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Can Small Business Cope with New DOL Rules?

Monday, September 19, 2016  
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The House Small Business Committee highlighted a bevy of new regulations implemented by Executive Order that affect federal contractors.


Citing Congressional inaction on his labor priorities, President Obama issued a number of Executive Orders for federal contractors that require enforcement by U.S. Department of Labor. The House Small Business Committee examined the effect of these regulations on small businesses in a hearing titled, “The Cumulative Burden of President Obama’s Executive Orders on Small Contractors.” The hearing focused on the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces, Minimum Wage for Contractors, and Establishing Paid Sick Leave for Federal Contractors, just to name a few. Three-fourths of the witnesses agreed that these new regulations hurt more than help small businesses.


You might ask why (almost) everyone is upset, considering the titles for the Orders seem pretty straightforward. Everyone should be paid fairly, right? Yes, argued Donna Huneycutt – testifying on behalf of the National Defense Industrial Association – but the actions don’t fit the description. As WIPP’s formal comment pointed out, the proposed system would unload extra paperwork requirements on contracting officers and place reporting burdens on small contractors. Concerns about potential job loss and the high cost of compliance were repeated throughout the hearing. To ensure compliance, contractors will have to empty their pockets to hire outside experts or counsel.  At an average cost of about $400 an hour, this is not an option for many small businesses. The hearing concluded that burdensome and overcomplicated regulations are discouraging small businesses from entering the federal marketplace, and hurt our nation’s global competitiveness.

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