The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) has sent a letter to members of the U.S. Senate, expressing its opposition to the nomination of Acting Secretary Julie Su for Secretary of Labor. This move comes amid concerns that Su’s potential confirmation might lead to new rulemaking harmful to small businesses and a disregard for the Department of Labor’s (DOL) obligations to consider the impact of federal regulations on these businesses.
As small businesses across the country grapple with an ongoing labor shortage and inflation, Kevin Kuhlman, NFIB Vice President of Federal Government Relations, warns against adding to these challenges. “The small business economy is facing an ongoing labor shortage and high inflation. Burdensome regulations could exacerbate these economic challenges,” Kuhlman explained.
A critical point of contention for the NFIB and its small business members is Su’s previous role as Deputy Secretary at the DOL. During her tenure, Su oversaw the proposed rule to redefine and restrict what constitutes an independent contractor. If this rule becomes finalized, it could have far-reaching negative effects on millions of small businesses, many of whom rely on independent contractors for their operations.
Additionally, the NFIB raised concerns about Su’s management of California’s unemployment insurance program during her time as California’s Labor Secretary. The organization claimed that her alleged mismanagement led to a significant tax increase for small businesses in the state.
According to the NFIB, small business members have identified “unreasonable government regulations” as one of the top issues they face. The opposition to Su’s nomination emphasizes this sentiment, highlighting the fear that Su’s confirmation might bring about a regulatory environment unfavorable to small business.
This move by the NFIB underscores the significant concern among small businesses about the impact of federal regulations and the potential for these to become more stringent under Su’s leadership. It also amplifies the voice of small businesses in regulatory debates and reiterates the need for regulators and policymakers to consider the unique challenges faced by small businesses in the evolving economic landscape.
As small businesses continue to navigate the effects of the pandemic, labor shortages, and high inflation, the call for balanced and thoughtful regulation is louder than ever. Whether or not Su’s nomination proceeds, the message from small businesses is clear: any future Secretary of Labor must prioritize understanding and mitigating the regulatory challenges faced by small businesses in the United States.
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