yang, Director, Office of Federal Contractor Compliance Programs, U.S. Department of Labor, and representatives from Boeing and Fortney & Scott, LLC.  Find a full agenda and registration information for the Future Workplace Policy Council Fall Discussion Series here