Issues Facing Private Clubs
NCA keeps you up to date on what you need to know
For 50 years, NCA has been the only Washington, D.C.-based trade association whose focus is lobbying Congress specifically for the benefit of private clubs and our industry. NCA monitors the legislative progress for any bill that might affect private clubs and our industry. When bills are first introduced, we send alerts to our members with insight and analysis on the impact a bill will have on their clubs. Through grassroots mobilization, we then attempt to stop damaging legislation before it is enacted or demonstrate our support for legislation that would help our industry.
We also advocate on behalf of our members in court cases and legal issues across the country. Drawing on the expertise of our in-house counsel and attorneys serving on NCA’s board of directors, NCA stands ready to tackle the most difficult legal issues facing private clubs.
Some of the top issues for clubs are listed below.
On May 27, 2015 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the final version of the Waters of the U.S. Rule (WOTUS Rule). This rule alters the definition of protected water under the Clean Water Act (CWA). It was scheduled to take full effect on Aug. 28, 2015, but on Oct. 9, 2015, a decision by the Sixth Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals put the rule on hold for all 50 states, giving clubs a much needed respite from the rule’s impact. The definitional changes expand federal control of land and water resources in the U.S., triggering substantial additional permitting and regulatory requirements. Read more.
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a ruling in 2015 that dramatically expanded the definition of “joint employer.” The NLRB ruling determined that employers—including clubs—that hire independent contractors (ICs), may be considered a “joint employer” with the ICs’ contracting firm. Thus clubs could be liable for any labor violations committed by the IC. Clubs that hire ICs such as landscapers, cleaning service providers and others should take heed as this ruling dramatically broadens their potential liability.
On April 14, 2015 the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) Ambush Election Rule took full force and effect. The rule will allow organizers to hold a union election within 14 days of filing the petition with the NLRB. Should a club receive notice of a union organizing campaign, it must immediately hire labor counsel dealing with management issues to prepare its defense.
NCA and our allies on the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace (CDW) have filed two lawsuits. Read more.
For some time, the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division has been working on establishing better guidance for the classification of workers as either employees or independent contractors (ICs). On July 15, 2015, DOL issued its new interpretation and it could have a significant impact on clubs that utilize caddies or any “independent contractors.” Read more.
On March 15, 2016, the Department of Labor (DOL) sent the Overtime Exemption Rule to the White House for its approval, effectively speeding the timeframe for the rule’s release. Traditionally, this means the rule is about 30 days from being issued, and NCA expects a release no later than mid-May. Read more.
In many instances, employers seeking to hire workers for their high-season turn to the federal government’s H-2B visa program. This temporary worker program allows many NCA members to hire foreign workers to handle peak demands. Unfortunately, there has been concerted effort in the Department of Labor to minimize this program's effectiveness. NCA, as an executive committee member of the H-2B workforce coalition, has tried to ensure the needs of our industry have been met but the struggle continues. Read more.
With the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision upholding the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA’s) subsidy program, the decision now decreases leverage that NCA and allies have in fighting the ACA. NCA will continue to push for common sense changes to the law—like full-time employment being 40 hours per week and not 30. In an effort to ensure our member clubs are fully informed regarding their responsibilities under the law, NCA will periodically provide Alerts to keep you abreast of your upcoming obligations. Read more.
Private clubs across the country must take a long look at how they run their facilities to ensure they do not find themselves facing challenges to their private status. Cases in Washington state, Arizona and New York highlight how tricky this issue is and how clubs can be attacked. To avoid these types of problems, it is imperative that clubs review their activities to ensure their actions cannot lead to a claim that they are a place of public accommodation and not a truly private facility. Read more.