Regulatory Reform Initiatives

As stated in our Blueprint for Jobs in the 21st Century, “The U.S. workplace regulatory scheme should be premised on fostering the preservation and creation of jobs, targeting limited resources available for enforcement on those who mistreat their employees.”  The comprehensive structure of U.S. workplace regulations plays a role in virtually every decision made by an employer with respect to hiring, promotions, terminations, scheduling, sharing of data, use and design of facilities, changes in operations, and location of work.  All of these regulations have a cost, and with each additional mandate, another cost is layered onto employment decisions.  Thus, the ability of employers to add new jobs to the economy depends to a large extent on the costs associated with those jobs.  The Association believes that it is critical that the current web of complex workplace regulations be closely re-examined to determine whether those regulations are needed and relevant in the 21st century workplace, or whether a regulation is outdated and is simply an unnecessary burden or cost on employers—thus stifling job creation.  Furthermore, it is important that new workplace regulations affecting employment, productivity and competitiveness are not unnecessarily heaped upon the already tangled workplace regulatory scheme.  This by no means suggests that the current employment policy regime should be dismantled.  If a regulation is succeeding in providing a needed protection or securing a fundamental right—in an economically sound manner—it should be retained.  The fundamental problem is that many workplace regulations that were placed on the books decades ago have never been reconsidered even though the workplace has changed dramatically.  With this in mind, the Association supports a broad re-examination of the impact of the nation’s regulatory structure upon the workplace and the employment relationship.  We would welcome the ability to join other stakeholders representing all viewpoints as part of that re-examination.  We need to ask whether the nation has reached a tipping point where the nation’s labor, employment, and benefit laws have become so complex, burdensome, and difficult to administer that they have become both counterproductive and job killers.