Policy Matters Newsletter

Policy Matters - Presented by Seyfarth's Government Relations and Policy Group
     
 

Welcome to our Policy Matters Newsletter

Our Government Relations and Policy Group is excited to offer regular updates regarding the actions of Congress, administrative agencies, and other lawmakers at the federal, state, and local levels. Comprised of Seyfarth attorneys with government relations and policy experience, the team will develop solutions for clients and provide ongoing education and advocacy on policy issues. 
 

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March 15, 2018
 

by Randy Johnson and Walt Mullon

Potential DACA Deal in Omnibus Bill. Several reports have indicated that the White House is open to a possible DACA deal being included in next week’s Omnibus bill. While there is said to be no official proposal, a three-year extension of DACA is rumored to be offered in exchange for three years of border wall funding. The White House has publicly denied this, stating that the administration opposes a "three for three" swap. Further, many House Republicans balked at the notion of this deal being included in a “must pass” spending bill. While a DACA fix seems unlikely to be included in the Omnibus, this issue will clearly remain at the forefront. 

As a reminder, the current CR funds the government through March 23.
 

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March 8, 2018
 

by Randy Johnson and Walt Mullon

“New” DOL Program for Wage Violations. On Tuesday, Labor Secretary Alex Acosta announced that DOL would once again be supervising employer efforts to come into compliance after finding a wage-and-hour error or a questionable practice. Similar to Wage & Hour Division policy in the Bush Administration, the new pilot program will permit an employer to resolve FLSA issues after conducting a self-audit of its payroll and/or timekeeping practices. The Payroll Audit Independent Determination (PAID) program will provide employers the opportunity to make good on back pay and avoid litigation. Secretary Acosta stated the program "will help ensure employees receive back wages they are owed, faster." 

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March 1, 2018
 

by Randy Johnson and Walt Mullon

Hy-Brand Decision Overturned; Obama-Era Joint Employer Standard Reinstated. Earlier this week, the NLRB vacated its December decision that overturned the Obama-era joint employment standard, a reversal set in motion by conflict of interest questions surrounding Board member Bill Emanuel. A report from the inspector general stated that Emanuel had a conflict of interest because of his former employer’s involvement in Browning-Ferris, the 2015 decision that was reversed by the NLRB’s action in December. See Seyfarth’s Employer Labor Relations blog for more information on the Board’s action. OMB Director Mulvaney commented that the Browning-Ferris joint employer agreement would kill the franchise industry and that he would take a serious look at H.R. 3441, the joint employer bill which passed the House. 

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February 22, 2018


by Randy Johnson and Walt Mullon

NLRB Extends RFI Period on “Ambush” Election Rule. The National Labor Relations Board has extended the time to provide comments in response to its Request for Information on the controversial “Ambush” election rule from February 12 to March 19. Several members of the business community have requested still another 60-day extension in order to conduct further research on the issue. If the Board does decide to revisit the rule, it may wait until Board nominee John Ring is confirmed by the Senate, which would restore the Board’s 3 - 2 Republican Majority. Ring is currently scheduled to go before the Senate HELP Committee on March 1, with a committee vote scheduled for March 7. See Jaclyn Hamlin’s post for more information on the RFI

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February 15, 2018


by Randy Johnson and Walt Mullon

Missed Opportunity for Long Sought After Immigration Legislation. With Senator McConnell fulfilling his promise to bring an open immigration debate to the Senate floor this week, both partisan and bipartisan solutions were offered by lawmakers. However, as noted below, none of the measures were able to pass through the Senate this afternoon. Considering the Senate has been able to pass comprehensive immigration reform legislation in the recent past (e.g., S. 744 in 2013), some might view this as another sign that Washington is more divided than ever. 

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February 8, 2018


by Randy Johnson and Walt Mullon

Bipartisan Budget Deal Reached in Senate. Senators Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer unveiled a bipartisan two-year budget deal that funds the government through March 23 while lifting defense and non-defense spending by $300 billion and raising the debt ceiling until March of next year. The bill provides almost $90 billion in hurricane and wildfire disaster aid, extends CHIP for an additional four years, and provides funding to update infrastructure as well as to combat the opioid epidemic. President Trump tweeted his approval of the budget deal and the measure is expected to pass the Senate. However, GOP fiscal hawks immediately expressed their aversion to the package which may impede its passage in the House. 

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