Commentary: Workplace Regulations Are On The Way

LCT Staff
Posted on August 25, 2010

U.S. CHAMBER OF COMMERCE CHIEF: Federal regulators attack businesses with many “under the radar” measures friendly to unions and costly to owners.

By Tom Donohue President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Employee Free Choice Act — better known as card check — could be making a comeback. In a recent interview, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said, “I think you’ll see the Employee Free Choice Act come up again. I think you’ll see it, probably, before the end of the year.”

If Trumka’s prediction comes true, it couldn’t happen at a worse time. With unemployment at 9.5%, it makes absolutely no sense to enact job-killing legislation that will also take away workers’ rights to a secret ballot in unionization votes.

But card check isn’t the only item on Big Labor’s wish list that should be of concern to business owners — it’s just the most visible one. In fact, many of the changes that will affect employers are taking place under the radar through the federal regulatory process. Let’s take a look at some of these rules and the impact they could have on your business.

First, is an anticipated Department of Labor regulation that would require employers to submit written analyses justifying worker classifications, such as eligibility for overtime, under the Fair Labor Standards Act. These analyses would be made available on demand both to employees and government investigators. Not only will this lead to additional paperwork for employers, but it could open the door to lawsuits based upon the alleged misclassification of employees.

Second, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is moving forward on a rule that would require employers to keep track of work-related injuries associated with ergonomics risks. This regulation is viewed as the precursor to a broader effort on ergonomics, such as a regulation mandating safety and health programs according to OSHA’s standards, rather than practices that will work or are working for employers. This regulation will cost employers time and money to implement, and it is highly questionable that it would result in any workplace safety improvements.

Finally, federal contractors should brace themselves for change. The administration has already finalized rules strongly “encouraging” federal agencies to require union-only labor agreements on large construction projects. This creates a significant disadvantage for nonunion contractors to bid on federal projects and will decrease competition and raise procurement costs for the government — and ultimately for the taxpayer.

Unfortunately, labor regulations are only the tip of the iceberg. The administration has unleashed a regulatory avalanche across a range of issues — health care, financial markets, and the environment, among others. This creates tremendous uncertainty for businesses and slows job creation. Let’s make American jobs —not new regulations — our top priority.


Source: Free Enterprise — News and Views of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce

LCT Staff LCT Staff
Comments ( 1 )
  • Jake1

     | about 9 years ago

    are you kidding these employers dont miss classified there workers at all thay all go by the letter of the law so are you saying that these limousine and bus companeys and all the employers in the transportation industry dont go by the law and thay better shape up and do it right well here is some news for all the employers just piss of a employee like the bell transporation companey did here in nevada and watch what a mess it can cause if you dont belive me just look up the case because the judge said that thay must pay for all hours worked and the whd had just trained 400 workers to find these employers who are breaking the law so i suggest you change the practices if you are doing it worng otherwise i see a flsa lawsuit comming your way good luck and pay attetion to the flsa laws it will save you a ton of money in the long run from nevada

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