“Trump Signs Order Easing Regulatory Enforcement on Businesses”

“President Donald Trump signed an executive order Tuesday directing federal agencies to ease up on businesses that make good-faith attempts to follow agency guidance and regulations during the coronavirus pandemic.

The move is the latest effort by the administration to ease the pain on American businesses following an unprecedented downturn that has seen more than 36 million people file for unemployment. It addresses one of the leading demands of the business community, but leaves to congressional Republicans the more complicated task of negotiating greater liability protections for businesses as Congress considers another big-ticket virus-relief bill.

Trump’s order would hold back agencies like the Occupational Safety and Health Administration from bringing enforcement actions against businesses that try to keep up with evolving guidance documents. The extent to which the order would provide protection for businesses against pandemic-related liability would be limited—legislation would be needed to guard against lawsuits—but supporters say it would shield companies from fines for civil regulatory violations.”

Cheryl Bolen reports for Bloomberg Environment May 19, 2020.