OSHA Law Update A Hazard Communication

Tag Archives: Department of Labor

Court Refuses to Dismiss Challenge to OSHA Practice Allowing Unions to Accompany OSHA Workplace Investigations

A United States District Court in Texas has refused to dismiss a law suit challenging OSHA’s practice of allowing union representatives and organizers to serve as “employee representatives” in inspections of non-union worksites. If the Court ultimately sustains the plaintiff’s claims, unions will lose another often valuable organizing tool that has provided them with visibility and access to employees in connection with organizing campaigns.

The National Federation of Independent Business (‘NFIB”) filed suit to challenge an OSHA Standard Interpretation Letter (the “Letter”), which sets forth the agency’s position that an employee of a union that does not represent the workers … Continue Reading

OSHA SHUTDOWN – Government Shutdown Strips OSHA to a Skeleton Crew

By Casey M. Cosentino and Eric J. Conn

The federal government shut down all but essential operations on October 1, 2013, after Congress failed to reach an agreement on a budget or a continuing resolution for funding government operations.  As a result, OSHA (like most federal agencies) has furloughed more than 90% of its personnel and suspended most of its operations.

On September 10, 2013, with the government shutdown looming, the Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA, David Michaels, issued a memorandum outlining OSHA’s  “Contingency Plan for Suspension of Agency Operations after September 30, 2013.”  According to the Contingency Plan, … Continue Reading

Our Next U.S. Secretary of Labor – Still Likely to be Thomas Perez

By Jordan B. Schwartz and Eric J. Conn

On March 18, 2013, President Obama nominated Thomas E. Perez, a Harvard Law School graduate and current federal prosecutor with a long track record of defending civil rights and vulnerable workers, to become the next U.S. Secretary of Labor.  Perez would replace Seth Harris, the Acting Secretary of Labor and former Deputy Secretary of Labor, who has been filling the role since Secretary Hilda Solis resigned from the post in January.

Thomas Perez’s Background 

Since October 2009, Perez has served as the Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division at the … Continue Reading