It costs the average U.S. manufacturer approximately $1,700 per year per employee to comply with federal regulations, according to a new study released by researchers at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, Fairfax, Va.. That amount can go as high as $2,500 per employee for small employers.
Manufacturers paid $28 billion in 2000 to comply with workplace regulations, with regulations related to occupational health and safety accounting for about one-third of that total. Employee benefits, such as COBRA and the Unemployment Compensation Act, accounted for another 10 percent of the annual cost of regulations to employers.
"Counterproductive regulations are a serious drag on the U.S. economy," said Patrick Cleary, senior vice president of the National Association of Manufacturers.
He added that while the NAM doesn''t advocate a regulation-free workplace, regulations come with a steep price tag for employers. "Lawmakers need to exercise extreme caution before piling on even more," he cautioned.
by Sandy Smith ([email protected])