It should surprise no one that President-elect Joe Biden will appoint a new DOL leadership team, one that may impose more stringent workplace-safety standards.

Labor compliance costs in the billions

At a time when the economic recovery remains in question, the National Association of Manufacturers has put out a report that won’t make many employers or their workers happy.

According to its estimates, labor regulations promoted and implemented by the Obama administration in just the last year of the president’s time in office will cost the U.S. economy billions of dollars and tens of thousands of jobs.

The regulations also will require over 400 million compliance hours from companies, the report stated.

“Those dollars spent on compliance are not being spent on hiring new employees or making capital investments that businesses could be making,” Amanda Wood, NAM’s director of labor and employment policy, said.

The Obama administration’s own figures are much lower but the NAM report is based on a close examination of regulations from the Department of Labor, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Equal Opportunity Commission, and the National Labor Relations Board. Its authors looked at the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces rule, updated overtime rules, new silica standards, the Ambush Elections rule, reporting requirements for employment and wages, and reporting requirements for workplace injuries and illnesses.

NAM found that these rules could cost the economy $81.6 billion over 10 years and wipe out 155,700 jobs.

The report pointed out that these regulations would leave some employers with no choice but to swap full-time jobs with part-time ones.

“This study confirms that under President Obama, the Department of Labor has been on a regulatory spree of historic proportions that will cost the U.S. economy tens of billions and hundreds of thousands of jobs,” Jeremy Adler, a spokesman at America Rising Squared, said.

The House recently passed a bill to delay the overtime rule by six months, and NAM is part of a mix of groups challenging the new regulation in a federal lawsuit.

Critics in Congress and the business community say the Labor Department and other agencies are underestimating the costs of the new obligations. “The facts we’re getting from the private sector are wholly at odds with what the Labor Department made up,” Rep. Bradley Byrne, R-Ala., said during a Rules Committee hearing on the measure to delay the new OT requirements.

About the Author

Larry Hannappel

Larry spent 16 years with Century Casino’s and was instrumental in the start-up and growth of the company through expansions in Canada, South Africa, the Czech Republic, Poland and on several cruise ships as well as in Colorado. He was most recently the SVP, Principal Finance Officer and COO of North American operations for Century Casinos Inc., a multinational, Nasdaq-traded gaming company. Earlier in his career, Larry worked at the Johns Manville Corp. Larry spent 13 years in various accounting and finance functions in the company’s fiberglass manufacturing division and was key in the start-up of a molding plant in Indiana. Larry and his wife Kathy and three children live in Colorado. He enjoys four-wheeling, motorcycling, golfing, skiing and brewing beer.

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