Reprinted from The Daily Kos by Laura Clawson on March 4, 2017.
In November, the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced fines against businesses with workers who were killed when they were pulled into a wood chipper, burned in a refinery fire and crushed in collapsing grain bins and construction trenches. In all, OSHA issued 33 enforcement news releases that month, and over 50 more from December 1 until just before Inauguration Day on January 20.
But since then, OSHA hasn’t issued a single news release about penalties or other enforcement actions by federal authorities. The same goes for a second Department of Labor division, Wage and Hour, which in previous weeks had announced the recovery of back wages for peanut processors in Georgia, hotel staffers in New York City, commercial painters in Texas and cafeteria workers at the US Senate building.
This doesn’t mean that enforcement has stopped, but publicizing when bad bosses get fined is a way the Labor Department has gotten the word out—and potentially scared other employers away from similar abuses …