Regulatory Tyranny Flies Under the Radar
Courtesy of Barack Obama's Department of Labor.
April 11, 2014 - 12:35 am
While those who cherish what’s left of our freedoms are rightly concerned about the sacking and the blacklisting of Mozilla’s Brendan Eich, Democrats’ media-coordinated lying about and demonization of the Koch brothers, and other visible evidence of unfettered intolerance, the regulatory tyranny (“arbitrary or unrestrained exercise of power; despotic abuse of authority”) which has become the default modus operandi of Barack Obama’s administration continues unabated.
One lightly reported element of Obama “equal pay” initiative — an effort which is based on an objectively false premise, and which the press almost joyfully admits is primarily about motivating uninformed voters — is an “executive order banning federal contractors from retaliating against employees who discuss their compensation.”
This unwanted and harmful interference with a common and time-tested employer practice is bad enough. What’s far less well-known and far worse is that Obama, in USA Today’s words, has also told Perez to “to establish new regulations requiring federal contractors to submit to the Department of Labor summary data on compensation paid to their employees, including data by sex and race.” DOL says this information will “encourage voluntary compliance with equal pay laws” and enable “more targeted enforcement.” Trust me; the latter is far more important than the former.
This information will provide a handy litigation roadmap for DOL and Eric Holder’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. It will also be a bonanza for trial lawyers, who will immediately demand this information in discovery any time they bring a pay-related legal action. Most trial lawyers “just so happen” to favor leftist candidates and causes. There is one problem which I expect the judicial system will blow off: The only way to ensure that the submitted data is complete and probative would be to force each and every employee in America to declare their race, a provision which is currently optional. I would suggest that every job applicant alarmed by this development should henceforth exercise their option to not disclose. Those who are currently employed should see if they can undo any previous disclosure.
Further interfering with employer prerogatives, Richard Griffin, who is general counsel at Perez’s National Labor Relations Board, intends “to give unions a veto over a unionized employer’s decision to relocate.” Predictably, he plans to achieve his goal through subterfuge:
Griffin’s guidance will be to order an employer to be prosecuted not on the basis of what the law is but on the law as Griffin would like it to be. This will give the board an opportunity to change the law (though the change will be prospective — the employer who is prosecuted will not be punished for violating the new rule).
Finally, DOL’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) has begun to implement an interpretation which should have set off alarm bells when it was first disclosed a year ago, and clearly didn’t:
The new interpretation from Richard Fairfax, Deputy Assistant Secretary of OSHA, to Steve Sallman, Health and Safety Specialist with the United Steelworkers Union, asserts that OSHA’s standard for Representatives of Employers and Employees allows workers at establishments without collective bargaining agreements to designate outside representatives or union agents to represent them during OSHA inspections.
This ruling contradicts the plain language of OSHA’s governing regulation …
As if they care.
Earlier this week, Greta Van Susteren, in an otherwise informative report, allowed OSHA to falsely claim that “allowing non-employee third party representative to accompany OSHA inspectors on walk around inspections is not a new OSHA policy … if that third party representative is necessary to conduct a thorough investigation.” Exactly how can a planted union “representative,” i.e., thug, who probably hasn’t done related or even any blue-collar work in years, possibly be of any assistance?