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Throughout 2023, ABC has been closely monitoring federal regulatory actions and updating ABC members through the ABC Regulatory Roundup. Several federal rules have gone into effect or are scheduled to go into effect in the near future.

See the below list to learn more about important compliance dates. 

NLRB’s Joint Employer Final Rule

On Oct. 27, the National Labor Relations Board published its final rule on Joint Employer Status Under the National Labor Relations Act, which takes an ax to the ABC-supported 2020 NLRB joint employer final rule, which provided clear criteria for companies to apply when determining status. On Nov. 16, the NLRB extended the effective date of its final rule from Dec. 26 to Feb. 26, 2024. The new standard will only be applied to cases filed after the rule becomes effective.

On Nov. 9, ABC joined the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and a coalition of business groups in filing a lawsuit challenging the NLRB’s Joint Employer Final Rule for violating the National Labor Relations Act and for acting arbitrarily and capriciously in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act. Read more about the final rule.

OSHA’s Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses Final Rule

On July 21, 2023, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued its Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses final rule, which will undo the ABC-supported provisions of the 2019 final rule promulgated under the Trump administration and reprise the 2016 Obama-era rule. The final rule becomes effective on Jan. 1, 2024, for certain employers and OSHA intends to make much of the data it collects publicly available online. Read more about the final rule.

NLRB ‘Ambush’ Election Final Rule

Despite years of litigation, the Biden administration’s NLRB has revived a controversial policy from the Obama era in the form of its Representation-Case Procedures final rule. The direct final rule, issued without notice or the opportunity to comment, essentially restores provisions of the “ambush” election rule of 2014 and rescinds the remaining ABC-supported provisions of the 2019 final rule. The rule will apply to representation petitions filed on or after Dec. 26, 2023, and employers will have less time to respond to representation petitions. Read more about the final rule.

DOL’s Updating the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts Regulations Final Rule

On Aug. 23, the U.S. Department of Labor officially published its final rule, Updating the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts Regulations, in the Federal Register. The regulation’s drastic revisions to existing rules regarding government-determined prevailing wage rates that must be paid to construction workers on federal and federally assisted construction projects funded by taxpayers took effect on Oct. 23.

On Nov. 7, ABC and its Southeast Texas chapter announced the filing of a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, challenging the controversial final rule. Read more about the final rule.

DOL’s Form LM-10 Employer Report Final Rule

On July 28, the DOL’s Office of Labor-Management Standards published its final revision to the Form LM-10 Employer Report, which adds a checkbox to the Form LM-10 report requiring certain reporting entities to indicate whether such entities were federal contractors or subcontractors in their prior fiscal year, and two lines for entry of filers’ unique entity identifier and federal contracting agency or agencies, if applicable. The revision is effective for reports filed on or after Aug. 28, 2023. Read more about the final rule.

EPA and Army Corps Revised Definition of WOTUS

On Aug. 29, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers issued a final rule regarding amendments to the definition of “waters of the United States” subject to Clean Water Act regulation. This rule is aimed at bringing the January 2023 WOTUS final rule into compliance with the U.S. Supreme Court’s May 25 decision in Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency. 

The final rule took effect on Sept. 8, 2023, except in states where it has been blocked by a federal court. EPA has provided information on the litigation and a map of impacted states. Read more about the final rule.

Treasury/IRS Inflation Reduction Act Prevailing Wage and Apprenticeship Requirements

The Inflation Reduction Act was signed into law on Aug. 16, 2022, and provides over $270 billion in tax incentives for the construction of energy projects, conditioned on requirements that contractors meet prevailing wage and government-registered apprenticeship requirements.

Following guidance issued in Nov. 2022, these requirements took effect for projects beginning on or after Jan. 30, 2023. On Aug. 29, Treasury issued a proposed rule to provide additional guidance on the requirements. The proposed rule states that taxpayers may now rely on it for guidance regarding IRA tax incentives, until a final rule is published and takes effect. Resources and guidance on the IRA are available on ABC’s website.

CEQ Phase I National Environmental Policy Act Implementation Revisions

On April 19, 2022 the Council on Environmental Quality announced its final rule revising the implementation regulations of the National Environmental Policy Act. The rule reversed elements of the ABC-supported 2020 final rule that modernized and streamlined the federal environmental review process. 

While the rule took effect on May 20, 2022, federal agencies were given until Sept. 14, 2023, to incorporate the revisions into their environmental review processes. Read more about the final rule here.