The Trump administration’s proposed FY 2020 discretionary budget request for the U.S. Department of Labor is $10.9 billion, or $1.2 billion less than the $12.1 billion enacted for FY 2019. If the proposed budget is adopted, this would be a 9.7% decline. The budget request satisfies the goal of reducing civilian agency spending and reflects the Labor Department’s priorities.
Employment and Training programs would receive the biggest cuts, with proposed reductions from $9.1 billion to $7.9 billion, a 19% decrease. Worker protection programs, such as those administered by the Mine Safety Health Administration, the Employee Benefits Security Administration, the Wage and Hour Division (WHD), are receiving slight increases, and offices such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) are relatively flat.
WHD, which administers and enforces laws such as the Fair Labor Standards Act, Family and Medical Leave Act, Service Contract Act, Davis-Bacon Act, and others, is one of the more important offices for government contractors. WHD is increasing slightly by $3.6 million and seven employees to provide additional client assistance.
The OFCCP budget remains relatively flat but through program efficiencies will achieve enough savings to also fund $2.5 million toward the department’s Worker Protection Agencies’ IT Modernization efforts.
The budget for worker protection programs reflects the department’s emphasis on compliance assistance. The goal is to develop compliance programs that foster outreach, education, and stakeholder engagement. While the budget request lays out the administration’s agenda for the Department of Labor, it still requires congressional approval.