Labor Secretary

DOL Issues New Rules to Try to Beat the Clock

In a possible attempt to implement new rules before they can be rescinded by a Democratic Congress and administration, the Department of Labor recently finalized regulations regarding wage and hour issues and the Labor Secretary’s power to review administrative decisions.  These administrative moves are the result of a little-known but important statute aimed at curbing midnight rulemaking by outgoing administrations.  The Congressional Review Act (“CRA”) establishes special congressional procedures for disapproving a broad range of regulatory rules issued by federal agencies.  By joint resolution, Congress can approve or disapprove of a regulation, which then goes to the President to sign or veto.  If Congress adjourns its annual session less than 60 “legislative days” in the House of Representatives or 60 “session days” in the Senate after a rule is submitted to it, the rule is carried over to the next session of Congress and subject to possible disapproval during that session. While it is difficult to calculate the CRA deadline—particularly given COVID-19’s impact on Congress’ schedule—if the Trump administration fails to finalize the rules before the CRA deadline and Republicans lose control of the White House and Senate, a Democratic-controlled Congress could successfully rescind the rules under the CRA. READ MORE