On Feb. 17, ABC sent a letter
to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Chairman Tom Cole (R-Okla.) and Ranking Member Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) expressing concern over several regulations issued by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
The regulations discussed in the letter include the following:
- “Persuader” Reporting Rulemaking- The proposal issued by DOL would severely narrow long-standing reporting exemptions for employers and third-party experts, and redefines labor relations “advice.” It would greatly restrict employers’ ability to receive third-party advice to educate their employees about collective bargaining. DOL’s proposal virtually eliminates this exemption, resulting in the drastic expansion of the types of circumstances that will trigger reporting—including communications between attorneys and their clients.
- Crystalline Silica Rulemaking- The proposed rule drastically lowers the permissible exposure limit (PEL) of crystalline silica for the construction industry. The proposal also would require contractors to implement engineering controls and follow several “ancillary” provisions, such as exposure monitoring, medical surveillance and the establishment of regulated areas.
- Blacklisting- The Obama Administration’s sweeping proposal 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. 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.
- “Ambush” Elections Rulemaking- The NLRB’s rulemaking has reduced the amount of time between a union filing a representation petition and a representation election taking place to a median of 24 days. The final rule unnecessarily expedites the election timeframes by eliminating procedural due process rights for employers prior to the election, including determinations on which employees are considered supervisors, and which employees constitute a potential bargaining unit.
- Browning-Ferris Industries Case- In August 2015, the Board issued its Browning-Ferris Industries decision, in which the Board overturned the traditional “joint employer” standard. The unprecedented changes by the Board redefined who qualifies as a “joint employer” under the NLRA, which has the potential to create barriers to and burdens on the contractor and subcontractor relationship throughout the construction industry.
In its letter
, ABC urged the Committee to carefully examine the impact these regulations will have on job growth in the construction industry and ensure that the issues are addressed in the FY 2017 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill.