Departamento de Trabajo de EE.UU. anuncia propuesta para implementar orden ejecutiva, aumentar los salarios de trabajadores de contratos federales

Source: US Department of Labor

WASHINGTON, DC –El Departamento de Trabajo de EE.UU. anunció hoy un Aviso de Propuesta de Reglamentación para establecer estándares y procedimientos para implementar y hacer cumplir la Orden Ejecutiva 14026 “Aumento del Salario Mínimo para Contratistas Federales”, firmada por el Presidente Biden el 27 de abril de 2021.

Esta Orden Ejecutiva:

Aumentará el salario mínimo para los trabajadores que realizan trabajos de o en relación a contratos federales cubiertos a $15 por hora a partir del 30 de enero de 2022.
Continuará indexando el salario mínimo del contrato federal en años futuros en función de la inflación.
Eliminará el salario mínimo con propina para los trabajadores contratistas federales para el 2024.
Garantizará un salario mínimo de $15 para trabajadores con discapacidades que realicen trabajos de o en relación con contratos cubiertos.
Restaurará las protecciones del salario mínimo para proveedores y guías que operan en terrenos federales.

“La Orden Ejecutiva 14026 mejora la seguridad económica de las familias y avanza hacia la reversión de décadas de desigualdad en ingresos”, dijo Jessica Looman, Administradora en Funciones de la División de Horas y Salarios. “Nuestras propuestas de regulaciones para implementar la Orden Ejecutiva del Presidente Biden garantizarán que el dinero de los contribuyentes sostenga la dignidad del trabajo y provea un salario digno a los trabajadores con contratos federales, incluidos trabajadores de limpieza, mantenimiento, cuidados especializados y servicios de alimentación cuyos esfuerzos son fundamentales para la recuperación nacional por la pandemia”.

La Orden Ejecutiva 14026 se sustenta sobre la Orden Ejecutiva 13658 “Establecimiento de un Salario Mínimo para los Contratistas Federales”, firmada por el Presidente Obama en 2014. La anterior orden aumentó el salario mínimo por hora a $10.10 para los trabajadores en contratos federales cubiertos o en relación a ellos, a partir del 1 de enero del 2015, y el salario mínimo por hora aumentó anualmente a partir de entonces en función de la inflación. El actual salario mínimo en contratos federales bajo la Orden Ejecutiva 13658 es $10.95 por hora.

El departamento invita comentarios del público sobre la propuesta regulación en www.regulations.gov. El período de comentarios se cierra el 23 de agosto de 2021.

Cualquiera que envíe un comentario (incluidos comentarios duplicados) debe saber y esperar que el comentario, incluida la información personal proporcionada, se convierta en un asunto de dominio público. La división publicará comentarios sin cambios en www.regulations.gov e incluirá cualquier información personal proporcionada. La división publica los comentarios recopilados y enviados por una organización externa como grupo, utilizando un único número de identificación de documento en el sitio.

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US Department of Labor announces proposed rulemaking to implement executive order, increase wages for workers on government contracts

Source: US Department of Labor

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor today announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to establish standards and procedures to implement and enforce Executive Order 14026, “Increasing the Minimum Wage for Federal Contractors,” signed by President Biden on April 27, 2021.

This Executive Order will:

Increase the minimum wage for workers performing work on or in connection with covered federal contracts to $15 per hour beginning Jan. 30, 2022.
Continue to index the federal contract minimum wage in future years to an inflation measure.
Eliminate the tipped minimum wage for federal contract workers by 2024.
Ensure a $15 minimum wage for workers with disabilities performing work on or in connection with covered contracts.
Restore minimum wage protections to outfitters and guides operating on federal lands.

“Executive Order 14026 improves the economic security of families and makes progress toward reversing decades of income inequality,” said Wage and Hour Division Acting Administrator Jessica Looman. “Our proposed regulations to implement President Biden’s Executive Order will ensure taxpayer dollars uphold the dignity of work, and provide a living wage to workers on federal contracts, including cleaning, maintenance, nursing and food service workers whose efforts are critical to the nation’s pandemic recovery.”

Executive Order 14026 builds on Executive Order 13658, “Establishing a Minimum Wage for Federal Contractors,” signed by President Obama in 2014. The earlier order increased the hourly minimum wage to $10.10 for workers performing on or in connection with covered federal contracts, beginning Jan. 1, 2015, and the hourly minimum wage increased annually thereafter based on inflation. The current federal contract minimum wage under Executive Order 13658 is $10.95 per hour.

The department invites comments from the public on the proposed rule at www.regulations.gov. The comment period closes Aug. 23, 2021.

Anyone who submits a comment (including duplicate comments) should understand and expect that the comment, including any personal information provided, will become a matter of public record. The division will post comments without change at www.regulations.gov and include any personal information provided. The division posts comments gathered and submitted by a third-party organization as a group, using a single document ID number at the site.

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​NIFA Invests Over $7M to Support Research Innovations and Workforce Development at Agricultural Colleges

Source: US National Institute of Food and Agriculture News

University of Tennessee, Martin, received a $299,947 NIFA grant for a forage nutrition lab to build capacity for forage and animal science. Photo courtesy of University of Tennessee.

KANSAS CITY, Mo., July 21, 2021 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced today an investment of over $7 million in research grants to U.S. Non-Land-grant Colleges of Agriculture (NLGCA).

These grants aim to increase research, education, and outreach capacity at Non-Land-grant Institutions to support development of the innovations and workforce needed to sustain the agriculture industry in the future.

“The National Institute of Food and Agriculture awards research, education and extension grants to solve the grand challenges before us,” said NIFA director Dr. Carrie Castille. “These efforts will help improve rural economies, increase food production and agricultural profitability and sustainability, address climate change and related issues, ensure food and nutrition security and train the next generation of the agricultural workforce.”

Examples of the 24 funded projects to U.S. Non-Land-grant Colleges of Agriculture include:

Humboldt State University, Arcata, California, will prepare a diverse pool of natural resource scientists to enter a workforce focused on climate-ready and sustainable agricultural practices, particularly in rangelands ($299,999).

Texas A&M University, Commerce, Texas, collaborating with Tarleton State University, will learn how pollinator-friendly perennials in ornamental landscapes can provide a solution to decades of major declines in pollinators, through their Plant Drought Response and Insect Pollinator Studies project ($299,867).

American Indian Higher Education Consortium, working in collaboration with the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, will create a network of scientists and educators to facilitate research, education and outreach activities relating to soil and water quality ($29,827).

Background:
Non-Land-grant College of Agriculture (NLGCA) and NLGCA Institutions are public colleges or universities offering a baccalaureate or higher degree in food and agricultural sciences. Land-grant Universities (also called Land-grant Colleges or Land-grant Institutions) are U.S. higher education institutions designated by a state to receive the benefits of the Morrill Acts of 1862 and 1890.
 
Capacity Building Grants for Non-Land-grant Colleges of Agriculture (NLGCA) Program provides funding to NLGCA institutions supporting educational, research, and outreach activities that address priority concerns of national, regional, state, and local interest.  To determine if an institution is eligible to be designated as an NLGCA institution as defined in the 2018 Farm Bill, please visit NIFA-19-005 NLGCA Eligibility Flow Chart resource page. This NIFA-certified designation is an eligibility requirement for the Capacity Building Grants for Non-Land-grant Colleges of Agriculture program.
 
NIFA invests in and advances agricultural research, education, and Extension across the nation to make transformative discoveries that solve societal challenges. NIFA supports initiatives that ensure the long-term viability of agriculture and applies an integrated approach to ensure that groundbreaking discoveries in agriculture-related sciences and technologies reach the people who can put them into practice. In FY2020, NIFA’s total investment was $1.95 billion.
 
Visit our website: www.nifa.usda.gov; Twitter: @USDA_NIFA; LinkedIn: USDA-NIFA. To learn more about NIFA’s impact on agricultural science (searchable by state or keyword), visit www.nifa.usda.gov/impacts.

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USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.
 

Vero Biotech Recalls GENOSYL DS; Nitric Oxide Delivery System Due to Software Error

Source: US Food and Drug Administration

The FDA has identified this as a Class I recall, the most serious type of recall. Use of these devices may cause serious injuries or death.

Recalled Product

  • GENOSYL DS; Nitric Oxide Delivery System
  • Model Number: 601588-01
    • Serial Numbers: All Devices
  • Manufacturing Dates: March 15, 2021 to April 5, 2021
  • Distribution Dates: March 15, 2021 to April 5, 2021
  • Devices Recalled in the U.S.: 467
  • Date Initiated by Firm: April 7, 2021

Device Use

The GENOSYL DS; Nitric Oxide Delivery System is used to deliver a constant flow of GENOSYL (Nitric Oxide), which is a drug to help open blood vessels and improve oxygen levels in critically ill newborns with respiratory failure. The system consists of a cassette, which contains the drug, and a console. The device is used with a ventilator in hospital or healthcare settings.

Reason for Recall

Vero Biotech is recalling its GENOSYL DS; Nitric Oxide Delivery System due to a software issue that leads to errors in the delivery of nitric oxide. Typically, this issue caused delivery of lower-than-expected dosage of nitric oxide during the transition between primary and backup console. If this happens, this could cause serious adverse events such as drops in oxygen level, heart problems, and clinical instability in the newborn.

There have been 11 complaints, three injuries and no deaths reported for this issue.

Who May Be Affected

  • Health care providers who may have access to these devices
  • Patients using these devices

What to Do

On Jun 15, 2021, Vero Biotech sent an “Urgent: Medical Device Correction” letter to customers stating the release of Software 2.2.4 will correct the adverse events associated with Software 2.2.3. The letter also gave the following instructions:

  • The firm began traveling to consignee sites and repairing consoles on April 7, 2021. Contact the firm if you are unsure whether they have updated your devices’ software.

Contact Information

Customers with questions about this recall should contact Vero Biotech at 1-877-337-4118, or visit the website https://www.vero-biotech.com/.

Additional Resources

How Do I Report a Problem?

Health care professionals and consumers may report adverse reactions or quality problems they experienced using these devices to MedWatch: The FDA Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program using an online form, regular mail, or FAX.

Former Kentucky Attorney Sentenced to One Year of Probation for Conspiracy to Defraud the Food and Drug Administration

Source: US Food and Drug Administration

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Pennsylvania

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, July 20, 2021

HARRISBURG – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Jonathan Clark Baird, age 45, of Louisville, Kentucky, was sentenced on July 19, 2021, to one year of probation by Chief United States District Court Judge John E. Jones, III, for conspiracy to defraud the Food and Drug Administration.

According to Acting United States Attorney Bruce D. Brandler, Baird was an attorney licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth of Kentucky focusing on steroid and nutritional supplements law. Baird conspired with two Internet-based businesses, Total Trading LLC and L and P, LLC, from December 2011 to on or about December 2014, to defraud the United States. In particular, Baird agreed to use his knowledge of steroid laws, nutritional supplement laws and the FDA’s regulatory and enforcement practices to instruct these companies on the methods to use to interfere and obstruct the United States Food and Drug Administration enforcement and regulatory oversight, including instructing his co-conspirators on the steps to be taken to fraudulently conceal the true nature of their illegal sale of prescription drugs from the FDA.

Baird’s coconspirators, Paul Leix and co-defendant, Dominic Pileggi, were involved in a business, L&P Trading, which used the internet to market and distribute peptides (a type of amino acid), along with other bodybuilding chemicals, to individuals seeking to enhance their physiques. Leix and Pileggi marketed these products on their website while providing a disclaimer that the substances were not for human consumption and use (for research purposes only). Customers who visited the website seeking these products for bodybuilding purposes would falsely attest that they were buying the chemicals for research purposes. By marketing the products to the online bodybuilding community, Leix and Pileggi knew that purchasers would use the products for personal consumption rather than research. The “research only” disclaimer was a ruse to circumvent the regulatory authority of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). L&P Trading advertised on body-building billboards and sites and Leix and Pileggi were not properly licensed or had the required approvals to manufacture, sell or prescribe these products.  Leix and Pileggi also sold these drugs and their chemical components to other illegal distributors and manufacturers, including Total Trading, LLC, a company owned and operated by co- conspirator Thomas Keightly, located in Lebanon County. Keightly, in turn, sold directly to end users in the same manner as Leix and Pileggi.

Paul Leix was sentenced to four months’ imprisonment and Thomas Keightly was sentenced to 10 months’ imprisonment for conspiracy to commit money laundering and delivery of altered or misbranded drugs by fraud. Pileggi was sentenced to time-served for conspiracy to commit money laundering and introduction of misbranded drugs into interstate commerce.

“Selling unapproved prescription drugs in the U.S. marketplace is illegal and puts consumers’ health at risk,” said Special Agent in Charge Mark S. McCormack, FDA Office of Criminal Investigations Metro Washington Field Office. “We remain fully committed to disrupting and dismantling illegal drug distribution networks that take steps to avoid FDA regulatory scrutiny at the expense of public health and safety.”

The cases were investigated by the Food and Drug Administration and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation.  Assistant United States Attorney Joseph Terz prosecuted the cases.

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Component(s):
USAO – Pennsylvania, Middle

Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office Seizes Two Domains Attempting to Mimic Walmart Website and Purporting to Sell Drug for the Experimental and Unapproved Treatment or Prevention of Covid-19

Source: US Food and Drug Administration

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Maryland

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, July 19, 2021

12th and 13th Websites Seized by the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office and HSI

Baltimore, Maryland – The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland has seized “http://pharmacywalmart.com” and “https://stromectol-ivermectin.com” which on June 16, 2021 resolved to “https://en.pharmacywalmart.com/buy-stromectol-usa.html.” The websites contained numerous uses of the legitimate Walmart trademarked logo and appears to attempt to mimic a legitimate Walmart website.  The fraudulent websites allegedly offers for sale a number of drugs for the experimental and unapproved treatment or prevention of COVID-19.  Instead, the domains were allegedly used to collect the personal information of individuals visiting the sites in order to use the information for nefarious purposes, including fraud, phishing attacks, and/or deployment of malware.  Individuals visiting the sites will now see a message that the site has been seized by the federal government and be redirected to another site for additional information.  These are the 12th and 13th COVID fraud related domain name seized by the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office and HSI.

The seizure of the domains name was announced by Acting United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Jonathan F. Lenzner and Special Agent in Charge James R. Mancuso of Homeland Security Investigations – Baltimore.

According to the affidavit filed in support of the seizure, the HSI Intellectual Property Rights Center (“IPRC”) and the HSI Cyber Crimes Center (“C3”) discovered an apparent fraudulent website, named “https://stromectol-ivermectin.com” which resolved to an internal webpage of “pharmacywalmart.com.”  A domain analysis conducted by HSI indicated that pharmacywalmart.com was created on November 4, 2019, from a registrant located in Russia.

The HSI Cyber Operations Officer (COO) noted the phone number “+1-718-475-90-88” on the pharmacywalmart.com website. While the location for the area code for this number is New York City, the format provided does not match that of a typical United States based phone number. Pharmacywalmart.com purports to offer for sale a number of drugs, including Stromectol (Ivermectin), Aralen (Chloroquine) and Kaletra (Lopinavir and Ritonavir), for the experimental and unapproved treatment or prevention of COVID-19.

As detailed in the affidavit filed in support of the seizure, Stromectol is the brand name of Ivermectin which is a prescription medication used to treat certain parasitic infections; Aralen is a brand name for chloroquine, most commonly used for the treatment and prevention of malaria; and Kaletra is the brand name of a combination of Lopinavir and Ritonavir which are prescription medications that are approved to treat human immunodeficiency virus 1 (HIV-1). None of those drugs are an approved preventative or treatment for COVID-19.  On the page offering Kaletra for sale, the subject domain name contained the following: “In 2020, after laboratory researches, it was found out that Kaletra shows positive results in a blockage of a COVID-19 viral replication.” The affidavit alleges that this statement is not supported by trials or the FDA.

Neither domain name is authorized by Walmart to use their intellectual property or offer their products for sale.  By seizing the sites, the government has prevented third parties from acquiring the names and using it to commit additional crimes, as well as prevented third parties from continuing to access the sites in their present form.

On May 17, 2021, the Attorney General established the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force to marshal the resources of the Department of Justice in partnership with agencies across government to enhance efforts to combat and prevent pandemic-related fraud. The Task Force bolsters efforts to investigate and prosecute the most culpable domestic and international criminal actors and assists agencies tasked with administering relief programs to prevent fraud by, among other methods, augmenting and incorporating existing coordination mechanisms, identifying resources and techniques to uncover fraudulent actors and their schemes, and sharing and harnessing information and insights gained from prior enforcement efforts. For more information on the Department’s response to the pandemic, please visit https://www.justice.gov/coronavirus.

Anyone with information about allegations of attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) Hotline at 866-720-5721 or via the NCDF Web Complaint Form at: https://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.            

Acting United States Attorney Jonathan F. Lenzner commended HSI for its work in this investigation.  Mr. Lenzner recognized the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Criminal Investigations, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Baltimore County Police Department for their assistance and thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Aaron S.J. Zelinsky and Sean R. Delaney, who are handling the case.

For more information on the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office, its priorities, and resources available to help the community, please visit www.justice.gov/usao/md.

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Topic(s):
Coronavirus
Disaster Fraud
Component(s):
USAO – Maryland
Contact:
Alexis Abbott (301) 653-0285

Administrator Samantha Power’s Meeting with Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya

Source: USAID

Readout

The below is attributable to Spokesperson Rebecca Chalif:‎

On July 20, 2021, Administrator Power met with Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya, leader of Belarus’s democratic movement, who thanked the U.S. for its longstanding support of the Belarusian people. The Administrator expressed appreciation for Tsikhanouskaya’s tireless advocacy for human rights, and she voiced grave concern over the government’s increasingly ruthless crackdown and its dangerous efforts to downplay the COVID-19 pandemic. They discussed how the United States can further hold accountable those orchestrating violent repression, while supporting those working towards an inclusive dialogue and a new election.

Last updated: July 21, 2021

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AFSCME’s Saunders: Jennifer Abruzzo a ‘perfect choice’ to restore NLRB

Source: American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Union

Following Senate confirmation of Jennifer Abruzzo as NLRB General Counsel, AFSCME President Lee Saunders issued the following statement:

“Jennifer Abruzzo’s long and exemplary career at the National Labor Relations Board makes her the perfect choice to lead efforts to restore this vital agency, which in recent years has been used to attack working people and weaken their rights. Her knowledge and experience will allow her to hit the ground running on day one – holding employers accountable, protecting the right to organize in a union and bargain collectively, and guaranteeing that workers are treated with dignity and respect.”