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On Oct. 17, the Trump Administration released its Fall 2018 Regulatory Plan and Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions. The agenda lists upcoming rulemakings and other regulatory actions from each agency that the administration expects to publish through the end of the year and in 2019.

Additionally, the administration provided an update on the implementation of President Trump’s Executive Order 13771, “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs,” which requires agencies to eliminate two existing regulations for every new regulation and offset any new regulatory costs. They announced that they achieved historic and meaningful regulatory reform, issuing 12 deregulatory actions for every one new regulatory action, saving American families and business owners $23 billion in fiscal year 2018. 

U.S. Department of Labor

The DOL announced its plans to continue to revise many of the burdensome rules issued under the Obama administration as well as issue new regulatory proposals that impact the construction industry.

This week, the DOL released two proposed rules listed on the department’s agenda. The first, Definition of an "Employer" Under Section 3(5) of ERISA—Association Retirement Plans and Other Multiple Employer Plans, would make it easier for small businesses to offer retirement savings plans to their workers through Association Retirement Plans, which would allow small businesses to band together to offer 401(k) plans to their employees. The second proposal, jointly issued with the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Treasury, would expand the availability of affordable health insurance for hardworking Americans by increasing the usability of health reimbursement arrangements.

In December 2018, the DOL Employment and Training Administration plans to issue a proposed rule, Apprenticeship Programs, Labor Standards for Registration, Amendment of Regulations. This proposed rule comes at the instruction of President Trump’s E.O. 13801, “Expanding Apprenticeships in America,” which asks the secretary of labor, in consultation with the secretaries of education and commerce, to consider proposing regulations that establish guidelines for third parties to certify industry-recognized apprenticeship programs. 

The Wage and Hour Division announced plans to issue a proposal to clarify when two or more employers are considered joint employers for purposes of complying with the Fair Labor Standards Act. The proposed rule is targeted for December 2018. Also, the WHD plans to issue a proposal in March 2019 to update its white-collar exemption regulations, often referred to as the overtime rule, by determining the appropriate salary level for exemption of executive, administrative and professional employees under the FLSA.

Additionally, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration plans to solicit public feedback on the 2016 silica final rule through a request for information to determine if revisions to Table 1 may be appropriate. Effective Oct. 23, 2017, OSHA began fully enforcing all appropriate provisions of the Silica in Construction Standard. 

Other OSHA rules on the agenda include:

Powered Industrial Trucks: Request for Information, October 2018
Lock-Out/Tag-Out Update: Request for Information, October 2018
Standards Improvement Project IV: Final Rule, December 2018
Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses: Final Rule, June 2019
Occupational Exposure to Beryllium and Beryllium Compounds in Construction and Shipyard Sectors: Final Rule, June 2019

National Labor Relations Board

The NLRB is currently accepting comments on its proposal to establish an updated standard for determining joint-employer liability under the National Labor Relations Act. Additionally, the NLRB will be revising its representation election regulations, with a specific focus on amendments to the board’s representation case procedures adopted by the 2014 “ambush” election final rule. The item is currently listed as a long-term action. 

Environmental Protection Agency

The Environmental Protection Agency, along with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, will continue with plans to rescind the 2015 Clean Water Rule, also known as the definition of Waters of the United States final rule. The agencies expect to release a final rule rescinding the 2015 WOTUS rule and recodifying the regulatory definition that existed prior to the 2015 final rule in March 2019 and a proposed rule to redefine WOTUS in October 2018 (with a final rule expected in September 2019). 

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Amendments to Regulations Under the Americans With Disabilities Act: Proposed Rule, June 2019
Amendments to Regulations Under the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008: Proposed Rule, June 2019

Department of Transportation

Operations of Small Unmanned Aircraft Over People: Proposed Rule, October 2018
Registration and Marking Requirements for Small Unmanned Aircraft: Final Rule, December 2018