DOL’s proposal would revise the agency’s interpretation on whether workers are considered employees or independent contractors under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The proposal seeks to amend the existing multi-factor test used to determine a worker’s status, placing elevated emphasis on two core factors, including nature and degree of the worker’s control over the work (e.g. schedule, assignments, and ability to work for other companies) and the worker’s opportunity for profit or loss. DOL claims that the proposal will “benefit workers and businesses and encourage innovation and flexibility in the economy.”
Through this notice, HHS has issued proposed guidelines that would permit the use of hair follicles as a valid specimen for federally impelled drug tests. If adopted, employers would be able to conduct hair testing in concert with, or in lieu of, urine or oral fluid tests that have been previously approved by HHS. In issuing these proposed guidelines, the Department is acting to comply with Sec. 5402(b) of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, which required that HHS develop guidelines for hair testing of commercial motor vehicle drivers. We write today to formally request that HHS hold a public, virtual, hearing on its proposed guidelines in order to discuss the proposal with impacted stakeholders and to further extend the comment period for 60 days.
This week, the Committee will be holding a hearing entitled “Passenger and Freight Rail: The Current Status of the Rail Network and the Track Ahead.” On behalf of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD) and our affiliated unions representing passenger and freight rail workers, we appreciate the Committee’s focus on the industry at an extremely timely moment. Across the sector, the pandemic continues to wreak havoc, threatening both the health and livelihoods of employees. At the same time, freight railroads, at the insistence of Wall Street investors and hedge fund managers, have pursued operating practices that undermine basic tenets of rail safety, ask frontline workers to do more with less, and threaten the reliable and efficient customer service that should be the hallmark of this industry. Given the critical nature of these issues, TTD would like to submit the following for your consideration.
On behalf of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), I am pleased to respond to the Coast Guard’s request for information entitled “Request for Information on Integration of Automated and Autonomous Commercial Vessels and Vessel Technologies into the Maritime Transportation System.” TTD consists of 33 affiliate unions representing workers in all modes of transportation, including those in the commercial maritime industry. We therefore have a vested interest in this request.
As the representatives of millions of essential workers who have put their lives on the line to work through the pandemic, we urge you to immediately pass H.R. 8504, introduced by Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Peter DeFazio, which extends the airline worker Payroll Support Program (PSP).
On behalf of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), I am pleased to respond to the exemption request filed by the Association of American Railroads (AAR) and American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA). TTD consists of 33 affiliate unions representing workers in all modes of transportation, including commercial motor vehicle operators in the railroad industry covered by FMCSA hours of service requirements. We therefore have a vested interest in this exemption.
As the elected leaders of labor organizations who represent transportation workers across every segment of the industry, we urge you to use this September congressional session to pass an economic relief package that our nation and frontline working people urgently need. As we commemorated Labor Day last week, it was a reminder of the vital role that frontline workers have played in steering us through this public health and economic crisis. In the public sector and private sector, everywhere from hospitals to grocery stores, working people are putting themselves at risk for the benefit of all. Transportation workers have been at the center of these efforts, making sure that the goods and people that keep our country healthy get where they need to be. Now these workers, and the broader economy, need your help. It would simply be unacceptable to close this fiscal year without enacting substantial, worker-centric economic relief legislation.
On behalf of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), I am pleased to respond to the Federal Railroad Administration’s request for comment on a petition for a waiver of compliance filed by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). TTD consists of 33 affiliate unions representing workers in all modes of transportation, including employees of APTA member railroads. We therefore have a vested interest in this petition.
On behalf of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO, I urge you to cosign a letter being circulated by Representatives Alan Lowenthal (D-CA) and Chris Smith (R-NJ) urging the House and Senate Armed Services Committees to ensure that language critical to both the domestic maritime industry and national security is retained in the FY’ 21 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
On behalf of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), I strongly urge you to vote in favor of the Delivering for America Act (H.R. 8015) when it is considered on the floor. This legislation would provide $25 billion in relief to mitigate the disastrous financial impacts COVID-19 has had on the United States Postal Service (USPS). Passage of this bill is essential to ensuring full operations of the Postal Service at the level relied on and required by the American public.
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