Paul DeCamp, Member of the Firm in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, in the firm’s Washington, DC office, was quoted in the Bloomberg BNA Daily Labor Report, in “Labor Vacancies Could Affect Trump’s Deregulatory Push Next Year,” by Jaclyn Diaz.
Following is an excerpt:
Federal labor agencies will lack key personnel heading into President Donald Trump’s fourth year in office.
Some vacancies follow the administration’s playbook, leaving major policy decisions up to Republican majorities or a small group of politically appointed leaders. But business and labor advocates said the personnel gaps have affected the pace and direction of policymaking and enforcement of workplace protections. They also could impact White House goals for deregulation.
The National Labor Relations Board, which enforces labor-relations law, will likely begin operating without Democratic members before the end of the year. Two seats remain open on the five-member Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the agency that polices workplace discrimination and harassment.
At the Labor Department, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the main federal agency responsible for workplace safety, still lacks a nominee for its top official. The administration’s first choice, former FedEx official Scott Mugno, withdrew in May following 19 months in a Senate holding pattern.
Business and labor advocates said that when agencies are led by an acting leader or a half-full board, workplace protection investigations and regulatory moves are often limited. The vacancies come as the Trump administration is still trying to turn back a number of Obama-era policies and initiatives.
“The main consequence from not having a leader is the absence of change,” said Paul DeCamp, an Epstein Becker Green attorney who led the Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division during the George W. Bush administration. DeCamp said agencies “can function just fine without a leader for a time by following the path” laid out by prior leadership, but acting leaders are less likely to push changes to policy or new legal interpretations.