From the Hotline: Employment Regulation and the Government Shutdown

Question:

What are the statuses of the federal agencies impacted by the government shutdown?

Answer: 

As of October 1,, 2013, the following federal agency activities impacting employment regulation are as follows:

  • Department of Labor:  Most of the DOL’s activities are curtailed, with only essential personnel in place.  Many of the Agency’s functions, as well as the sub-agency functions are on hold or suspended, with staff furloughed during this shutdown.
  • National Labor Relations Board:  The NLRB’s case handling and outreach efforts have been postponed, including elections, petition filing, and adjudication proceedings.The Office of Inspector General Hotline ([email protected]) will be monitored for emergencies.
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission:  The EEOC will continue to ensure that deadlines for filing charges do not pass because of the shutdown.  However, during the shutdown, the EEOC will not be investigating charges, be open to the public and will put a hold on pending litigation.
  • Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs:  The OFCCP will be closed and the website will not be updated.
  • Occupational Safety & Health Administration:  OSHA will generally suspend most operations, including planned workplace safety inspections except for the functions relating to “emergencies involving the safety of human life or protection of property.” In addition, however, OSHA is recommending that anyone who needs to report a workplace fatality, hospitalizations, or an imminent danger situation to contact the toll free number at 1-800-321-OSHA (6742); TTY 1-877-889-5627 but the website is not being monitored.
  • Wage and Hour Division:  WHD will investigate “incidents involving serious injury or death of a minor while employed, or any transportation accident or housing safety violation involving the serious injury or death of a farm worker.”  Otherwise, it is shut down.
  • Employee Benefits Security Administration:  EBSA suggests that workers call their number at 202-693-8630 if they are covered by an employer-sponsored group health plan and need assistance with an urgent medical situation “which poses an imminent threat to human life or have knowledge of criminal activity that may result in the loss of their retirement, disability or health benefits.”
  • United States Customs and Information Services: All USCIS offices remain open, but the E-Verify program will be unavailable during the shutdown, meaning that employers may not enroll in E-Verify, verify employment eligibility or any of the other functions available through the E-Verify system.