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Washington Weekly Update 6-3-24

Situational Awareness

Both the Senate and House return to Washington, D.C., this week after a week-long recess. The House is slated to consider post office naming bills and the FY2025 Military Construction-VA spending bill. Across Capitol Hill, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) is planning to begin proceedings for a floor vote on legislation that seeks to protect the ability to provide and access contraceptives.

SCOTUS Agrees to Hear EPA-San Francisco Clean Water Act Case

Last week, the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) agreed to hear a case brought by the City of San Francisco alleging that EPA’s Clean Water Act regulations are overly vague. Lawyers representing San Francisco are arguing that a wastewater discharge permit issued to the city by EPA violates the Clean Water Act because it doesn’t impose specific limits on water pollution into the Pacific Ocean. The main argument in this case is that ‘narrative’ limitations laid out in the terms of the permit—which effectively prohibit discharges that would cause “too much” pollution—make it nearly impossible to comply with the Clean Water Act and would expose municipalities to unpredictable enforcement actions.

If SCOTUS rules in favor of San Francisco, it will prohibit EPA regulations that use a “narrative” limitation to pollution. It would also establish a precedent that could be used to challenge other overly broad water regulations, i.e., the post-Sackett WOTUS rule. If the justices rule in favor of the EPA, it will allow these “narrative” limitations to continue and provide precedent for similarly vague regulations to be upheld by the courts.

DOL Sues Hyundai Over Illegal Child Labor

The Department of Labor has filed a lawsuit against Korean carmaker Hyundai alleging that the company is liable for repeated child labor violations that occurred at one of its auto parts suppliers in Alabama. The complaint details how a company named Best Practice Service sent the child to SMART Alabama, which provided component parts to Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama. Furthermore, DOL has accused all three companies of jointly employing the child. The case is significant because it’s the first time DOL has sued a major company over alleged child labor violations that took place at a subcontractor’s facility. The agency has made bolstering protections for minors a central pillar of its regulatory agenda and has requested additional funding from Congress to bolster its enforcement of child labor laws.

House Oversight Hearing of EPA 

On Wednesday, June 5, the House Oversight Committee will hold a hearing to conduct oversight and gather information from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan on the Biden Administration’s recent environmental regulations. In an official press release announcing the hearing, Committee Chair James Comer (R-Ky.) claimed that EPA has gone beyond its environmental protection authorities to advance “a radical climate agenda” that has resulted in overburdensome regulations. Most recently, Chair Comer has criticized EPA for its new rules on emissions from fossil fuel-powered plants and limits on pesticide use. The hearing could provide lawmakers with an opportunity to receive a status update on the agency’s implementation of its post-Sackett WOTUS rule.

House Ed and Workforce Committee Chair Introduces Labor Union Legislation

House Education and the Workforce Committee Chair Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) introduced H.R. 8573, the Union Members Right to Know Act. The legislation requires labor unions to inform union members of their free speech rights and the right not to pay dues or fees to the union based on religious beliefs and practices for nonrepresentational activity. The introduction of this legislation aims to address concerns raised by the Committee’s recent investigations into the tactics of labor unions that could undermine the integrity of elections.

NCA Overtime Webcast Recording Now Available

Last week, NCA hosted the webcast, Preparing Your Club and Employees for the July 1 Overtime Threshold Change, to help educate clubs on the new overtime rule issued by the Department of Labor. The conversation was led by Jenifer Bologna, NCA Board Member and partner at employment and labor law firm Jackson Lewis, as she, her colleagues and Joe Trauger covered how clubs should prepare for the July 1, 2024 and subsequent Jan 1. 2025 overtime increases.

NCA members can watch the webcast on-demand by clicking here. All past NCA webcasts can be access for free by NCA members here.