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Executive Orders Issued with Potential HCM Impacts

January 26, 2021 Alert

The President issued an Executive order on January 21, 2021 requiring the Secretary of Labor to issue revised guidance to Employers on workplace safety during the Covid-19 Pandemic.

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Protecting Worker Health and Safety

    • Requires Secretary of Labor to issue revised OSHA guidance within 2 weeks of the date of issue (January 21, 2021) and to determine if emergency mandates are necessary in regards to masks in the workplace by March 15, 2021

Preventing and Combating Discrimination on Basis of Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation

      • Requires all federal agencies within 100 days, identify all laws prohibiting sex discrimination and create plans to ensure current regulations and guidance prohibit sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination
      • Ensures immediate application of Bostock court decision by all federal agencies enforcing laws prohibiting sex discrimination.
      • Directs agencies to consider revising, suspending, or rescinding actions or promulgate new actions as needed to fully enforce Title VII and other laws that prohibit discrimination on basis of gender identity or sexual orientation.
      • Consider actions to combat overlapping forms of discrimination on basis of race or disability

Workers Right to Refuse Employment

  • Directs the Department of Labor to clarify regulations guaranteeing Unemployment Benefits to workers who refuse employment that may jeopardize the health of workers and their families.

Protecting and Empowering Federal Workers

  • Restores collective bargaining power and worker protections.
  • Eliminates Schedule F, which undermines the foundations of the civil service.
  • Promotes a $15 minimum wage. The Executive Order directs the Office of Personnel Management to develop recommendations to pay more federal employees at least $15 per hour.

Protecting Worker Health and Safety

The President issued an Executive order on January 21, 2021 requiring the Secretary of Labor to issue revised guidance to Employers on workplace safety during the Covid-19 Pandemic. The order also requires the Secretary of Labor to assess the need for masks in the workplace and if necessary, issue standards by March 15, 2021.

Preventing and Combating Discrimination on Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation

The President issued an Executive order on January 20, 2021, which directs the heads of all federal agencies to thoroughly review all existing regulations, guidance, and orders to ensure they are consistent with the executive order policy to ensure all persons are protected from discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation.

The order directs agencies to consider revising, suspending, or rescinding actions or promulgate new actions as needed to fully enforce Title VII and other laws that prohibit discrimination on basis of gender identity or sexual orientation. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, protects against sex discrimination and as amended by US Supreme Court decision in Bostock v. Clayton County includes protections against discrimination on basis of gender identity and sexual orientation. The order also directs agencies to consider actions to combat overlapping forms of discrimination on basis of race or disability.

Workers Right to Refuse Employment

The President is asking the Department of Labor to consider clarifying and providing guidance to ensure workers have a federally guaranteed right to refuse employment that will jeopardize their health and if they do so, they will still qualify for unemployment insurance.

Protecting and Empowering Federal Workers

The President issued an Executive Order rescinding Executive Orders 13836, 13837, and 13839 which placed limits on collective bargaining. It goes further to direct agencies to bargain over permissible, non-mandatory subjects of bargaining when contracts are up for negotiation.

Eliminates Schedule F, which allows the re-classification of certain Federal Positions allowing certain Federal Employees under such classification to lose civil servant protections.

The order also promotes a $15 minimum wage. The Executive Order directs the Office of Personnel Management to develop recommendations to pay more federal employees at least $15 per hour.  This mandate is not effective until recommendations are created.

Next Steps 

Paylocity will continue to monitor the impacts of the Coronavirus Pandemic on the legislative environment and provide updates as they become available.

Thank you for choosing Paylocity as your Payroll Tax and HCM partner. 

This information is provided as a courtesy, it may change and is not intended as legal or tax guidance. Employers with questions or concerns outside the scope of a Payroll Service Provider are encouraged to seek the advice of a qualified CPA, Tax Attorney or Advisor. 

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