New regs for Thursday: Hiring policies, migrant worker housing, dental insurance

Thursday's edition of the Federal Register contains new rules for the hiring policies at government contractors, migrant worker housing and veterans' dental insurance. 

Here's what is happening:

Hiring policies: The Treasury Department is moving forward with a rule that would allow the agency to terminate contracts with companies that do not make an effort to hire women and minorities.

The rule, established by the agency's Office of Minority and Women Inclusion (OMWI), would ensure that women and minorities — groups that the government says often times face workplace discrimination — have a fair shot at employment with government contractors.

The Treasury Department proposed the rule in 2012 and is now finalizing it. The rule will go into effect in one month.

"The contract clause, which is similar to those adopted by other OMWI agencies, requires that a contractor make good faith efforts to include minorities and women in its workforce," the agency wrote.

Migrant workers: The Labor Department is considering whether to continue collecting information about the safety and health of facilities that house seasonal agricultural workers.

Farmers who provide housing to seasonal agricultural workers must receive approval from a federal, state or local government agency before doing so. These agencies inspect the safety and health of the facilities.

The Labor Department's Wage and Hour Division is one of the agency's authorized to perform these inspections, and it is seeking an extension to continue collecting such information.

Dental insurance: The Department of Veterans Affairs is moving forward with changes to its dental insurance plans for veterans and their dependents and survivors who are enrolled in the program. 

In October, the agency adopted a direct final rule, making changes to a pilot program to offer premium-based dental insurance to those who are eligible.

The agency has decided to move forward with the rule. 

Animal drugs: The Food and Drug Administration is withdrawing approval for three animal drugs at the request of the manufacturer.

This ruling affects the approval of one new animal drug application and two abbreviated new animal drug applications. All of the applications focused on a three-way, fixed-ratio combination drug Type A, which contained chlortetacycline, sulfathiazole, and penicillin.

The rule goes into effect in 10 days.

"This action is being taken at the sponsor's request because these products are no longer manufactured or marketed," the agency wrote.

Food packages: The Department of Agriculture is correcting an error in a rule it proposed earlier this month in the Federal Register

This comes as the USDA plans to move forward with a special supplemental nutritional program. The final rule from the agency's Food and Nutrition Service revises certain food package standards for women, infants and children who participate in the program.

The new standards will align the food packages more closely with the latest nutrition science and infant-feeding guidelines, the agency said. They will promote long-term breastfeeding and provide participants with a wider variety of food by giving state agencies more flexibility to accommodate cultural food preferences.