By Nick Goldstein, vice president of regulatory and legal issues, ARTBA
In addition to its headline-grabbing repeal of an Obama-era wetlands proposal, Trump administration agencies made two other significant regulatory announcements:
EEOC to Reconsider Pay Data Collection
The Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) is reconsidering an Obama administration directive to increase reporting requirements for many employers, including larger contractors working on federal-aid construction projects. A Trump administration effort to stay the rules was defeated in federal court. EEOC noted in a Sept. 12 request for information that the financial burden on employers to collect the new data is greater than initially anticipated. In light of this new information, the agency is re-evaluating the additional requirements.
The regulation requires all private contractors with 100 or more employees working on such projects to report data reflecting salary and number of hours worked for employees via the “EEO-1” form. The agency is currently collecting data for calendar years 2017 and 2018. Prior to the rule, employers were only required to report on ethnicity, race, and gender of their employees on the form.
ARTBA opposed the new EEO-1 reports, noting that they do not include information on the employees’ seniority, education level and performance and therefore paint an inaccurate picture of the employee’s salary level. ARTBA has also raised security and privacy concerns over releasing such data to the federal government.
Comments are due Nov. 12 and ARTBA will reiterate its initial concerns to EEOC.
2011 Hours of Service “Restart” Rule Rescinded
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Sept. 12 announced that it would rescind a provision of the 2011 federal “hours of service” (HOS) rule that requires drivers to rest on two consecutive days between the hours of 1 to 5 a.m. in order to qualify for the 34-hour “restart” to their driving week. It also mandates drivers could only utilize this restart once every seven days.
FMCSA made its decision after conducting a congressionally-mandated study of the provision, which found that it contained “no statistically significant benefits” from a safety perspective. The rule, which had been suspended during the study, is now formally repealed. ARTBA consistently opposed the 2011 changes to the “restart” provision and advocated for the Congress to mandate study, which ultimately showed no evidence that it improved safety.