From labor disputes cases to labor and employment publications, for your research, you’ll find solutions on Bloomberg Law®. Protect your clients by developing strategies based on Litigation...
By Ben Penn
The Labor Department is creating a White House-mandated office designed to reconsider government regulations, with an outspoken critic of Obama-era rules selected to oversee the project, a DOL official told Bloomberg BNA.
Nathan Mehrens, who has already held a variety of Trump administration labor roles, will run the DOL Regulatory Reform Office, created in compliance with President Donald Trump’s February executive order. Mehrens is also the DOL’s acting assistant secretary for policy, a position he has held since June that entails reviewing regulations before they are sent to the White House for approval. He was previously president of the conservative group Americans for Limited Government, where he was a watchdog of the labor movement.
The executive order tasks each government agency with appointing a regulatory reform officer and assembling a task force that reviews existing regulations and recommends certain rules for reversal or revision, depending on whether they’re considered to hurt job growth or deemed unnecessary. The DOL had not yet publicly announced its progress in complying with the order.
The DOL official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the regulatory reform office was first headed by a career DOL employee. Now “Mehrens is going to be overseeing that, and we are in the process of developing that program,” the official said.
Further details on the DOL office are pending approval from the White House Office of Management and Budget, the official said.
The Mehrens development comes after House Democrats wrote to OMB leadership Aug. 7 to express “alarm concerning the lack of transparency” of regulatory reform task forces throughout the government. The lawmakers gave a deadline of Aug. 25 for the administration to provide a list of names of all task force members.
In a Nov. 17 op-ed, Mehrens recommended that a handful of Obama DOL regulations and policies be removed under Trump because of the harm he said they impose on businesses. He included on his list the “persuader rule,” a regulation written by the Office of Labor-Management Standards that would have expanded disclosure requirements for employers using advisers to fight unionization.
The persuader rule is already going through the rescission process. Other regulations issued under the prior administration remain in effect, despite some trade groups’ calls to invalidate them. That includes a rule to expand overtime and minimum wage protections to home-care workers and a regulation requiring federal contractors to provide employees with paid sick leave.
Mehrens joined the agency’s beachhead team on Jan. 20. He was previously a member of Trump’s DOL landing team during the presidential transition and a political attorney at the department’s OLMS during the George W. Bush administration. Under Mehrens’ OLMS tenure, the office imposed more scrutiny on international unions, regularly conducting audits to ensure compliance with financial reporting requirements.
Mehrens has also written that some worker centers should be subjected to the same disclosure requirements as traditional unions.
To contact the reporter on this story: Ben Penn in Washington at email@example.com
Copyright © 2017 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)