Coping — or Not — With Government Regulations

Business has been up in arms against some of the aggressive moves by the National Labor Relations Board for some time, including its efforts to significantly shorten the amount of time employers have to respond to union-organizing campaigns (see a recent HREOnline story here: “New Rules Outrage Employers“) as well as its highly publicized efforts to prevent Boeing from opening a manufacturing facility in a non-union state (see “Pro-Union Overreach?”).

Of course, it’s all part and parcel of the Obama administration’s efforts to more strictly regulate business. The administration’s pro-worker/anti-employer efforts are something that many — but certainly not all — have argued are reasons this recession is lingering on. They argue employers — especially smaller employers — are holding off hiring due to uncertainty over goverment regulations.

Just the other day, in fact, casino mogul Steve Wynn — not a small employer, certainly — who calls himself a Democratic businessman, told a group of investors that Obama was “the greatest wet blanket to business, progress and job creation in my lifetime.”

And Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus recently told the Investors Business Daily: “Every day you see rules and regulations from a group of Washington bureaucrats who know nothing about running a business. And I mean every day. It’s become stifling.” He said it would be impossible for a company like Home Depot to begin and prosper if it was started today.

Back in Congress, in an effort that will probably fail, Tim Scott, a Republican from South Carolina, introduced a “Protecting Jobs from Government Interference Act” in the House of Representatives.

It immediately drew support from the National Association of Manufacturers — which also is no big surprise.

NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons noted that a recent poll of members found that 69 percent of the 1,000 respondents said the “NLRB’s actions will negatively affect their ability to create jobs.”

In response to some of this building criticism, Obama previously issued an Executive Order (PDF) telling agencies to make their regulations “more effective or less burdensome.” (see “Scrutinizing the EEOC’s Regulations“), but I don’t think too many businesspeople think that’s an order that’s going to followed to the benefit of business.

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