The Obama Administration’s regulatory agenda was released on Nov. 20 and lists the priorities of the administration and the rulemakings they expect to release in 2016, their final year. An update on rulemakings from a variety of agencies affecting the construction industry is below. ABC has also published Newsline stories updating the status of rulemakings from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the U.S. Department of Labor listed in the regulatory agenda. 

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA): Operation and Certification of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) 

What to Expect: FAA plans to issue a final rule in April 2016.

About the Proposal: The proposal addresses the commercial use of small (less than 55 lbs.) UAS, also commonly referred to as drones. The proposal includes a number of provisions including new operator requirements, such as passing an initial aeronautical knowledge test.

ABC’s Actions: ABC submitted comments on the proposal, offering input on how the proposal will affect the construction industry’s ability to use drones on project sites.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC): Wellness Programs

What to Expect: EEOC plans to issue two final rules in February 2016 dealing with Wellness Programs, (Amendments to Regulations Under the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act and Amendments to Regulations Under the Americans with Disabilities Act ).

About the Proposals: On Oct. 30, the EEOC issued a proposed rule under the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) that would authorize employers who offer wellness programs to provide inducements for an employee’s spouse, who is also a participant in the employer’s health plan, to disclose their current or past health information. For more information on the proposal, please see Littler Mendelson’s analysis. Members of the public have until Jan. 28 to submit written comments on the proposed rule.

In addition, the EEOC issued a proposed rule on April 20 amending regulations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to provide guidance on the extent to which employers may use incentives to encourage employees to participate in wellness programs that include disability-related inquiries and/or medical examinations. 

ABC’s Actions: On June 19, ABC submitted comments in response to the April 20th proposal amending regulations under the ADA. The comments address the proposal’s inappropriate treatment of the ADA’s insurance safe harbor and urge the EEOC to adopt incentive limits and reasonable design standards consistent with existing tri-agency regulations.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

The below rulemakings are listed in the EPA’s long term action list. This list indicates that the agency does not expect to have a regulatory action within the 12 months after the publication of the unified regulatory agenda.