Boyden Gray & Associates partner Jonathan Berry was featured in an article from Bloomberg’s Daily Labor Report on May 22, 2020 about regulatory reform in response to the current pandemic. The article addressed a recent executive order designed to reduce regulatory burdens that may inhibit economic recovery.
A new executive order President Donald Trump signed this week was intended to boost economic recovery in part by instructing agencies to overlook certain regulatory violations if a business tries to follow federal best practices for preventing the spread of the novel coronavirus.
But even with the order, agencies still have plenty of legal authority to bring an enforcement action if they choose. That puts the onus on the Department of Labor and other agencies that enforce workplace laws to carry out Trump’s directive by developing a process to give businesses the confidence to reopen, but without offering a free pass to willful violators, several management and labor attorneys said. New guidance to clarify the parameters of good-faith compliance envisioned by the order would be helpful, lawyers said.
“When it comes to addressing the economic urgency, I think that DOL’s going to take some special care to make workplace obligations as crystal clear as humanly possible,” said Jonathan Berry, who left as DOL’s head of policy in April.
“I wouldn’t expect rules that go to core rights and obligations changing,” he said. “Certain kinds of recordkeeping, for example, I can see those being at least looked at,” Berry, now a partner at administrative law firm Boyden Gray & Associates in Washington, added.
The entire article, entitled, “Employers Can Expect Leniency, Not Freedom From U.S. Regulators,” by Cheryl Bolen, Bruce Rolfsen, Ben Penn, and Fatima Hussein, can be found here.