|March 15, 2013|
Previously published on March 13, 2013
As we have been reporting, March 12 was the deadline for submitting comments regarding the U.S. Labor Department's proposal "to collect information about employment experiences and workers' knowledge of basic employment laws and rules so as to better understand employees' experience with worker misclassification." Despite our having asked for a copy of the proposed survey in a letter to USDOL dated January 14, we never received one. Those who responded to our February 20 straw poll said that neither had they received a copy.
We have now submitted a comment (link to reproduction below) taking the position that the proposed collection of information should not be cleared, approved, or undertaken. As we said to USDOL:
[the] circumstances strongly suggest that the Labor Department has failed to provide an adequate opportunity for public comment on this proposed information collection. The Labor Department has clearly failed to do so with respect to members of the public who have expressed their interest in commenting by requesting copies but to whom it has provided none. This state of affairs does not comport with the requirements and purposes of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.
If USDOL nevertheless proceeds with its proposal at this point, the design and content of the survey, as well as the results produced by it and the use to which that outcome is put, might well be tainted and subject to challenge in light of the inadequate opportunity afforded for public comment on the proposal.