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Washington Weekly Update 10-30-23

Situational Awareness

The House and Senate are both in session this week. In addition to voting on additional aid for Israel, the House will be focused on appropriations bills and three privileged motions—one to expel Representative George Santos (R-N.Y.), one to censure Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and one to censure Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.). The Senate will be working on a package of appropriations bills to avert a government shutdown as well as the nomination of Jacob Lew, former Secretary of the Treasury, for ambassador to Israel.

Join Esteemed Championship Panel at Inaugural Club Championship Conference, Nov. 13 at Army Navy Country Club

NCA has assembled a historic panel for the inaugural NCA Championship Club Conference, Nov. 13 at Army Navy Country Club just outside Washington DC, to meet, learn, share best practices and discuss the challenges and rewards of hosting championships and qualifiers for the major tours and golf organizations in the United States. Together the representing clubs have hosted:

9 US Opens, 2 PGA Championships, 2 US Women’s Open, 5 US Senior Opens, 2 US Amateurs, the Women’s PGA Championship and the Masters.

Learn more and register here.

Senate Small Business Hearing on Outdoor Recreation Committee

On Wednesday, Nov. 1, the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship will hold a hearing titled, “The Great Outdoors: Small Businesses and America’s Outdoor Recreation Economy.” In 2016, Committee Chair Shaheen’s Outdoor Recreation Jobs and Economic Impact Act of 2015 was signed into law. The legislation directed federal agencies to measure the impact of outdoor recreation on the economy to help inform policy makers and business leaders about the number of jobs created and consumer spending driven by outdoor recreation industries. In November 2022, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) published a report showing the significant economic impact of the outdoor recreation sector in 2021.

Senate Confirms Wage and Hour Department Head

Last week, the Senate confirmed Jessica Looman to be administrator of the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division. Prior to her confirmation, Administrator Looman served as principal deputy administrator of the Wage and Hour Division. In her new capacity as administrator, Looman will be responsible for overseeing the implementation of the DOL’s proposed independent contractor rule, which would reclassify independent contractors that are “economically dependent” on a company as employees. The rule would also expand the number of factors related to working relationships considered by labor enforcement officials when determining whether a worker is an employee or contractor. 

NLRB Issues Final Rule on Joint Employer Status

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) released their final rule amending the federal joint employer status. Under the new standard, an entity may be considered a joint employer of a group of employees if each entity has an employment relationship with the employees and they share or codetermine one or more of the employees’ essential terms and conditions of employment, which are defined exclusively as: 

  1. Wages, benefits, and other compensation.
  2. Hours of work and scheduling.
  3. The assignment of duties to be performed.
  4. The supervision of the performance of duties.
  5. Work rules and directions governing the manner, means and methods of the performance of duties and the grounds for discipline.
  6. The tenure of employment, including hiring and discharge.
  7. Working conditions related to the safety and health of employees.

The rule reverses a Trump-era standard by making it easier for companies to be designated a joint employer, potentially lowering the standards for companies to be liable for labor law violations or subjecting employers to bargaining obligations involving franchisees or contractors.

OSHA Aiming for 2024 Heat Standard Rule

During a National Safety Council (NSC) Safety Congress and Expo in New Orleans last week, officials from DOL’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) told participants that the agency was aiming to release a proposed heat illness standard in the first half of 2024. According to Andrew Levinson, director of OSHA’s Directorate of Standards and Guidance, OSHA is examining both indoor (i.e., commercial kitchens, warehouses) and outdoor work (i.e., construction, agriculture, landscaping) settings with high heat hazards.

EPA Final Rule on PFAS Reporting

The EPA has released its final rule to improve reporting on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) to the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) by eliminating an exemption that allowed facilities in industry sectors, such as manufacturing, to avoid reporting information on PFAS when those chemicals were used in small concentrations. While limited to a specific group of covered entities, the rule is a single aspect of the Biden administration’s broader strategy to mitigate the impact of PFAS exposure on physical and environmental health. In the spring, the EPA proposed the first-ever drinking water standard to limit the prevalence of PFAS.