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Overnight Regulation: Biz groups blast rule on disclosing pay

Welcome to Overnight Regulation, your daily rundown of news from Capitol Hill and beyond. It's Monday evening here in Washington and we're loving this warm weather even if it is raining. 

Here's the latest. 

 

THE BIG STORY 

Business groups are blasting the Obama administration's new pay reporting rule. 

The White House announced last week that the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) is drafting a rule in partnership with the Department of Labor that will require companies with 100 or more employees to report pay by race, ethnicity and gender in an effort to close pay gaps in workplaces. 

EEOC Chairwoman Jenny Yang said the new data will be used to aid investigations, assess complaints and identify existing pay disparities that warrant further examination. 

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Both the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, however, said it will be overly burdensome for employers to comply with the rule.

Because companies will be required to report compensation data for extremely broad job categories, including professionals, technician and sales employees, RILA said the rule ignores the fact that employees are paid differently based on their skills and that there are often regional differences in compensation.

While the chamber supports nondiscrimination in compensation, it said the type of reporting proposed will create unnecessary burdens while providing no meaningful insight as to whether employer pay practices are discriminatory.

"Clearly the administration has embarked on one more fishing expedition to support a political agenda divorced from the facts," Randy Johnson, the chamber's senior vice president of labor, immigration, and employee benefits, said in a statement. "Sound bites don't make sound policy."

Amanda Wood, director of labor and policy at the National Association of Manufacturers, also expressed concern. 

"These types of disclosures not only raise privacy issues, but reporting raw data does not depict the true reflection of a workplace, resulting in misleading information and confusion," she said. "We will continue to look into the details of the proposal and will work with all stakeholders on this proposed regulation."

 

ON TAP FOR TUESDAY

The Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology will hold a hearing to discuss the status of the public safety broadband network. http://1.usa.gov/1JENikw

The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power will hold a hearing to discuss eight energy infrastructure bills. http://1.usa.gov/1NxYf21

The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing to discuss the Immigrant Investor Program, known as EB-5, that allows entrepreneurs to apply for green cards. http://1.usa.gov/1PSDH6d

 

TOMORROW'S REGS TODAY

The Obama administration will publish 161 new regulations, proposed rules, notices and other administrative actions in Tuesday's edition of the Federal Register.

--The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) will issue changes to its rulemaking process.

The CPSC will now allow the agency's employees to vote on voluntary standards it issues.

Previously, employees could participate in the development of voluntary standards on a non-voting basis, but the agency will now give them more responsibility.

"Voluntary standards provide safety provisions addressing potential hazards associated with consumer products found in locations such as homes, schools, and recreational areas," the agency writes.

The new rules go into effect in 30 days. http://bit.ly/1WY15Vo

--The Department of Energy (DOE) will propose new rules for interstate electric transmission facilities.

The proposed rules from the Energy Department's Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability would "improve the pre-application procedures and result in more efficient processing of applications," the agency writes.

The public has 60 days to comment. http://bit.ly/1WY17fU

--The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will issue new Medicaid requirements for home health services.

Doctors will be required to document "the occurrence of a face-to-face encounter" with home patients, the agency writes.

The rule goes into effect on July 1. http://bit.ly/1SKP6Lm

 

NEWS RIGHT NOW

USDA issues Super Bowl food safety tips. http://bit.ly/1SyF4M7

Climate activists target Pepsi ahead of Super Bowl halftime show. http://bit.ly/1nAuRD5

Virginia concealed carry reversal catches gun control advocates by surprise. http://bit.ly/20kc1Sr

Sanders gambles on raising taxes. http://bit.ly/20Ahbq6

Financial crisis rule may be relaxed. http://bit.ly/1nzKZot

EPA under fire over Flint water crisis. http://bit.ly/23EKPNF

Critics push Congress to reject asbestos bill. http://bit.ly/1STZHni

Anti-smoking groups come to Obama's aid on trade deal. http://bit.ly/1m8NmNR

 

BY THE NUMBERS

1.3B: Number of chicken wings that will be eaten during the Super Bowl.

4M: Number of pizzas to be eaten during the Super Bowl.

(Source: The USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service)

 

QUOTE OF THE DAY 

"Supporting legislation that would almost certainly put tens of thousands of innocent Americans, including veterans and firefighters, at risk of identity theft should be a non-starter for lawmakers," Alex Formuzis, of the Environmental Working Group Action Fund, said about the Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency, or FACT Act.

Groups representing veterans, first responders and teachers are urging lawmakers to reject legislation that would require asbestos victims to share personal information when seeking compensation in court. http://bit.ly/1QUNDRx

 

We'll work to stay on top of these and other stories throughout the week, so check The Hill's Regulation page (http://thehill.com/regulation) early and often for the latest. And send any comments, complaints or regulatory news tips our way, tdevaney@thehill.com or lwheeler@thehill.com. And follow us at @timdevaney and @wheelerlydia.

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