Rolling Back the Regulations

By Ann Sullivan, WIPP Chief Advocate

As we’ve said before, the 115th Congress is off to the races. While the Senate has been busy confirming the president’s nominees, the House has been diligently working to limit agency reach by rolling back specific rules.

Below are highlights of two rules you should know about. We are tracking them, so you don’t have to.

OSHA Recordkeeping Rule

Give me the basics:

  • 12/16/16: The Occupational Health and Safety Administration finalized a rule extending the timeframe that employers have to keep records of workplace injuries or incidents from six months to five years.
  • The rule allowed an agency to cite employers for record-keeping violations that go as far back as five years.

Why should I care?

  • The rule could add a significant cost to the management of workplace safety and workers’ compensation programs for employers, and does nothing to improve workplace safety and health.

What’s the status?

  • Last week, the House halted the rule from taking effect.
  • This rule repeal now heads to the Senate where it is expected to pass.
  • More information about the repeal of the rule can be found in WIPP’s statement here.

Contractor Blacklisting Rule

Give me the basics:

  • The rule finalized in October required contractors and subcontractors to disclose violations of 14 federal labor and employment laws, and state equivalents, when bidding on a contract. Requiring a DOL employee to clear prospective contractors would add an additional step, resulting in likely losing the award.
  • While a federal judge halted implementation of most of the rule in October, this Congressional repeal would halt the rule for good.

Why should I care?

  • WIPP’s official comment on the rule highlighted concerns that the rule went too far, and may do more harm than good

What’s the status?

  • This week, the Senate followed the House in voting to repeal the U.S. Department of Labor Fair Pay, Safe Workplaces rule, also known as the Contractor Blacklisting Rule.
  • President Trump is expected to sign the repeal into law

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