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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently launched a new website, epa.gov/permits, with the goal of providing a centralized source of information about federal environmental permitting programs under the EPA’s jurisdiction.

On April 1, ABC submitted comments opposing the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council’s proposed rule, Pay Equity and Transparency in Federal Contracting.

On March 29, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced its Worker Walkaround Representative Designation Process final rule, which allows employees to choose a third-party representative, such as an outside union representative or community organizer, to accompany an OSHA safety inspector into nonunion workplaces during site inspections. This final rule is effective on May 31, 2024. ABC will offer a webinar on Tuesday, April 9 at 2 p.m. ET about the final rule. Register now!

On March 22, Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., led a group of Democratic senators in a letter to U.S. Department of the Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, urging Treasury to impose additional burdensome labor mandates and compliance regulations in the agency’s implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act.

The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed the Creating Confidence in Clean Water Permitting Act in a 213-205 vote. H.R. 7023, sponsored by Rep. David Rouzer, R-N.C., includes provisions from five stand-alone ABC-supported bills that passed out of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure on Jan. 31: The Nationwide Permitting Improvement Act, the Reducing Permitting Uncertainty Act, the Judicial Review Timeline Clarity Act, the Water Quality Criteria Development and Transparency Act and the Confidence in Clean Water Permits Act. The bill will go a long way toward eliminating unnecessary delays that cause budget overruns in construction.

On March 25, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and the Workforce passed the ABC-supported H.J. Res. 116, the Congressional Review Act resolution to nullify the U.S. Department of Labor’s independent contractor final rule, in a 21-13 vote with all Republicans present voting in support.

On March 18, ABC submitted 45 pages of comments on the U.S. Department of Labor’s proposed rule making significant and controversial revisions to the National Apprenticeship System, which will affect ABC members, chapters, apprentices and other industry stakeholders participating in government-registered apprenticeship programs, or GRAPs.

On March 8, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas vacated the National Labor Relations Board’s 2023 Joint Employer Final Rule and the Board’s rescission of the ABC-supported 2020 Joint Employer Final Rule. Under the court’s decision, the 2020 final rule, which provides clear criteria for companies to apply when determining their joint employer status, remains in effect today. ABC opposed the 2023 final rule, which was scheduled to go into effect on March 11.

On March 14, the ABC-led Coalition for a Democratic Workplace sent a letter to the leaders of key subcommittees in the U.S. House and U.S. Senate urging them to protect secret ballots in union representation elections.

US Department of Homeland Security Updates Immigration-Related Forms, Fees and Penalties For 2024, employers should be aware of changes at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security relating to immigration and employment. Specifically, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has updated employment-based visa request forms and fees, while penalties administered by Immigration and Customs Enforcement increased in compliance with the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 2015.

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