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. 

Tax Reform

In December 2017, the Tax Cut and Jobs Act was signed into law, the first overhaul of the tax code in 31 years. Here is how clubs are impacted. Further NCA analysis on the bill can be found here.

NCA and our allies urged Congress to pass the FY18 Budget Resolution to work toward meaningful tax reform. Read the letter. Read the coalition's letter of support for tax reform. Read more.

"Waters of the United States"

NEW: Repeal of 2015 Wotus Rule: The EPA and U.S. Army Corp of Engineers signed a pre-publication version of the repeal of the 2015 WOTUS rule. Read more.

On April 15, 2019, NCA and allies presented the golf industry's comments on the revised version of the Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) Rule, which was released on December 12, 2018, by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This new regulation replaced the 2015 WOTUS Rule that altered the definition of protected water under the Clean Water Act (CWA).

NCA and our allies in the Waters Advocacy Coalition have been pushing for substantive changes to the previous WOTUS Rule over the past three years. This new regulation will relieve the pressures clubs have faced under the old rule. Read more.

The National Labor Relations Board’s Efforts to Help Labor Unions

On June 7, 2017, Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta announced that the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Joint Employer Guidance would be withdrawn from DOL’s books.

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued the 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. Read more.

Department of Labor's New Guidance on Independent Contractor/Employee Classification

NCA and our allies have been working to remove the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Independent Contractor/Employee Classification Guidance that was issued in July of 2015. In June 2017, that work paid off when Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta announced that the guidance would be withdrawn from DOL’s books. Read more.

Department of Labor's Overtime Rule

On September 24, 2019, the Department of Labor announced that it is finalizing and publishing the overtime rule. The final rule largely follows the proposed rule and would make 1.3 million more American workers eligible for overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

The final rule updates the earnings thresholds that need to be met to exempt executive, administrative or professional employees from the FLSA minimum wage and overtime pay requirements. Employees above the new minimum threshold would still be subject to the duties test to determine whether they are in fact exempt. It also allows employers to count a portion of bonuses and commissions toward meeting the threshold. The new thresholds will take effect on January 1, 2020. Read More.

Persuader Rule

On November 16, 2016, U.S. District Court Judge Sam R. Cummings permanently blocked the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) Persuader Rule, ensuring that the rule will not be implemented. In June the Texas court enjoined the rule, and now this final ruling makes the injunction permanent.

H-2B Visa Program

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.

The Health Care Reform Law

On March 24, 2017, the GOP withdrew the American Health Care Act. As such, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) remains in full effect. NCA continues to lobby for new efforts to address some of the most onerous parts of the ACA.  Read more.

Challenges to Private Status

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.

Club Industry Brief

NCA's free bi-weekly news digest is designed specifically for private club leaders. It covers industry news and trends and articles on golf, membership and operations for private clubs.