President Repeals Rule Affecting Workers

April 3, 2017

On March 27, President Trump signed legislation repealing the regulations implementing the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order previously issued by President Obama. The order required federal contractors to disclose any violations of worker protection laws before receiving new government contracts, and advocates believe it is necessary to protect workers’ wages and safety and to encourage violators to comply with labor and civil rights laws. CHN supported this executive order and signed a group letter urging members of Congress to oppose efforts to repeal it. The National Employment Law Project also opposed its repeal and issued this statement after President Trump signed the legislation. The move by Republicans and the Trump Administration to undo the order is viewed by advocates as anti-worker, anti-taxpayer, and anti-law-abiding business. The House voted (236-187) to repeal on Feb. 2, and the Senate followed (49-48) on March 6.

On March 30, the Senate voted (50-49) to repeal a rule issued under the Obama Administration that would allow cities to create retirement savings accounts for private sector and low-income workers whose employers do not offer retirement plans on their own. The Senate is expected to take up a similar measure covering state-sponsored plans this month. The House has already voted to repeal the two rules. AARP opposed actions by Congress to repeal the rules, saying the moves amount to a massive roadblock that will have a “chilling effect” on cities and states. AARP Executive Vice President Nancy LeaMond said, “The fact is that many Americans who lack a workplace savings plan do not save enough for retirement and run the risk of relying exclusively on Social Security’s modest benefits when they retire. As a result of having insufficient retirement income, they are more likely to need the assistance of social safety net programs.”

Advocates took some comfort in the fact that the deadline for introducing legislation under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) that targets Obama-era regulatory protections elapsed on Thursday, March 30. Congress can still take action on the multitude of “resolutions of disapproval” that have already been filed to undo rules put in place under President Obama, but they can no longer introduce new resolutions. According to Public Citizen, seven rules have been repealed, six are sitting on the President Trump’s desk awaiting his signature, and about two dozen rules have valid resolutions targeting them. For more information about other rules and regulations under threat and the CRA, see this statement from Public Citizen and RulesAtRisk.org.



Categories: Labor and Employment