Issues, Labor Unions, Regulation

Obama’s “Blacklisting Regulation” seen as unnecessary to everyone, except Obama

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The Obama Administration just finalized another regulation that adds an estimated $454 million to the cost of doing business, will cost much to enforce, and the Labor Department admits it is basically unnecessary.  What is going on?

This regulation, branded the “Blacklisting Regulation” and a “Guidance” document that is supposed to assist in implementation of the regulation are hefty. The preview copy of the regulation comes in at 509 pages and the guidance, 369 pages.

From the very beginning, the Obama Administration has made a practice of shaming employers wherever possible. As such, their new regulation which deals with required disclosures from federal contractors should be viewed with this in mind as shaming appears to be the objective rather than their stated rationale.

The regulation requires federal contractors to maintain and report to their prospective government contracting party a list of findings against them regarding labor law violations. This list is to be made public as well. The regulation also implements other requirements; such as limits on the ability of such employers to use arbitration in certain employment law disputes. These regulations begin to go into effect in October.

The rationale for the regulation is that the government shouldn’t be contracting with bad employers and that this regulation is needed to find out if an employer is bad.

Up front, the U.S. Department of Labor, which is responsible for the guidance part of this, hints that the regulation isn’t necessary. The Department states, “By law, Federal agencies already must contract only with ‘responsible’ sources.”

This requirement is not new, but goes all the way back to 1884.

Yet, they are pushing ahead with more regulations anyway. That tells you everything you need to know about how this administration works. The administration would have us believe that the personnel who handle contracting don’t know how to find out information about prospective contractors, especially in the areas of violations of labor laws. As the regulation states,

Even if information regarding labor law decisions is made available, contracting officers generally lack the expertise and tools to assess the severity of the labor law violations brought to their attention and therefore cannot easily determine if a contractor’s actions show a lack of integrity and business ethics.

This is ironic given the huge push that the Labor Department has made during this administration to publicize enforcement data and to shame “bad” employers. One need only to go to the Labor Department’s online enforcement database to obtain a wide range of information on what the enforcement agencies have done regarding a particular employer.

One of the required disclosures under the regulation relates to violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act. As it just so happens the Labor Department already publishes this information.

Would you like to see data on health and safety inspections that are conducted by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)? That is just a click away for the “approximately 100,000 OSHA inspections conducted annually.”

The regulation is essentially saying that agency personnel can’t find the database and can’t read it even if they can find it. This is rather uncomplimentary to say the least. This also makes one question why the Labor Department spent so much time and money on this project if they didn’t believe it would actually work.

The regulation and guidance come as a result of Executive Order 13673 by President Obama that was issued on July 31, 2014.

Among other things, the Order also requires the creation of new personnel positions, the “agency labor compliance advisors (ALCAs).” This means that every government contract just became more expensive because agencies will have to hire additional staff to fill these newly created positions and the contractors will have to work with this person.

Like all regulations, this one imposes other costs.

Even the government’s own paperwork burden estimate tells us that this will be expensive. The estimated first year costs to handle the paperwork associated with the regulation are over $454 million and every year after the estimated cost is $260 million. This doesn’t take into the cost to taxpayers for the additional agency officials that are required and the work that they are to do.

Rather than creating a new regulatory regime that will cost a quarter billion dollars a year, maybe agency officials should actually use the tools already available to them. But, that would get in the way of shaming employers, which is the real goal here.

This is a guest post by Nathan Mehrens President of Americans for Limited Government and previously served in the U.S. Department of Labor.
  • Robert

    This is not needed because the Government only contracts with trustworthy contractors. like a $7000 microwave for aircraft a 8
    $800 toilet seat for the C5 aircraft, $300 dollar hammers tht you can buy in the store for less than $20, yes these are really trustworthy contractors, I forgot $7 Billion to build one Submarine and the largest most affluent Cruise ship in the world only cost less than $3 billion. We do need some cntrol on Government contracts, like President Eisenhower SAID THE COSTLIEST THING THE GOVERNMENT HAD WAS THE MILITARY INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX.

    HAVE A NICE DAY

  • Frank W Brown

    A Country Founded by Geniuses but Run by Idiots! AND TYRANTS AND BUREAUCRAPS!!!

    If you can get arrested for hunting or fishing without a license, but 
not for entering and remaining in the country illegally — you might 
live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

    If you have to get your parents’ permission to go on a field trip or 
to take an aspirin in school, but not to get an abortion — you might 
live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

    If you MUST show your identification to board an airplane, cash a 
check, buy liquor, or check out a library book and rent a video, but not 
to vote for who runs the government — you might live in a nation that 
was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

    If the government wants to prevent stable, law-abiding citizens from 
owning gun magazines that hold more than ten rounds, but gives twenty 
F-16 fighter jets to the crazy new leaders in Egypt — you might live in a 
nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

    If, in the nation’s largest city, you can buy two 16-ounce sodas, but 
not one 24-ounce soda, because 24-ounces of a sugary drink might make 
you fat — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is
 run by idiots.

    If an 80-year-old woman or a three-year-old girl who is confined to a 
wheelchair can be strip-searched by the TSA at the airport, but a woman 
in a burka or a hijab is only subject to having her neck and head 
searched — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but 
is run by idiots.

    If your government believes that the best way to eradicate trillions 
of dollars of debt is to spend trillions more — you might live in a 
nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

    If a seven-year-old boy can be thrown out of school for saying his 
teacher is “cute,” but hosting a sexual exploration or diversity class 
in grade school is perfectly acceptable — you might live in a nation 
that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

    If hard work and success are met with higher taxes and more 
government regulation and intrusion, while not working is rewarded with 
Food Stamps, WIC checks, Medicaid benefits, subsidized housing, and free
 cell phones — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses 
but is run by idiots.

    If the government’s plan for getting people back to work is to 
provide incentives for not working, by granting 99 weeks of unemployment 
checks, without any requirement to prove that gainful employment was 
diligently sought, but couldn’t be found — you might live in a nation 
that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

    If you pay your mortgage faithfully, denying yourself the newest 
big-screen TV, while your neighbor buys iPhones, time shares, a 
wall-sized do-it-all plasma screen TV and new cars, and the government 
forgives his debt when he defaults on his mortgage — you might live in a
 nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

    If being stripped of your Constitutional right to defend yourself 
makes you more “safe” according to the government — you might live in a 
nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

    If the media panders to your openly socialist leader while the IRS targets groups with dissenting views— you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

    If your government ‘cracks down’ on legal gun sales to law abiding citizens while secretly supplying illegal guns to Mexican drug cartels— you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

    If your local government (Chicago) outlawed gun ownership for ‘the safety of its citizens’ and now boasts the worst murder rate in the country — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

    What a country!

    How about we give God a reason to continue blessing America?

    This was borrowed from another blog, authors unknown, please spread it far and wide!

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