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On April 22, the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council published a final rule, Federal Acquisition Regulation: Sustainable Procurement, with the stated goal of restructuring and updating existing requirements for sustainability in federal procurement. The rule was first announced in an April 19 White House press release.

On April 18, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration issued the final rule on Lowering Miners’ Exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica and Improving Respiratory Protection, which lowers the permissible exposure limit of respirable crystalline silica to 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air for a full-shift exposure, calculated as an eight-hour, time-weighted average. If a miner’s exposure exceeds the limit, mine operators are required to take immediate corrective actions to come into compliance.

On April 19, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued a final rule to implement the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, which has been in effect since June 27, 2023. As the EEOC explains, the PWFA requires most employers with 15 or more employees “to provide a ‘reasonable accommodation’ to a qualified employee’s or applicant’s known limitations related to, affected by, or arising out of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, unless the accommodation will cause the employer an ‘undue hardship.’” The final rule goes into effect on June 18.

On Feb. 27, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency published a notice and request for comment regarding authorization of new California regulations requiring drastically lowered emissions for locomotives operated on railways within the state.

On April 9, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the ABC-supported H.R.6655, A Stronger Workforce for America Act, in a 378-26 vote. Ahead of the House floor consideration, ABC sent a letter in support of the legislation. “Since its passage in 1998, WIOA has been a crucial asset to the construction industry, aiding in securing funds for workforce development efforts and assisting those seeking new jobs and employment. However, since WIOA’s bipartisan reauthorization in 2014, the construction industry has faced new challenges and a workforce shortage that has left many contractors throughout the country in desperate need of qualified, skilled craft professionals,” the letter noted. “To ensure the workforce is equipped to meet industry demand, ABC is committed to pursuing policies and legislation like H.R. 6655 that address these unique challenges.”

ABC’s Regulatory Roundup is updated on a regular basis and includes information about federal regulations, guidance and compliance materials from the U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Department of the Treasury, Federal Acquisition Regulation Council, National Labor Relations Board, Federal Trade Commission, Environmental Protection Agency and Council on Environmental Quality.

On April 1, the U.S. Department of Labor issued an updated version of its Prevailing Wage Resource Book. The resource provides an overview of prevailing wage requirements under the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts and Service Contract Act. The updated guide incorporates changes to Davis-Bacon regulations that came into effect on Oct. 23, 2023, under the August 2023 final rule.

On April 10, the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the Office of Management and Budget concluded its review of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Defining and Delimiting the Exemptions for Executive, Administrative, Professional, Outside Sales, and Computer Employees final rule. The rule would alter overtime regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The rule is expected to be released imminently now that it has completed OIRA review.

On April 10, the U.S. Senate passed H.J. Res 98, the Joint Employer Congressional Review Act resolution of disapproval, in a 50-48 vote. ABC sent a key vote letter to senators ahead of the vote urging them to support the resolution, which would nullify the ABC-opposed National Labor Relations Board’s 2023 joint employer final rule. The Senate’s action comes two months after the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.J. Res 98 in a 206-177 vote, with eight Democrats supporting. Although President Joe Biden has vowed to veto the resolution, passage in the House and Senate sends a strong message to the administration as they continue to implement harmful labor policies.

On March 21, ABC wrote a letter in support of H.R. 7784, the Start Applying Labor Transparency Act or SALT Act (introduced by Rep. Burgess Owens, R-Utah), which would amend the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959. Its purpose is to clarify that labor organizations and their consultants must report when they engage in a coercive tactic known as “salting”—a process where unions send professionally trained organizers into merit shop workplaces under the guise of seeking employment.

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