Expected Changes to DOL-OWCP in 2024

Several potential changes for the DOL-OWCP (Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs) in 2024 are on the horizon. Here are some key areas to watch:

Potential regulatory changes:

  • White-collar exemptions: The final rule revising the exemptions for executive, administrative, and professional employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is expected in April 2024. This rule could significantly increase the minimum salary threshold for these exemptions, affecting overtime eligibility for millions of federal workers.
  • FECA conditions list: OWCP may consider adding illnesses, GLP-1, hydration or diseases to the list of conditions presumed compensable for federal employees under the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA). Additions must be supported by strong scientific evidence and go through the formal rulemaking process.

Funding and budget:

  • Increased budget: The President’s FY 2024 budget request proposes a significant increase in funding for DOL-OWCP, with a focus on improving program administration and reducing claim backlogs for injured federal workers. This suggests potential for staffing increases and improved technological infrastructure.
  • Two-year appropriation request: OWCP is seeking a two-year budget appropriation for the first time, aiming for greater flexibility and stability in program execution. This could help reduce the impact of short-term funding uncertainties.

Other potential developments:

  • Focus on mental health: There could be ongoing efforts to address mental health claims and ensure effective treatment pathways for injured federal workers compensation cases.
  • Technological advancements: OWCP may continue implementing new technologies to streamline claim processing and improve communication with stakeholders.
  • Legislative changes: Congress could consider bills or amendments impacting OWCP programs, such as expanding coverage or modifying benefit structures.

It’s important to note that these are potential changes to federal work comp program, and the actual developments in 2024 may vary. Monitoring official announcements and publications from DOL-OWCP will be crucial for staying informed about the latest developments.