Here are some employment-related regulations to keep an eye on:
- OSHA retaliation procedures: OSHA has issued new procedures for handling retaliation complaints under various laws, such as Procedures for the Handling of Retaliation Complaints Under Section 1558 of the Affordable Care Act.
- Federal unemployment rules: DOL implements rules on federal unemployment compensation, which provides extra compensation to the unemployed during periods of high unemployment. The latest, Federal-State Unemployment Compensation Program; Implementing the Total Unemployment Rate as an Extended Benefits Indicator and Amending for Technical Corrections; Final Rule, could be in for a change. Other rule changes on unemployment to watch for will be those relating to drug testing of applicants.
- Overtime regulations: DOL regulates minimum wage and overtime rules. The latest rule changes could be overturned. Watch for changes to, for example, Defining and Delimiting the Exemptions for Executive, Administrative, Professional, Outside Sales and Computer Employees.
- Safety regulations: OSHA has tightened safety standards on many industries. These include the very recent Occupational Exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica; Correction and Walking-Working Surfaces and Personal Protective Equipment (Fall Protection Systems).
- Social Security disability: Whether you qualify for disability benefits can be determined by very specific rules. Some recent ones at risk include Unsuccessful Work Attempts and Expedited Reinstatement Eligibility, Revised Medical Criteria for Evaluating Mental Disorders, and Revised Medical Criteria for Evaluating Neurological Disorders.
- EEOC: The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issues regulations and guidance for determining whether various types of illegal discrimination have occurred. Some recent changes include Regulations Under the Americans With Disabilities Act and Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act.
- Federal Employee ethics rules: We just saw the attempt to limit ethics requirements in Congress. Some ethics rules to watch include Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch; Amendment to the Standards Governing Solicitation and Acceptance of Gifts from Outside Sources and Interpretation, Exemptions and Waiver Guidance Concerning the Federal Criminal Conflict of Interest Statute Prohibiting Acts Affecting a Personal Financial Interest; Amendment to Definition of “Employee”.
These are just some examples of the many, many executive branch regulations that could change soon. The truth is that nobody has any idea what the new administration will actually do. Both employers and employees are justifiably nervous about what may happen in the next four years. Stay tuned.