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2024 Regulatory Agenda Advances Workplace Policy Initiatives

The Biden administration released its  Fall Regulatory Agenda this week. The regulatory agenda previews federal rulemaking on human capital management, climate disclosure, and implementation of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. 

EEOC and Pregnant Workers Fairness Act: The EEOC is expected to issue the final rule implementing the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) on December 29, 2023. The rule will require companies to provide “reasonable accommodations” to a worker with known limitations due to a pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition, unless accommodations cause an “undue hardship” to the employer. The Association submitted comments to the EEOC to inform their final guidance.

Human Capital Metrics: The SEC plans to propose the long-awaited rule on Human Capital Metrics in April 2024 that will likely require employers to disclose data on turnover, skills, and development training, compensation, benefits, health and safety, and demographics. Previous delays have led to skepticism of timing predictions on a proposed rule.

Climate Change Disclosures: The SEC also plans to release its final rule on Climate Change Disclosures in April 2024. This rule would require a company to disclose climate-related risk information pertaining to their material impact on business, operations, and financial conditions. This rule would also require the disclosure of greenhouse gas emissions, and climate related financial metrics.

Dodd-Frank Incentive Compensation: The Dodd-Frank Act required that the SEC, along with multiple other agencies, adopt a rule to significantly limit pay practices at financial institutions. Although seemingly impossible to execute, the rule is back on the agenda for 2024.

Board Diversity: A proposed rule on disclosures of board diversity (at a minimum, race and gender on an individual basis) has been in the works for years and remains on the agenda.

FTC final rule on non-competes. Earlier this year the FTC issued a proposed rule to prohibit employers from entering into  non-compete agreements with workers. The Association advocated for the continuation of non-compete agreements for executives and employees with access to proprietary information. While the regulatory agenda does not include a targeted date, it is widely anticipated that the agency will issue a final rule in April 2024.

The DOL final rule on overtime is expected to be released in April 2024. The rule would increase the salary level threshold for executive, administrative, and professional exemptions, also known as the “white collar” exemption, to the FLSA overtime requirement. 

Outlook: While the agenda may appear less ambitious compared to prior years, it underscores President Biden’s key priorities leading up to the 2024 election, a crucial period when the President is on the ballot, and both chambers of Congress are anticipated to have slim majorities. The regulatory agenda is generally non-binding on the agencies and may be subject to adjustments as policy priorities evolve. 

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Authors: Chatrane Birbal

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