ISSA Legislative & Regulatory Update April/May 2016
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June 1, 2016: Final Deadline for OSHA GHS Revisions
GSA Awards 31 FSSI BMO Contracts for Zone 1; Moving Forward with Phase 2
ISSA Urges Congress to Repeal Death Tax
OSHA Updates Eye and Face PPE Standards in Final Rule
EPA Updates Guidance for Antimicrobial Pesticides for Use on Emerging Pathogens
ISSA Earns EPA’s Safer Choice Partner of the Year Award Second Year in a Row
California and New York Enact $15 Minimum Wage
Industry Coalition Comments on Proposed New Prop 65 Warning Requirements
Webinar Set for the 2015 Data Reporting for the California Consumer Products Program
Safety and Health Corner
OSHA Issues Guidance on Zika Virus
Despite tremendous opposition from the business community, the Department of Labor (DOL) is moving forward with its proposed changes to the Wage & Hour Division’s Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime regulations.
As you may recall, in mid-March, DOL sent its draft of a final rule to the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) for their required review. This was the next step toward promulgation of a final rule. It now appears that a final rule may be issued as soon as late May 2016.
Late last week, various political periodicals reported that DOL has moved to a slightly lower threshold salary in the final rule ($47,000/year) than was set forth in the proposed rule ($50,400). The slightly-lower proposed salary threshold is the only change we know that has been made to the proposed overtime regulations. of in the rule DoL sent to OMB.
There is no indication that the DOL has dropped its proposal for annual automatic increases in the minimum salary level, nor any indication that the Administration will retreat from its one-size-fits-all approach that makes no adjustments based on regional wage differences, employer size, or whether the employer is in the nonprofit sector.
The overtime rule is currently under review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), but that review process is expected to conclude May 10 and the rule could be finalized shortly thereafter. We are hearing reports (as yet unconfirmed) that the new threshold would become effective in September of this year (the outset of Fiscal Year 2017) and automatic annual increases based on CPI would go into effect as planned, likely in 2018.
ISSA will continue to keep you apprised of the situation as this rule moves forward.
Action Needed. In the meantime, please continue to contact your members of Congress! It is critical for Capitol Hill to hear from all impacted stakeholders, especially the business community on this important issue. ISSA, therefore, encourages its members to contact your U.S. Representatives and Senators and express your strong opposition to the proposed cumbersome and costly changes to the DOL’s overtime regulations.
Click here for an easy way to contact your members of Congress about this important issue.
Under the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard as revised by the GHS (HazCom 2012), covered ISSA member companies have until June 1, 2016 to:
- Update any alternative workplace labeling;
- Update their workplace hazard communication program; and
- Provide any additional employee training for newly identified physical or health hazards in the workplace.
The purpose of this last deadline is to make sure the above elements are in conformance with the GHS revisions to the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard as revised by the GHS.
ISSA Resources. ISSA has a sample hazard communication program for members to use in developing their own GHS compliant program. To obtain your complimentary copy of the ISSA Sample HazCom Program, please send an email to Tracy Weber, ISSA, email@example.com.
Background. In March 2012, OSHA issued its GHS revisions to its Hazard Communication Standard. The GHS is an international system for hazard classification, labeling and SDSs developed by the members of the United Nations for the purpose of creating uniform labeling within and across nations.
HazCom 2012 has been implemented in phases beginning with the training requirements in December of 2013. On June 1, 2015, manufacturers and importers were to have been in compliance with the GHS labeling and SDS requirements. And after Dec. 1, 2015, distributors also were required to be in compliance with these same requirements. Under OSHA’s enforcement discretion, these deadlines may be excused in certain limited situations.
The General Services Administration (GSA) has awarded 31 companies spots on two potential 10-year contracts worth up to $30 billion combined to provide building maintenance and operations, including cleaning services, in support of the federal government’s Zone 1 sites.
These recently awarded contracts are part of the overall implementation of the Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative (FSSI) that is being implemented under President Obama’s direction for the purpose of streamlining federal purchasing with the goal of reducing costs by 15%. The building maintenance and operations (BMO) aspect of FSSI is being implemented in phases starting first with Zone 1, which includes Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia.
Nine companies will compete for task orders under the BMO Unrestricted contract and 24 vendors have been awarded small-business positions on the BMO SB contract, according to GSA officials. Two of those companies are included in both the unrestricted and small business vehicles.
The BMO program covers “strategically sourced” electrical maintenance, janitorial, landscaping, fire alarm, suppression system maintenance, commissioning, plumbing, elevator inspection, pest control and heating, ventilating and air conditioning services.
Awardees for the unrestricted track are:
- ACEPEX Management
- AMEC Programs
- AAA Complete Building Services
- J&J Worldwide Services
- Jones Lang LaSalle Americas
- LB & B Associates
- WW Contractors
- Awardees for the small business track are:
- ACEPEX Management
- Action Facilities Management
- Ben Fitzgerald Real Estate, d.b.a. Rosemark
- CEEPCO Contracting
- Chenega Facilities Management
- CMI Management
- CTSI Facility Management
- Exemplar Enterprises
- Four Seasons Environmental International
- General Mechanical Services
- Global Precision Systems
- Infinite ABM
- Inspection Experts
- Native Energy & Technology
- PM Services
- ProSource Consulting
- Raven Services
- SDAC Facility Service
- Urban Services
- WW Contractors
- Zero Waste Solutions
Draft RFPs Posted for BMO Services Government-Wide Strategic Sourcing Solution. And now that GSA has made its BMO awards for Zone 1, it is moving forward with implementation of Phase 2 of FSSI for BMO contracts for five federal zones—Zones 2-6 that cover:
- Zone 2 – Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont
- Zone 3 – Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina
- Zone 4 – Texas, Oklahoma
- Zone 5 – California, Nevada
- Zone 6 – Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska
- Anticipated terms and conditions
- Evaluation factors and their relative importance
- Performance-Based Statement of Work (PBSOW)
GSA’s BMO initiative is intended to improve the way the federal government sources and manages building maintenance and operations services, including operations maintenance (HVAC, elevators, plumbing, electrical and building management) and facility support services (janitorial, waste management, janitorial, pest control, etc.).
However, ISSA and other industry observers are concerned that hundreds of small businesses, including cleaning contractors will be unfairly locked out of federal business opportunities.
ISSA and the hundreds of other business organizations that belong to the Tax Relief Coalition (TRC) sent a letter to leaders of Congress calling for a Senate vote on H.R. 1105, the House passed Death Tax Repeal Act of 2015. The House of Representatives passed Congressman Brady’s (R-TX) Death Tax Repeal Act of 2015 on a bipartisan basis last April which marked the first time in ten years that either body of Congress was put on the record on this important issue.
In its congressional correspondence, ISSA and the members of the TRC urged the Senate to take the next step in the legislative process by bringing the House passed legislation to the floor for a vote. Senator Thune’s (R-SD) mirror legislation to the House passed bill, S.860, has already amassed support from the majority of the Republican caucus.
The TRC’s letter to Capitol Hill expressed strong support for the full and permanent repeal of the federal estate tax because it would spur job creation and grow the economy. Many studies have quantified the job losses caused by the estate tax. A recent Tax Foundation study found that the US could create over 150,000 jobs by repealing the estate tax. A 2012 study by the House Joint Economic Committee found that the estate tax has destroyed over $1.1 trillion of capital in the US economy—loss of small business capital means fewer jobs and lower wages.
Lawrence Summers, former Secretary of the Treasury under President Clinton; Alicia Munell, member of President Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisors; Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel laureate for economics; and Douglas Holtz-Eakin, former CBO Director have all published work on the estate tax’s stifling effect on job growth and the economy as a whole.
Moreover, the death tax contributes a very small portion of federal revenues. The estate tax currently accounts for less than one percent of federal revenue. Furthermore, there is strong evidence that not collecting the estate tax would create more economic growth and lead to an increase in federal revenue from other taxes. A 2016 Tax Foundation analysis found repeal of the estate tax would increase federal revenues by $3.3 billion per year using a more realistic macroeconomic analysis.
In addition, the estate tax forces family businesses to waste money on expensive insurance policies and estate planning. These burdensome compliance costs make it even harder for business owners to expand their businesses and create more jobs.
ISSA will continue to work through the TRC in supporting the repeal of the Death Tax and keep the membership apprised accordingly.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published a final rule that updates the Agency’s requirements for personal protective equipment (PPE) for workers to reflect current national consensus standards for eye and face protection.
The rule updates references in OSHA’s Eye and Face Protection Standards to recognize the ANSI/ISEA Z87.1-2010, Occupational and Educational Personal Eye and Face Protection Devices, while deleting the outdated 1986 edition of that same national consensus standard. OSHA is also retaining the 2003 and 1989 (R-1998) versions of the ANSI standard already referenced in its standard.
In addition, the final rule updates the construction standard by deleting the 1968 version of the ANSI standard that was referenced and now includes the same three ANSI standards referenced above to ensure consistency among the agency’s standards.
OSHA’s final rule became effective on April 25, 2016.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has updated the emerging pathogens guidance for the claims that can be made for EPA-registered disinfectant products intended to combat emerging viral pathogens. This document provides general guidance on a viral hierarchy that can be used to identify effective disinfectant products for use against emerging pathogens and permit registrants to make limited claims of their product’s efficacy against such pathogens.
The revisions to the guidance are intended to expedite the process for registrants to provide useful information to the public on effective products.
Emerging pathogens are increasingly a public health concern. Many of the pathogens of greatest concern are viruses, and the ability of some of these viruses to contaminate hard surfaces can play a role in the transmission of these viruses to people. Under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, EPA evaluates the efficacy of antimicrobial products intended to control pathogens that can be detrimental to public health. Few if any EPA-registered disinfectant product labels specify use against emerging pathogens, and the pathogens themselves are often commercially unavailable for testing.
To address this need, EPA is providing a voluntary, two-stage process involving product label amendments and modified terms of registration (described in this guidance), through which registrants may, during a human or animal disease outbreak, identify existing registered disinfectant products that are expected to be efficacious against the specific emerging viral pathogen.
This guidance applies only to emerging viruses, and actions described by this guidance may be taken for eligible products only after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified the emerging pathogen and recommended environmental surface disinfection to help control its spread.
ISSA, the worldwide cleaning industry association, has been awarded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 2016 Safer Choice Partner of the Year Award for the second year in a row.
The award reflects ISSA’s dedication in promoting the EPA Safer Choice Program and its goal of safeguarding human health, the environment, and ongoing support of green cleaning products and practices amongst schools, work places, and communities.
“We are excited and proud that the EPA recognizes us as a Safer Choice Partner of the Year,” said ISSA Director of Legislative and Environmental Services William C. “Bill” Balek. “We will continue to support the EPA Safer Choice program as part of ISSA’s mission to change the way the world views cleaning.”
The award is granted to participants for demonstrating leadership in furthering chemical safety within the industry through exemplary participation or promotion of the Safer Choice label, which identifies select products with safer chemical ingredients to make the environment a more safe and sustainable place for all.
ISSA will be recognized amongst other Safer Choice Partner of the Year Award winners this year and will be presented the honorary award during a public ceremony on Monday May 9, 2016, at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, D.C.
Over the years, ISSA has worked hard to create awareness and generate demand for green cleaning products and services. The promotion of the EPA Safer Choice Program to institutional purchasers, government agencies, and suppliers is a critical component of this effort.
Some of the communications and promotional activities that ISSA has undertaken in support of the EPA Safer Choice Program include:
- Advancing the Safer Choice Program and environmental protection through sponsorship and promotion of CleanGredients, an online resource featuring ingredients with superior environmental, safety, and health characteristics for use in the production of green cleaning products.
- Promotion of the Safer Choice Program (along with other established ecolabels) to industry, institutional purchasers, government agencies, and others.
- Advocating the use of safer surfactants to ISSA’s manufacturer, distributor, and cleaning service provider members.
- Inclusion of the Safer Choice Program as a path to compliance with the ISSA Cleaning Industry Management Standard—Green Building (CIMS-GB).
As the leading association for the commercial cleaning industry, ISSA will continue to work with the EPA to support the Safer Choice Program (and other major ecolabels) as part of its ongoing mission to change the way the world views cleaning.
Recently, California and New York both enacted legislation that would gradually push their statewide minimum wages to $15 an hour—the highest in the nation.
California. In Los Angeles, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill into law that will lift the statewide minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2022. California and New York are amongst the growing number of states and local governments that are raising minimum wages given Congress’ reluctance to act on the issue. Insiders say that more states and local governments are likely to follow this trend.
The law will raise the state’s $10 hourly minimum by 50 cents next year and to $11 in 2018. Hourly $1 raises will then come every January until 2022, unless the governor imposes a delay during an economic recession. Businesses with 25 or fewer employees have an extra year to comply. Wages will rise with inflation each year thereafter.
Republicans and business groups have warned that the move could cost thousands of jobs, while a legislative analysis puts the cost to California taxpayers at $3.6 billion a year in higher pay for government employees alone. About 2.2 million Californians now earn the minimum wage, but University of California, Irvine, economics professor David Neumark estimated the boost could cost 5 to 10 percent of low-skilled workers their jobs.
The Democratic governor negotiated the deal with labor unions to head off competing labor-backed ballot initiatives that would have imposed swifter increases with fewer safeguards.
New York State. New York’s state budget includes gradually raising the $9 minimum wage to $15, starting in New York City in three years and phasing in at a lower level elsewhere. An eventual statewide increase to $15 would be tied to economic indicators such as inflation.
California and Massachusetts currently have the highest statewide minimum wage at $10. Washington, D.C., stands at $10.50. Los Angeles, Seattle and other cities have recently approved $15 minimum wages, while Oregon officials plan to increase the minimum to $14.75 an hour in cities and $12.50 in rural areas by 2022.
ISSA and an industry coalition led by the California Chamber of Commerce filed extensive comments in opposition to proposed revisions to California’s Proposition 65 warning requirements.
The current proposed Prop 65 revisions, which replace an earlier proposal withdrawn for procedural reasons, several steps backwards by introducing several new and extraordinarily problematic concepts that had never been contemplated in previous drafts.
Specifically, the industry coalition’s comments objected to the following aspects of the Prop 65 proposed revisions. The recent proposal is flawed and would be unreasonably burdensome to the business community because it would:
- Flip the existing statutory burden on businesses by requiring them to affirmatively demonstrate that a warning is required;
- Substantially increase litigation by creating a new breed of ―bad warning, litigation that does not exist today, wherein despite using the precise safe harbor‖ warning content provided in the law, businesses would nonetheless be challenged for failing to provide an adequate warning;
- Impose an unworkable, extraordinarily costly and elevated requirement on those providing warnings for environmental exposures;
- Infringe on businesses‘ constitutionally protected commercial speech and due process rights;
- Require, for the first time since Proposition 65‘s passage, two warnings for one product; and
- Eliminate the long-accepted method of transmitting warnings via owners‘ manuals, which typically contain the most significant safety information for many products.
In its comments, the Coalition indicated it is not willing to accept a regulatory proposal that undermines the Governor‘s calls for Proposition 65 reform in May 2013 by exacerbating the already problematic Proposition 65 litigation climate and by making compliance so difficult that the only protective measure businesses can take to reduce the inevitable threat of litigation is to overwarn about exposures that do not even exist. Moreover, those results will harm businesses, send the wrong message to consumers, and, more generally, will further worsen the reputation of Proposition 65 as a well-intended law that is overly abused by private enforcers who use the law solely for personal financial gain.
The Coalition formed by the California Chamber of Commerce consists of over two hundred California-based and national organizations and businesses of varying sizes, including ISSA, that, collectively, represent nearly every major business sector that would be directly impacted by the proposed revisions to Prop 65.
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) will soon launch its 2015 data reporting for the Consumer Products Program which is set to begin July 1, 2016, and ends on November 1, 2016. This is the third year of a three year reporting cycle and is mandatory for all Responsible Parties that sold consumer products in California during the 2015 calendar year. CARB staff will conduct a webinar on June 29, 2016 to kick off the process for 2015 data reporting for the consumer products program.
Due to proximity to the July 4th holiday, the previously announced July 6, 2016, webinar is rescheduled to June 29, 2016, from 10am-1pm PDT. The webinar will provide a forum for responding to any questions related to the data reporting.
Registration for the webinar is available here:
General information about the Consumer Products Program is available here: http://www.arb.ca.gov/consprod/consprod.htm.
CARB’s Consumer Products Program is a key part of overall efforts to reduce the amount of smog-forming volatile organic compounds, toxic air contaminants, and greenhouse gasses that are emitted from use of chemically formulated consumer products in California. CARB’s Consumer Products Regulations regulate the VOC content of commercial, institutional and household cleaning and other products for the purpose of reducing statewide VOC emissions from these products. VOC emissions form ozone in the lower atmosphere which is a health and environmental hazard.
CARB’s data reporting for the Consumer Products Program is an important step in collecting information on consumer, institutional and commercial products that are sold or supplied for use in California. The data collected from the 2015 data reporting are designed to support the statewide consumer product inventory, speciation profiles used in criteria pollutant modeling, and future rulemakings.
Protecting workers from the Zika virus, primarily spread by mosquitoes, is the focus of new guidance issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration on April 21. The written guidance provides specific information for protecting health-care and laboratory workers and employees who spend much of their time outdoors. There also is advice on dealing with workers who may be infected with the virus.
Much of the information on avoiding mosquitoes is the same OSHA offered in 2005 about the West Nile Virus. However, the Zika guidance goes further, providing information for protecting pregnant workers or workers who could be exposed to blood contaminated with the virus. It also recommends following updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. T he advice, Zika Virus: Interim Guidance for Protecting Workers from Occupational Exposure to Zika Virus Fact Sheet, is available online at: https://www.osha.gov/zika/index.html
Although Zika virus is generally spread by the bites of infected mosquitoes, exposure to an infected person’s blood or other body fluids (such as semen through sexual transmission) may also result in transmission. Employers should train workers about their risks of exposure to Zika virus through mosquito bites and direct contact with infectious blood and other body fluids and how to protect themselves. Employers should also provide information about Zika virus infection, including modes of transmission and possible links to birth defects, to workers who are pregnant or may become pregnant or whose sexual partners are or may become pregnant.
Some workers, including those working with insecticides to control mosquitoes and healthcare workers who may be exposed to contaminated blood or other potentially infectious materials from individuals infected with Zika virus, may require additional protections (e.g., certain types of personal protective equipment, PPE). Employers must comply with universal precautions for potential bloodborne pathogens (BBP) exposures, as described in OSHA’s BBP standard (29 CFR 1910.1030), and any applicable requirements in OSHA’s PPE standards (29 CFR 1910 Subpart I), among other OSHA requirements.
Consult the CDC Zika website (http://www.cdc.gov/zika/) for the most up-to date information to help employers implement effective worker protections.