Over the past eight years, there has been a marked increase in the amount of regulation coming out of Washington. I’m not describing legislation passed through Congress and signed by the President, but an exercise in administrative agency rule making.
Now you might be thinking to yourself that you watched Schoolhouse Rock’s How a Bill Becomes Law and you know how laws are passed. Well the process is not quite the same, and you should be aware of the differences for your business.
Let’s take the new Overtime Rule from the Department of Labor as a case study. The authority to regulate starts with the Fair Labor Standards Act which was passed by Congress and signed by the President in 1938. This law has been modified by Congress many times throughout the years, but that’s not exactly what the Department of Labor is doing here.
Instead, the Department of Labor is responding to President Obama’s 2014 Presidential Memorandum directing to the agency to update their interpretation of the law. So the agency published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on July 6, 2015 and a proposed rule on September 4, 2015.
Then, after receiving comments from interested parties, labor groups, chambers of commerce, and other groups, President Obama and Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez announced their final rule on May 18, 2016.
And this new rule was massive and applied sweeping changes. Most importantly, it will nearly double the threshold for white collars workers eligible for overtime which will affect approximately 4.2 million U.S. workers costing industry billions.
That’s a lot of power for an agency to wield, but this case study is only one example. Through a similar process administrative agencies also announced new Fiduciary Rules, new Debt/Equity Rules, new E-Cigarette Rules, new OSHA Workplace Injury Reporting Rules, and they seek comment on a new Arbitration Regulation from the CFPB to name a few from this year alone.
In all, the Obama Administration will post over 650 major rules by the end of the second term, an increase of approximately 30% over President Bush.
Over the coming months the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce will be taking a closer look at some of these regulations and how they affect the local economy and your business. On November 14, the Legislative Committee will be evaluating the Department of Labor’s new overtime rule and discussing implementation strategies for your business in a breakout session afterward. Register here now as we expect this program to be very popular, and space is limited.
During the December 2nd Legislative Committee meeting we will examine access to capital markets in our regulated economy. Tom Quaadman, Executive President at the U.S. Chamber’s Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness will lead the Capital and Financial Markets Workshop to evaluate how regulations have constricted the economy and limited growth. Register here to make sure your voice can be heard.