Issues

Issues

Federal Judge Invalidates Obama-Era Overtime Rule

On August 31, 2017, U.S. District Court Judge Amos Mazzant granted summary judgment against the Department in consolidated cases challenging the Overtime Final Rule published on May 23, 2016.  The court held that the Final Rule’s salary level exceeded the Department’s authority, and concluded that the Final Rule is invalid.  The case was heard in the United States District Court, Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division (State of Nevada, et al. v. United States Department of Labor, et al., No. 4:16-CV-00731).

Please note that the Department is still accepting comments on its Request for Information (RFI), published on July 26, 2017.  The RFI comment period ends at 11:59pm on September 25, 2017.

For the complete timeline, please click here.

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Bill in U.S. House Would Reform Insurance Claims Adjuster Licensing

.S. Representative David Kustoff (TN-08), a member of the House Financial Services Committee, introduced H.R. 3363, the Claims Licensing Advancement for Interstate Matters Act (CLAIM Act). The bill aims to help independent insurance adjusters file insurance claims more efficiently, ensuring consumers expeditiously receive the funds needed to repair and rebuild communities – particularly in times of disaster. The bill is co-sponsored by U.S. Representatives Bill Foster (D-IL), Ed Royce (R-CA), Steve Stivers (R-OH), Rod Blum (R-IA) and Phil Roe (R-TN). Read more here.

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Federal Court Strikes Down EPA’s Hydrofluorocarbons Rule

A federal court struck down a key piece of the Obama administration’s climate agenda on Tuesday by saying the Environmental Protection Agency does not have the authority to ban the use of certain chemicals used in air conditioners blamed for exacerbating global warming.

The EPA enacted the rule in question in 2015, responding to research showing hydroflourocarbons, or HFCs, contribute to climate change. See more here.

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ASA Sends Joint Letter to FTC and NHTSA Requesting Aftermarket Representation

Following a recent public workshop on connected vehicles, co-hosted by NHTSA and the FTC, several aftermarket groups noted that the panelists failed to adequately address the role of the aftermarket repairer when it comes to connected vehicles. In a letter submitted to FTC Acting Chairman Maureen Ohlhausen and NHTSA Acting Deputy Administrator Terry Shelton, these groups, including ASA, outlined their concerns about the future of vehicle technologies and their impact on repairers and, in turn, consumers.

The letter also requested a joint meeting between the groups and both NHTSA and the
FTC to more fully discuss this issue and how it will affect consumers and competition in the
vehicle repair industry. To view the full text of the letter, please click here.

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U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee Reviews Self-Driving Cars Legislation

On June 27th, the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce held a hearing on a draft package of fourteen driverless car bills. The hearing follows closely behind ASA’s Mechanical Operations Committee meeting with senior House Energy and Commerce staff on June 14th to discuss several issues related to driverless cars and the potential impact on repair shops.

To read the witness’ testimony or to view a recording of the hearing, please click here.

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Maine Anti-Steering Legislation Vetoed by Governor

Maine LD 1540, a bill that would have required an insurer that recommends a particular collision repair facility to inform consumers they have a right to choose a facility was vetoed by Maine Governor Paul LePage on June 21. The Maine House of Representatives voted to overturn the Governor’s veto, but the effort to overturn the veto failed to secure enough votes in the Senate.

To see the full text of the bill, click here.

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U.S. House Passes H.R. 10, the Financial CHOICE Act

On June 8th, the House of Representatives passed sweeping legislation to strip and replace much of the financial regulations passed under former President Barack Obama after the 2008 financial crisis.

The House passed the Financial Creating Hope and Opportunity for Investors, Consumers and Entrepreneurs (CHOICE) Act, 233-186, along party lines. The bill is not expected to pass the Senate. For more information, click here.

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U.S. Secretary of Labor Withdraws Joint Employment, Independent Contractor Informal Guidance

On June 7, 2017, U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta announced the withdrawal of the U.S. Department of Labor’s 2015 and 2016 informal guidance on joint employment and independent contractors. The joint employer doctrine refers to cases in which a business can be said to effectively control the workplace policies of another company, such as when a company subcontracts to another business. Until 2015, the department said the doctrine applied only to cases in which the company had “direct control” over the other’s workplace. In 2015, the department under then-Labor Secretary Tom Perez changed the standard to the much more ambiguous “indirect control.” Companies, particularly ones that engage in franchising, feared they could be held liable for all manner of violations at workplaces they didn’t directly oversee.
For more information, click here.
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NHTSA to Host Tire Safety Twitter Event

In advance of National Tire Safety Week (May 28-June 3), NHTSA is hosting a Twitter chat on May 24 from 3 – 4 p.m. ET to provide information to consumers and vehicle owners on how to be smart when it comes to their tires. Experts will be available to answer questions while you are able to spread the word and encourage your followers to perform proper tire maintenance.

Who: NHTSA’s team of experts

What: #TireWise Twitter Chat

When: Wednesday, May 24, 3 – 4 p.m. ET

Where: www.twitter.com/NHTSAgov

How: Follow the conversation using the hashtag #TireWise.

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Regulatory Accountability Act Passes Committee

On Wednesday, May 17th, S. 951 the Regulatory Accountability Act of 2017 (RAA) was passed out of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC) – by a vote of 9-5 – and will now be sent to the Senate Floor.

The focus of the Regulatory Accountability Act is to make sure that agencies, for the most costly regulations, take the time to implement Congressional intent, not the intent of the agency. In short, it allows Congress and the public to reassert control over the federal regulatory bureaucracy by holding agencies more accountable for their decisions, and allowing for regulations that are better-tailored to achieve their purpose without unnecessary burdens on stakeholders.

On February 6th, ASA joined with 615 other associations in a letter to urge Senate leadership to support this legislation which is designed to bring transparency, accountability, and integrity to the rulemaking process at federal agencies.

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