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Washington Weekly Update 3-11-24

Situation Awareness
The House and Senate return to Washington, D.C., this week after passing the first “minibus” appropriations bill on Friday night, sending the bill to the President’s desk to be signed into law before their midnight deadline. Appropriators in both chambers will continue their work on the remaining six FY24 appropriations bills this week while committees begin to hold the first of their budgetary hearings for FY25 with heads of federal agencies. The House will consider nearly a dozen bills, including measures to authorize grants to public-private partnerships for broadband projects and to extend the application deadline for a federal disaster assistance program. 

The contenders to replace Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) as top leader of the Senate GOP conference joined ranks with Senate Finance Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) on expressing opposition to the bipartisan tax bill passed out of the House last month. Sen. Crapo, the top Republican on the Senate’s primary tax-writing body, has maintained the position that the Committee should be allowed to mark-up the legislation—a request opposed by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). 

DOL Overtime Rule Under White House Review

The Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) rule to expand overtime protections for workers is under review at the Office of Management and Budget, which received the final rule on March 1. This is the last step before the rule is released to the public. The proposed version of the rule would raise the current overtime threshold to $55,000, significantly increasing the number of workers eligible for overtime pay.

NCA filed comments with DOL and urged the Department to withdraw the proposed rule due to its negative impact on businesses and employees, particularly those who rely on commissions, such as golf and tennis instructors, and the highly seasonal nature of clubs. The comments raised questions about whether the automatic three-year update proposed is beyond the authority granted to the DOL through the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). In addition, NCA reminded the DOL that a largely similar rule finalized in 2016 setting the overtime threshold at just over $47,000 was vacated by a federal court because a threshold that high effectively made the duties test obsolete, which the court ruled conflicted with the intent of the FLSA.

Thursday Webcast: Labor and Immigration Policy for Clubs
Join us Thursday at 2pm ET for the latest labor and immigration policy news impacting clubs. NCA Board Member and attorney Tom Lenz; Founder of Seasonal Connect Pabian Law, immigration attorney Keith Pabian; and Rob Smith, Sr. Vice President of Platinum Advisors, NCA’s government relations consulting firm, will provide a 360-view on topics like OSHA inspections, overtime, the H-2B visa program, and the legislative and regulatory environment. NCA members can register for free here.

OSHA Officials Avoid Specifics on Timing of Heat Stress Rule

In a set of remarks delivered at an American Bar Association conference focused on occupational safety last week, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Doug Parker failed to offer a timeline for OSHA’s national heat stress rule, as reported by Bloomberg. When asked for further details on timing, Assistant Secretary Parker said OSHA was “working expeditiously” to issue a notice of proposed rulemaking. Most recently, OSHA concluded a Small Business Advocacy Review panel and issued a report on the panel’s findings and recommendation in November. Until a proposed rule is released, OSHA will utilize a national emphasis program to enforce the agency’s general duty clause, which allows inspectors to penalize employers for failing to provide workers with workplaces free of hazards.

GOP Lawmakers Target DOL Independent Contractor Rule

Last week, House Subcommittee on Workforce Protections Chair Kevin Kiley (R-Calif.) and Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chair Bill Cassidy (R-La.) introduced a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to overturn the Department of Labor’s final worker classification rule. The CRA provides Congress with the authority to issue a joint resolution of disapproval that would overturn Federal agency rules and regulations. NCA published a backgrounder on the issue for clubs; download it here.

The CRA resolution comes a day after the Coalition for Workforce Innovation filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas against the rule. Additional business groups joined the lawsuit, including the Chamber of Commerce and NFIB. The lawsuit states that DOL didn’t fully comply with requirements under the Administrative Procedure Act and didn’t provide adequate justification for rescinding the Trump-era independent contractor rule.

Government Relations, Economic and Health Care Insights at #NCC24

We will cover key legal and economic topics impacting clubs this year and beyond at the 2024 National Club Conference, April 28-30 in Frisco, Texas. Speakers include President of the Council for Affordable Health Coverage Joel White, who will enlighten attendees on the health care climate; Chief Investment Officer, NewEdge Wealth, Cameron Dawson who will share key economic and investment insight; and Senior VP, Platinum Advisors Rob Smith and I will give you the latest government relations information on what NCA is doing to help clubs and what our leaders on Capitol Hill are doing to shape policies. Join us and learn more by visiting