Our new President has promised a lot of notable changes. We know the big ones: immigration bans, building a wall across the United States-Mexico border, repealing Obamacare, and so on.
While investigations of his ties with Russia and his accusations of wiretapping are making headlines, let’s focus on a lesser-known change that the current administration is trying to make regarding OSHA. Before we talk about the current administration, though, we need to go back to the previous one.
OSHA and the Obama Administration
The Obama Administration worked closely with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to set higher standards for companies regarding workplace standards and accident reporting.
During Obama’s time as presidency, lawmakers introduced multiple policies to hold companies more accountable for workplace accidents and violations. Some of the new laws and policies included:
- Requiring companies to electronically submit accident data to OSHA. OSHA would take that data and publicly post the information for potential employees or business partners to see.
- If a company wanted to pursue a federal contract, they would have to disclose all previous workplace and labor violations, and accusations of violations.
- Publicizing fines against companies who were found violating workplace and labor standards.
- Allowing OSHA five-and-a-half years to issue citations to companies after an alleged violation.
These are just some of the measures that the Trump administration has tried to repeal or end.
Trump’s Big Reversals
For example, let’s look at publicizing fines. The previous administration would send out announcements regarding fines against employers who violated standards. The announcements were seen as a way to hold employers accountable. The Trump Administration has not made a single announcement or report of this kind.
The bottom line? Trump’s administration is working hard to undo the advancements that the Obama Administration put in place. In the past, OSHA had little power to change rules. OSHA had little power to even more strictly enforce the rules that businesses already had to follow throughout the country regarding safety. Now, it looks like we’re returning to those times.
In fact, things aren’t looking good for the Labor Department as a whole. Trump’s budget proposed to cut $2.5 billion from the department (a reduction of 21%!). Moreover, Alexander Acosta was been recently approved to lead the department. When Acosta previously served as a member of the National Labor Relations Board, he was known to favor employers. This matched the conservative approach that Trump is taking against OSHA.
What Does This Mean If You or a Loved One Is Injured?
If you are injured due to an unsafe workplace or negligent employers, you should absolutely hold the people in charge accountable for their actions. Unfortunately, with the direction that the Trump administration is headed with labor standards, you won’t have as much help as before. If you want to make noise about an employer who is not following the rules, you should be ready to fight.
Because of this, if you want to report a violation or file a lawsuit against an employer who has violated OSHA standards or caused an accident that left you with financial damages, it is more important than ever before to have a lawyer by your side. Reach out to us today to learn more about your options, your rights, and what you can do to fight back and get the compensation you deserve.