On May 22, the Trump administration released its Spring 2019 Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions. The agenda lists upcoming rulemakings and other regulatory actions from each agency that the administration expects to publish through the end of the year and into 2020. 

U.S. Department of Labor

In the Spring Regulatory Agenda, DOL’s Employment and Training Administration announced plans to issue the long-awaited apprenticeship proposed rule, titled Apprenticeship Programs, Labor Standards for Registration, Amendment of Regulations, in June 2019. This proposed rule comes at the instruction of President Trump’s Executive Order 13801, Expanding Apprenticeships in America, which asks the secretary of labor, in consultation with the secretaries of education and commerce, to consider proposing regulations that establish guidelines for third parties to certify industry-recognized apprenticeship programs. 

ABC was pleased to see that for the first time in its regulatory agenda, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced that it plans to issue a proposed rule to codify its memorandum clarifying its position on workplace safety incentive programs and post-incident drug testing included in the Obama administration’s 2016 Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses final rule, also known as the Electronic Injury Reporting and Anti-Retaliation final rule. The agency expects to release the proposal in September 2020. Additionally, OSHA soon expects to issue a request for information to solicit public feedback on the 2016 silica final rule to determine if revisions to Table 1 may be appropriate.

The Wage and Hour Division will continue to review comments submitted to the department in response to its overtime, regular rate and joint-employer under the Fair Labor Standards Act proposed rules. WHD did not indicate in the Spring Regulatory Agenda when it plans to finalize any of the three proposals. Also, for the first time, WHD announced that it plans to issue a request for information on the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 to solicit comments on ways to improve its regulations to better protect and suit the needs of workers and reduce administrative and compliance burdens on employers. The department plans to issue the RFI in April 2020. 

In June, the Employee Benefits Security Administration expects to finalize its proposed rules on Health Reimbursement Arrangements and Association Retirement Plans. ABC submitted comments in support of both EBSA proposals in December 2018. 

For more information on upcoming DOL rulemakings, see the department’s Spring 2019 agenda.

National Labor Relations Board

In addition to proceeding with its proposed rule on the joint-employer standard, the NLRB will consider rulemaking on its current standards for blocking charges, voluntary recognition and the formation of Section 9(a) bargaining relationships in the construction industry. Additionally, the NLRB will be revising its representation election regulations, with a specific focus on amendments to the Board’s representation case procedures adopted by the 2014 “ambush” election final rule. The item is currently listed as a long-term action.

Environmental Protection Agency

The EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will continue with plans to repeal the 2015 Clean Water Rule, also known as the Waters of the United States final rule, and recodify the regulatory definition that existed prior to the 2015 final rule, with a final rule expected in August 2019. The agencies also expect to issue a final rule to redefine WOTUS in December 2019. 

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

The EEOC intends to issue a set of proposed rules in December 2019 to amend its regulation of employer-sponsored wellness programs. In August 2017, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia invalidated the EEOC’s final regulations on the operation of voluntary wellness programs under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, and ordered the EEOC to reconsider the rulemakings.