ABC Praises Trump Administration Regulatory Rollbacks in SBA Testimony

WASHINGTON, Aug. 28—Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) today praised the Trump administration’s efforts to roll back burdensome regulations that drive up construction costs and hold back small business hiring and expansion. 

Testifying at the 2017 National Regulatory Fairness Hearing at the U.S. Small Business Administration Office of the National Ombudsman on Aug. 28, ABC General Counsel Maury Baskin Esq. of Littler Mendelson P.C. urged action on the “persuader,” overtime and silica rules, the new “joint employer” standard, and other onerous rulemakings and policies.

“For the construction industry, unjustified and unnecessary regulations translate to higher costs, which are then passed along to the consumer or lead to construction projects being unaffordable,” Baskin said. “ABC member contractors are encouraged by the Trump administration’s efforts to bring to light and roll back costly and burdensome regulations.”

Top priorities for regulatory relief among ABC members include:

• rescinding the unlawful “persuader” advice final rule (Interpretation of the ‘Advice’ Exemption in Section 203(c) of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act), which would have a chilling effect on employers that need advice on labor relations matters;

• rescinding the “white collar” overtime  rule, which would be extremely disruptive and harmful to both employers and many of their currently exempt employees, and would be destabilizing to the construction industry as a whole;

• creating a more workable standard to replace the Occupational Exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica rule, which is technologically and economically infeasible in the real world of construction;

• rescinding the Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses final rule, which would force employers to disclose sensitive information to the public that can easily be misused for reasons wholly unrelated to safety, subject employers to illegitimate attacks and employees to violations of their privacy, and force many employers to change their current safety programs in ways that will make workplaces less safe by discouraging drug testing and safety incentive programs;

• repealing, or at minimum making common-sense reforms to, the Davis-Bacon Act, which uses a flawed wage survey process to determine federal “prevailing” wages in the construction industry and often makes it impossible for small contractors to know how to classify their employees;

• enacting the Save Local Business Act, which would overturn overbroad joint employer tests that threaten many small employers in the construction industry with significant new burdens, and restoring fairness to National Labor Relations Board oversight of small business workplace policies;

• maintaining government neutrality in federal contracting by restricting project labor agreement mandates on federal and federally assisted projects, which drive up the cost of construction projects between 12 percent and 18 percent by discouraging competition from small contractors. 

ABC also applauded the president’s executive order aimed at expanding apprenticeship opportunities, and pledged to continue working with the White House, the U.S. Department of Labor, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the National Labor Relations Board, the SBA and other government entities to reduce regulatory burdens on America’s small businesses.