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SBA Small Business Alerts, Advocacy May 11, 2015

Thursday, May 14, 2015  
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May 11, 2015

Dear Small Business Stakeholders,

Please see the update from the SBA Office of Advocacy.  You can stay up-to-date on our office by reading our comment letters and reviewing our research. As always, we are seeking your input on current regulatory alerts and your participation in our regulatory roundtables. Please be in touch directly with the listed Advocacy contact for any questions or comments on these topics. Feel free to contact me with other questions or concerns.

——Elle Patout Congressional Affairs and Public Relations Manager

OFFICIAL ADVOCACY COMMENTS

Comment Letter to GSA: 5/4/2015- Comments on Transactional Data Reporting (GSAR Case 2013-G504)

Comment Letter to DOE: 5/8/15 - Comments on Proposed Energy Conservation Standards for Hearth Products

Comment Letter to EPA: 5/8/15 - Comments on Convening of Panel on Federal Plan Requirements for Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Electric Utility Generating Units Constructed on or Before January 8, 2014

OPEN COMMENT PERIODS

 

EEOC Releases Rule on Employer Wellness Programs

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) is issuing a proposed rule that would amend the regulations and guidance documents on employer wellness programs under Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

The rule amends the ADA regulations to provide guidance on the extent to which employers may use incentives to encourage employees to participate in wellness programs that include disability-related inquiries and/ or medical examinations. Title I of the ADA applies to employers with 15 or more employees; this rule will impact 764,233 small firms (entities with 15-500 employees).   Advocacy is interested in input on the economic impact of this rule on small businesses.  

Submit Comments here by June 19, 2015.

Advocacy contact: Janis Reyes at 202.205.6533

 

DHS and DOL Issue Changes to H-2B Visa Program

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Labor (DOL) are jointly issuing an interim final rule regarding program changes to the H-2B visa program, which allows employers to hire temporary non-agricultural guest workers.

The rule includes a new employer registration process, increased recruitment and oversight, requirements for guaranteed pay, additional fees, and similar payment for corresponding U.S. workers.


These agencies jointly issued this rule due to recent court decisions that found that DOL lacked authority under the Immigration and Nationality Act to independently issue legislative rules governing the H-2B program.  . 

Submit comments here by June 29, 2015.

Advocacy contact: Janis Reyes at 202.205.6533

 

DOL Issues Proposal Expanding the Types of Retirement Advice Covered by Fiduciary Protections

On April 14, 2015, the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) of the Department of Labor (DOL) issued a proposed rule intended to protect investors from hidden fees in retirement investment advice.  To accomplish this, the proposed rule would expand the scope of the definition regarding when a person providing retirement advice becomes a “fiduciary” under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).  The proposed rule would subject more types of retirement advice to the fiduciary requirements of ERISA.  The proposal includes several exemptions from the requirements associated with the fiduciary standard that DOL hopes will help streamline compliance.

Submit comments here by July 6, 2015.

Advocacy contact: Dillon Taylor at (202) 401-9787

 

SMALL BUSINESS ROUNDTABLE

 

Small Business Labor Safety

The Office of Advocacy will host a roundtable to discuss regulatory actions by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Mine Safety and Health Administration. 

The agenda for the roundtable is currently under development.

Time & Date: 10:00 a.m. on Friday, May 15, 2015

Location: Small Business Administration Headquarters, 409 Third Street SW, Washington, DC.

RSVP: Bruce Lundegren

 

CONTACT

Elle Patout
Office of Advocacy
U.S. Small Business Administration
Congressional Affairs and Public Relations Manager
elle.patout@sba.gov
202-205-6941

LEARN MORE

Visit the Office of Advocacy Website and Small Business Regulatory Alerts

Check out Advocacy’s Blog

Join us on Facebook and Twitter

Subscribe to Advocacy’s Email Lists for:
Advocacy’s News Releases and monthly newsletter, The Small Business Advocate,
Advocacy’s Small Business Research and Statistics and

Advocacy’s Regulatory Communications

 

cid:image001.png@01D08BEA.FDE8B980

 

May 11, 2015

Dear Small Business Stakeholders,

Please see the update from the SBA Office of Advocacy.  You can stay up-to-date on our office by reading our comment letters and reviewing our research. As always, we are seeking your input on current regulatory alerts and your participation in our regulatory roundtables. Please be in touch directly with the listed Advocacy contact for any questions or comments on these topics. Feel free to contact me with other questions or concerns.

——Elle Patout Congressional Affairs and Public Relations Manager

OFFICIAL ADVOCACY COMMENTS

Comment Letter to GSA: 5/4/2015- Comments on Transactional Data Reporting (GSAR Case 2013-G504)

Comment Letter to DOE: 5/8/15 - Comments on Proposed Energy Conservation Standards for Hearth Products

Comment Letter to EPA: 5/8/15 - Comments on Convening of Panel on Federal Plan Requirements for Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Electric Utility Generating Units Constructed on or Before January 8, 2014

OPEN COMMENT PERIODS

 

EEOC Releases Rule on Employer Wellness Programs

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) is issuing a proposed rule that would amend the regulations and guidance documents on employer wellness programs under Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

The rule amends the ADA regulations to provide guidance on the extent to which employers may use incentives to encourage employees to participate in wellness programs that include disability-related inquiries and/ or medical examinations. Title I of the ADA applies to employers with 15 or more employees; this rule will impact 764,233 small firms (entities with 15-500 employees).   Advocacy is interested in input on the economic impact of this rule on small businesses.  

Submit Comments here by June 19, 2015.

Advocacy contact: Janis Reyes at 202.205.6533

 

DHS and DOL Issue Changes to H-2B Visa Program

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Labor (DOL) are jointly issuing an interim final rule regarding program changes to the H-2B visa program, which allows employers to hire temporary non-agricultural guest workers.

The rule includes a new employer registration process, increased recruitment and oversight, requirements for guaranteed pay, additional fees, and similar payment for corresponding U.S. workers.


These agencies jointly issued this rule due to recent court decisions that found that DOL lacked authority under the Immigration and Nationality Act to independently issue legislative rules governing the H-2B program.  . 

Submit comments here by June 29, 2015.

Advocacy contact: Janis Reyes at 202.205.6533

 

DOL Issues Proposal Expanding the Types of Retirement Advice Covered by Fiduciary Protections

On April 14, 2015, the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) of the Department of Labor (DOL) issued a proposed rule intended to protect investors from hidden fees in retirement investment advice.  To accomplish this, the proposed rule would expand the scope of the definition regarding when a person providing retirement advice becomes a “fiduciary” under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).  The proposed rule would subject more types of retirement advice to the fiduciary requirements of ERISA.  The proposal includes several exemptions from the requirements associated with the fiduciary standard that DOL hopes will help streamline compliance.

Submit comments here by July 6, 2015.

Advocacy contact: Dillon Taylor at (202) 401-9787

 

SMALL BUSINESS ROUNDTABLE

 

Small Business Labor Safety

The Office of Advocacy will host a roundtable to discuss regulatory actions by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Mine Safety and Health Administration. 

The agenda for the roundtable is currently under development.

Time & Date: 10:00 a.m. on Friday, May 15, 2015

Location: Small Business Administration Headquarters, 409 Third Street SW, Washington, DC.

RSVP: Bruce Lundegren

 

CONTACT

Elle Patout
Office of Advocacy
U.S. Small Business Administration
Congressional Affairs and Public Relations Manager
elle.patout@sba.gov
202-205-6941

LEARN MORE

Visit the Office of Advocacy Website and Small Business Regulatory Alerts

Check out Advocacy’s Blog

Join us on Facebook and Twitter

Subscribe to Advocacy’s Email Lists for:
Advocacy’s News Releases and monthly newsletter, The Small Business Advocate,
Advocacy’s Small Business Research and Statistics and

Advocacy’s Regulatory Communications


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