The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released its latest regulatory agenda on Nov. 20. The agenda lists the priorities of the administration and the rulemakings they expect to release in 2016, their final year. An update on rulemakings affecting the construction industry is below.

OVERTIME REQUIREMENTS

What to Expect: The Wage and Hour Division (WHD) plans to issue a final rule in July 2016.

About the Proposal: The proposal, commonly referred to as “the overtime proposal,” would more than double the minimum salary for the white collar overtime exemption and would automatically update the salary levels on an annual basis.

ABC’s Actions: ABC and the Partnership to Protect Workplace Opportunity (PPWO) submitted comments asking the agency to withdraw the proposal.  In the comments, ABC stated “if the proposed unprecedented increase in the minimum salary of exempt staff becomes final, it 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.” In addition, ABC as a member of the PPWO has worked to educate members of Congress on the proposal’s impact on small businesses.

BLACKLISTING PROPOSAL

What to Expect: The Federal Acquisition Regulatory (FAR) Council plans to issue a final rule implementing President Obama’s “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces” Executive Order 13673, commonly referred to as the blacklisting proposal,  in April 2016.

About the Proposal: The proposals would require federal contractors and subcontractors to disclose any “violations” of 14 federal labor laws which occurred in the three years prior to any procurement for federal government contracts/subcontracts exceeding $500,000.  The proposal also requires contractors and subcontractors to update disclosures of labor law violations every six months while performing covered government contracts. Reported violations may then be used to disqualify contractors and/or subcontractors from performing federal work, based on a complicated and seemingly unconstitutional set of procedures proposed by the federal agencies.

ABC’s Actions: ABC submitted comments urging the withdrawal of the FAR Council’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) and the DOL’s Notice of Proposed Guidance (NPG) implementing the blacklisting proposal. To view a summary of ABC’s efforts in opposition to the proposal, visit abc.org/blacklisting.

PERSUADER RULE

What to Expect: DOL plans to issue a final rule in March 2016.

About the Proposal: The proposal would severely narrow long-standing reporting exemptions for employers and third-party experts, and redefines labor relations “advice.”  It will greatly restrict employers’ ability to receive third-party advice to educate their employees about collective bargaining. Actions that were previously considered privileged communications or advice would now carry onerous requirements for employers, attorneys and association staff.

ABC’s Actions: ABC submitted comments in 2011 requesting the agency withdraw the proposal.

OTHER UPCOMING PROPOSALS

  • OFFCP: Sex Discrimination – Final Rule, December 2015
  • ETA/DOE: Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act – Final Rule, January 2016
  • WHD: Impact of the Use of Electric Devices by Nonexempt Employees on Hours Worked Issues – Request for Information, February 2016
  • WHD: Establishing Paid Sick Leave for Contractors, Executive Order 13706 – Proposed Rule, February 2016
  • OFCCP: Construction Contractors’ Affirmative Action Requirements – Proposed Rule, May 2016
  • OFCCP: Requirement to Report Summary Data on Employee Compensation – Final Rule, May 2016
  • OLMS: Persuader Agreements: Consultant Form LM-21 Receipts and Disbursements Report – Proposed  Rule, September 2016