Over the last couple of weeks, much of the media in Washington, D.C., has turned its attention to the new director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), former South Carolina congressman Mick Mulvaney. This is because Mulvaney is in charge of advancing the administration’s first federal budget proposal, as well as coordinating Republicans’ efforts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act (ACA). What goes unnoticed, however, is that Mulvaney and his office will play a crucial role in the employer community’s efforts to ease the regulatory burdens that have piled up over the last several years. Here’s just one way how.
For starters, it was the previous administration’s OMB that literally gave the “stamp of approval” to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) changes to its EEO-1 form, which will require employers with 100 or more employees to report employee compensation and hours worked information. As we’ve previously reported, business advocates have expressed concerns that the new EEO-1 requirements will be incredibly burdensome for employers and provide little or no benefit to the EEOC’s antidiscrimination efforts.
Well, if OMB giveth, then it can taketh away. So naturally, earlier this week, a group of 27 trade associations asked Mulvaney to review OMB’s prior approval of the changes to the EEO-1 form and either issue a stay of the current March 2018 reporting date or rescind the changes altogether. The group argues that little-known provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act allow Mulvaney to take these steps.
While this is good news, whether Mulvaney and OMB will actually act on this request is another story. Indeed, shepherding both the president’s budget proposal and ACA repeal through Congress is no doubt a time-consuming task. And while the March 2018 deadline may seem far away, it is important to remember that the reporting is based on employers’ 2017 workforces. All of this means that while there may be a glimmer of hope on the horizon, employers still should take appropriate steps in preparation for reporting as we have previously outlined.