The Legislative Report blog provides timely information on federal and state legislation and regulations and state trends as well as the myriad issues affecting the private club industry. A companion to CMAA's Legislative website, this resource should be your first stop for any information regarding legal, tax or legislative club-specific issues.

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USDA and EPA Join Together to Tackle Food Waste Reduction

(Regulation) Permanent link

09.21.15 Trash

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On September 16, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced their joint effort to address food waste in the US. In the establishment of the first-ever national food waste reduction goal, the agencies are calling for a 50-percent reduction by 2030. As part of this effort, the agencies will lead a new partnership with charitable organizations, faith-based organizations, the private sector and local, state and tribal governments to reduce food loss and waste in order to improve overall food security and conserve our nation's natural resources.

According to the USDA and EPA, food loss and waste in the United States accounts for approximately 31 percent—or 133 billion pounds—of the overall food supply available to retailers and consumers. Food loss and waste is single largest component of disposed US municipal solid waste, and accounts for a significant portion of US methane emissions. Landfills are the third largest source of methane in the United States. Read more...

CMAA and Allies Comment on Proposed Overtime Regulations

 Permanent link

On Friday, September 4, CMAA and its allies in the golf and club industry filed official comments on the potential changes to the overtime regulations, proposed by the Department of Labor. These changes would substantially increase the base salary for exempt employees and for highly-compensated employees.

In the letter, five significant points were addressed and industry specific information and considerations were shared including:

  • The need for regional consideration for cost of living
  • The impact of the proposed salary threshold on impact the employment status for workers
  • The seasonality of the workforce in our industry
  • The need to include bonuses and commissions in salary calculations
  • Further consideration needed for any modifications to the duties test

Read the letter in its entirety.

CMAA joins a number of organizations and businesses concerned about these changes. As of the date of filing, more than 190,000 comments had been submitted.

In July, the DOL announced a proposed rule to change the existing overtime regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The last updates to the DOL’s overtime regulations occurred in 2004.

Judge Refuses to Expand Clean Water Act Injunction

(Regulation) Permanent link

On Friday, September 4, Judge Ralph Erickson of the US District Court for North Dakota, who previously granted an injunction to 13 states on the implementation of the Clean Water Act, has refused to expand his injunction nationwide. Judge Erickson cited a lack of jurisdiction for the additional 37 states.

This affirms statements by the Environmental Protection Agency that the Clean Water Act (previously known as the Waters of the US rule) is now the prevailing law in the 37 states not party to this lawsuit.

Legal challenges to the rule continue. The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals is expected to address the jurisdictional challenges to the rule in October and will determine which court will oversee the litigation and whether consolidation of the existing cases is warranted.

Stay tuned!

Judge Blocks EPA’s Clean Water Act (Waters of the US Rule) in 13 States

(Regulation) Permanent link

On Thursday, August 27, Judge Ralph Erickson of the US District Court for North Dakota approved a motion preventing the implementation of the Clean Water Act (previously known as the Waters of the US Rule) citing "irreparable harm." The motion prevents the regulation from becoming effective in 13 states. The rule was slated to become effective in all 50 states on Friday, August 28.

The specific 13 states are Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.

Following the ruling, the Environmental Protection Agency issued a statement that the rule will still be effective in the remaining 37 states.

Two other legal challenges have been unsuccessful in preventing implementation of the rule. In US District Courts in both West Virginia and Georgia, the judges dismissed similar cases, citing lack of jurisdiction.

For clubs in these 13 states, the ruling means a reprieve from the regulations which would severely limit their actions in and around the waters deemed as federally protected.

DOL Issues New Guidance on Worker Classification

(Dept of Labor) Permanent link

7_21_15On July 15, the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor (DOL) issued new guidance on the misclassification of workers focusing on the application of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the multi-factor “economic realities” test. This test explores whether an employee is economically dependent upon the employer through six questions: Read more...

Opposition Mounts for the EPA’s Clean Water Act (Waters of the US Rule)

(Congress, Regulation) Permanent link

01_24_14Opposition to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Water Act (CWA), previously known as the Waters of the US rule, continues to grow. The final rule was published in the Federal Register on June 29, and becomes enforceable in late August.

The Senate
This week, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee asserted pressure on the EPA to substantiate its actions and provide legal justification for the CWA rule. In June, the same committee approved S.1140, the Federal Water Quality Protection Act. Read more...

Medical Marijuana and the Workplace

(Congress, Legal Issues) Permanent link

07.13.15At present, 23 states and the District of Columbia have legalized the use of medical marijuana. So what does that mean for employers? If an employee legally uses the drug in off-duty hours, what impact does that have? What about employers with mandatory drug testing? What about recreational use of marijuana in these states?

The Colorado Supreme Court recently ruled that a company was "lawful" in firing an employee who was using medical marijuana. Read more...