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NAW News

OSHA Reform

added July 2009
- July 2009

 [added July 2009]

NAW-opposed legislation to amend the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) in ways that are highly problematic for employers has been introduced in the 111th Congress. Last spring, Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA-6) introduced H.R. 2067, the “Protecting America’s Workers Act (“PAWA”). As Staff Reports goes to press, PAWA is cosponsored by 34 Democratic House Members.

An increase in “whistleblower” protections, employees’ right to refuse hazardous work, increased civil and criminal penalties and an extension of criminal liability exposure to corporate officers, and a new requirement that employers abate violations for serious hazards even while contesting an OSHA citation are among the bill’s most troublesome provisions.

PAWA has been referred to the House Education & Labor Committee and is pending in the Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions Subcommittee. If an effort is undertaken to move this legislation forward, NAW will strongly oppose it in conjunction with our allies in the OSHA Fairness Coalition.