President Trump Delivers Memorandum on Federal Regulatory Process

On Inauguration Day, the White House Chief of Staff, Reince Priebus, communicated President Trump’s plan for managing the Federal regulatory process, which places a temporary freeze on any new and pending regulations. This regulatory freeze is designed to ensure the President’s appointees have the opportunity to review a number of regulations formulated under the Obama administration before they go into effect.

Agencies have been instructed to hold off sending any new regulations to the Office of the Federal Register (OFR) until a new department or agency head appointed by the President has reviewed and approved the regulation. Few exceptions to this rule include regulations pertaining to certain emergency situations or urgent circumstances related to health, safety, financial or national security matters. Additionally, all regulations that have been published in the OFR but have not yet taken effect must postpone their effective date 60 days from January 20, 2017 to allow the incoming administration to review the facts, law, and policy they raise. Agencies and executive departments should also consider proposing further notice-and-comment rulemaking for any regulations that have been held up over legal questions. Agencies and executive departments must also continue to comply with any applicable Executive Orders concerning regulatory management.

The regulatory freeze is relatively common among incoming administrations, but does impact many new and pending labor and employment regulations, including the revised EEO-1 report that includes the pay component that goes into effect March 2018. Employers should therefore defer making changes to their current systems until the new administration finalizes and/or publishes any revised regulations at a later date.

By Vinaya Sakpal, HR Analyst, and Brittany Dian, Associate Consultant, at DCI Consulting Group

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