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The Affordable Care Act (ACA) or “Obamacare” is a complex 2,300-page law aimed at reforming the American healthcare system. The measure narrowly passed along partisan lines and was signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010, with the most major aspects taking effect in 2014 and several more are being phased-in until 2020.
Many national industries and small businesses, including the structural pest management industry, have been impacted by a provision in the law called the “employer mandate.” The employer mandate has a varying degree of impact depending on a number of factors, such as the number of employees at your business. If your pest management business is not in compliance, you could be subject to steep fines, so it is important for PMPs to be aware of how the law affects you.
In May 2016, new overtime regulations were finalized by the Department of Labor (DOL). The overtime regulations will raise the minimum threshold from $23,660 ($455 per week), to $47,472 annually ($913 per week). In November 2016, the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Texas granted a nationwide preliminary injunction from the implementation of the Department of Labor’s final overtime rule, where a decision is still pending.
In addition to pesticide safety, the pest management industry is also regulated by the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Agency (OSHA). Founded in 1971 by the Occupational Safety and Health Act, OSHA is charged with protecting our nation’s workers, and strives to accomplish its goal through enforcement, education, and outreach. OSHA is continuously updating and promulgating workplace safety rules, many of which can be lengthy and confusing.
The Federal Insecticide Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) is the statute that authorizes the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the authority to regulate the sale and use of pesticides and designate this authority exclusively to U.S. states. In 1991, in Wisconsin Pub. Intervenor v. Mortier, 501 U.S. 597 (1991), the Supreme Court held that FIFRA does not preempt local governmental regulation of pesticide use relying on the interpretation that FIFRA does not expressly prohibit local regulations, despite the presumption that it did.
In October 2015, the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services (APHIS) published new APHIS Agriculture Quarantine Inspection (AQI) user fee schedule for treatments made by pest management professionals to imported commodities. The fee for AQI treatment services will be phased in over 5 years: