Legislation Legal  
U.S. House of Representatives  
Passes “Sue and Settle” Bill  
n October, the U.S. House of Repre-  
sentatives passed a bill that locks in  
reforms to so-called “sue and settle”  
procedures for government regula-  
tions, which are often used to bypass  
the normal regulatory process.  
The bill was strongly supported by  
the Window and Door Manufacturers  
Association (WDMA),which represents  
commercial and residential fenestration  
The Sunshine for Regulations and  
Regulatory Decrees and Settlements  
Act of 2017 (HR 469),sponsored by Rep. “Sue and settle” procedures require all federal agencies to publicly publish any  
Doug Collins (R-Ga.), passed the House negotiated consent decrees and legal settlement agreements, which compel an  
Senate for consideration. Sen. Chuck  
34-187. The bill will now move to the agencytoundertakeanewrulemaking, atleast60daysbeforethey’refiledincourt.  
Grassley (R-Iowa) has introduced a Grossman,an adjunct scholar at the liber- influence within the government.  
companion bill,S.119,which is pending tarian Cato Institute in Washington, D.C.,  
Environmental groups such as the  
before the Senate Judiciary Committee. testified before Congress in 2015 and 2017 Sierra Club argue that “sue and settle”  
Under“sue and settle,”regulatory agen- about “sue and settle,” noting that these legal tactics are often necessary to force  
cies and groups that filed a legal challenge consent decrees create an “artificial ur- the EPA to do its job.  
against them reach an agreement on the gency”that leads to the rapid proliferation  
Environmental Protection Agency  
terms of a consent decree or settlement of new regulations. They also give orga- (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt re-  
before the public can review it. Andrew nizations that initiate settlements undue cently signed a directive making  
changes to “sue and settle” procedures  
at EPA, but HR 469 codifies changes to  
the process across the entire federal gov-  
ernment.It requires agencies to publicly  
publish any negotiated consent decrees  
and legal settlement agreements at least  
Joint Employer Bill  
Passes the House  
0 days before they’re filed in court. The  
he U.S. House of Representatives passed the Save Local Business  
Act, a bill that that would amend the National Labor Relations Act and  
Fair Labor Standards Act to restore earlier joint-employer standards for  
bill also allows for public comment and  
participation in settlement negotiations.  
In addition,courts would ensure that all  
rules governing federal rulemaking are  
met before accepting settlements.  
home building firms and other small businesses.  
In 2015, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled in the case of  
Browning-Ferris Industries of California Inc. that a company could be consid-  
ered a joint employer if it has indirect control or the potential to determine the  
key terms of an employee’s employment, including hiring and firing, supervi-  
sion, scheduling, and the means and method of employment.  
Under that standard, “joint employment” was defined as a worker who is  
employed by two or more employers, making both of them responsible for  
compliance with a statute. That would include contractors, subcontractors,  
staffing agencies and franchisees.  
“Sue and settle” tactics were used in  
2010 to remove the opt-out provision  
of the controversial Lead: Renovation,  
Repair, and Painting Rule (RRP) for  
homes without a child under the age  
of six or a pregnant woman. That more  
than doubled the number of homes  
subject to the RRP rule. n  
USGlass, Metal & Glazing | December 2017  

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