Laws affecting inquiries into the criminal histories of job applicants and workplace drug testing are among the issues manufacturers will grapple with in 2018.
House appropriators released a spending bill Tuesday that would cut the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) budget by $528 million next year, far less than the $2.6 billion cut President Trump requested.
The legislation would include language requiring the repeal of water jurisdiction regulations and include funding for buyouts at the agency. But it wouldn’t include the deep cuts Trump proposed in May, when administration officials said they wanted to end 50 department programs and eliminate 3,200 of the agency’s 15,000 jobs.
The spending bill also includes funding for the Interior Department, the Forest Service and related agencies. It’s a $31.4 billion bill, which is $824 million less than current levels and $4.3 billion higher than Trump’s budget.
The Hill (7/7, Jagoda) reported that “the Treasury Department on Friday identified eight tax regulations that it plans to suggest changes to, following a review that was directed by President Trump.” The Hill added, “Among the rules the Treasury plans to propose reforms to are regulations the Obama administration issued relating to offshore tax deals and the estate tax, which have been opposed by GOP lawmakers and business groups.”
The Trump Administration had ordered the department “to issue a report that identifies regulations that impose an ‘undue financial burden’ on taxpayers, add ‘undue complexity’ to tax laws or increase or exceed the IRS’s statutory authority.”
Dow Jones Newswires (7/7, Rubin, Subscription Publication) reported that “a rule limiting the tax benefits of intercompany loans was among the Obama administration’s most controversial and tax experts had expected it to appear on Treasury’s target list.” The article quoted a department statement saying, “Treasury intends to propose reforms – potentially ranging from streamlining problematic rule provisions to full repeal – to mitigate the burdens of these regulations in a final report submitted to the president.”
In a column for Shopfloor (7/7), NAM Vice President for Tax and Domestic Economic Policy Dorothy Coleman wrote that the list of possible changes to tax regulations includes “four regulation projects of specific concern to manufacturers: Sec. 385 debt-equity rules, proposed rules on valuing minority interests in family-owned businesses, rules for calculating gains and losses on currency exchanges and regulations allowing contractors hired by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to fully participate in summons interviews and receive summoned documents.” In urging the repeal or withdrawal of the proposals, Coleman stated that “manufacturers applaud Treasury for acting decisively to begin to address the onerous, costly and unnecessary burden these tax regulations impose on manufacturers.”
Ergonomics was a hot topic for OSHA in the 1990s, with the agency issuing a standard for ergonomics in 2000, which quickly was repealed in 2001. So why should employers continue to concern themselves with ergonomics?
Ergonomics is the study of work. From an OSHA perspective, it is the process of designing the job to fit the employee, rather than forcing the employee’s body to fit the job. This process may include modifying tasks, the work environment and equipment to meet the specific needs of an employee to alleviate physical stress on the body and eliminate potentially disabling work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).