By James L. Curtis, Benjamin D. Briggs, Adam R. Young, and Craig B. Simonsen
Seyfarth Synopsis: Jordan Barab, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of OSHA, announced on his blog this week that he would “start full time work at the Education and Labor Committee in the House of Representatives” to provide OSHA oversight.
Barab, a regular Trump Administration critic, stated that “the opportunity to help organize oversight hearings and investigations to ensure that OSHA, MSHA and NIOSH are executing the missions that Congress gave them and work on new legislation that will better protect workers is too much to resist in what we all hope and expect to be the last two years of the Trump administration. Now that we actually have our hands on some of the tools of power for the first time in two years, I’m anxious to stop just writing and tweeting about what’s wrong with this country and this administration, and start doing something about it again.”
Barab had previously been the Deputy Assistant Secretary at OSHA from 2009 through January 2017, during the Obama Administration. He was a proponent of the prior OSHA practice of heavy handed enforcement that viewed employers as adversaries rather than as partners in protecting employees.
Employers should view this as an effort by the new Democratic led House of Representatives to promote the proclivities of unionized labor as well as aggressive and expansive enforcement.
For more information on this or any related topic please contact the authors, your Seyfarth attorney, or any member of the Seyfarth Workplace Safety and Health (OSHA/MSHA) Team.