U.S. Department of Labor announces assistance for earthquake recovery
The U.S. Department of Labor announced it will be assisting Alaskans effected by Friday's 7.0 earthquake, officials said in a press release late Monday night.
According to the release, these are the actions the department will be taking:
• The Employment and Training Administration (ETA) is prepared to provide Disaster Dislocated Worker Grants to help Alaska assess workforce needs. The disbursement of funds will be determined as needs are assessed by state and local partners.
• The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has temporarily suspended select federal contractor requirements, allowing businesses involved in earthquake relief the ability to prioritize recovery efforts.
• The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) is responding to the earthquake’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 will provide 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) is 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 the Alaska earthquake.
• The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is actively engaged with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Environmental Protection Agency, and other federal agencies. Alaska enforces worker health and safety requirements in the state; OSHA stands ready to assist affected areas upon request.
• The Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) is coordinating with other federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Treasury, the Internal Revenue Service, 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 the Alaska earthquake.
"The Department of Labor is committed to supporting the American worker as Alaska recovers from last week’s earthquake," U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta said in the release.
Megan Sweeney, a representative from the U.S. Department of Labor, said people who are out of work due to the earthquake can apply for federal assistance through the State Department of Labor.
For more information on that, call 1-866-USA-DOL.
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