WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor today announced actions it is taking to assist Americans in states affected by Hurricane Dorian.
“The U.S. Department of Labor is actively engaged in Administration-wide efforts to help those impacted by Hurricane Dorian,” said Acting U.S. Secretary of Labor Patrick Pizzella. “As Americans from across the country rally to help each other, the Department of Labor is committed to supporting recovery efforts.”
U.S. Department of Labor actions taken regarding Hurricane Dorian include the following:
- The Employment and Training Administration (ETA) is prepared to provide Disaster Dislocated Worker Grants to help affected states address workforce needs. The disbursement of funds will be determined as needs are assessed by state and local partners. ETA is prepared to assist in administering Disaster Unemployment Assistance.
- The Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) is coordinating with other federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Treasury, the IRS, and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, on the release of compliance guidance for employee benefit plans, and plan participants and beneficiaries in the wake of Hurricane Dorian. General information on disaster relief under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) is available on EBSA’s website at Disaster Relief Information for Employers and Advisers and Disaster Relief Information for Workers and Families, or by contacting the Department’s Employee Benefits Security Administration online at www.askebsa.dol.gov or by calling 1-866-444-3272.
- The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) issued a Temporary Exemption from certain federal contracting requirements. For a period of three months, from September 3, 2019, to December 3, 2019, subject to possible extension, new federal contracts to provide flooding relief efforts will be exempt from having to develop written affirmative action programs as required by Executive Order 11246.
- The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) is responding to Hurricane Dorian’s impact on mines, and stands ready to respond more generally with specialized equipment and personnel.
- The Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS) is working with its grantees to identify flexibility and additional funding needs for its programs. VETS staff is prepared to offer assistance to employers, members of the National Guard and Reserves, and members of the National Disaster Medical System and Urban Search and Rescue service who may be deployed in support of rescue and recovery operations.
- The Wage and Hour Division (WHD) will be prioritizing all calls in the affected areas to continue to provide uninterrupted service to workers and employers.
- The Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS) issued a special enforcement advisory that would temporarily ease reporting and other regulatory burdens on labor organizations, labor relations consultants, and employers affected by Hurricane Dorian.
- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is actively engaged with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Emergency Management Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, and other federal agencies and is prepared to provide assistance. North Carolina and South Carolina have OSHA-approved State Plans that cover worker safety and health in private and state and local government workplaces; OSHA stands ready to assist affected states upon request.
The Department will continue to monitor developments regarding Hurricane Dorian and take additional actions as necessary. For additional information, please visit the Department’s Severe Storm and Flood Recovery Assistance webpage.
The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.