Alexander Votes to Stop Obama-era Labor Regulation That Ignores the Law

Posted on March 22, 2017

Senate labor committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today said Senate passage of legislation to overturn the Obama administration’s harmful “Volks” rule will eliminate a regulation that does not follow the law.

“This Obama regulation is a good example of what happens when officials at federal agencies ignore and try to rewrite the law--the result is a policy that makes no sense, does not help any workers, harms smaller employers most of all, and ultimately is rejected by Congress."

Today, the Senate passed a Congressional Review Act resolution to block implementation of the “Volks” rule and prevent future administrations from enacting a similar rule. The legislation passed the House of Representatives on March 1. 

Background

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, employers are required to record workplace injuries and illnesses that occur and retain those records for five years. While Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) inspectors have long used this information to enhance health and safety protections in America’s jobsites, the law explicitly says that employers can only be cited for record-keeping violations within a six-month time period. In the final days of the Obama administration, OSHA rewrote the law through regulation. On December 19, 2016, the agency finalized the “Volks” rule, which extends the threat of penalty up to five years.