Showing 70 results
Katie Tracy | February 9, 2021
When the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act was enacted 50 years ago, it was hailed as critical legislation that would make workplaces safer and healthier for all. Thanks to this law, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has made great strides toward protecting worker health and safety. Unfortunately, the law didn't go far enough then -- and it doesn't go nearly far enough now.
Katie Tracy | February 3, 2021
Since taking office, President Joe Biden has signaled a new openness to the concerns of our nation’s workers -- and we at CPR are joining our allies today in calling on his administration to go much further to make workplace safety a top priority.
Katie Tracy, Katlyn Schmitt | January 27, 2021
The Maryland General Assembly is kicking into full gear -- and we at the Center for Progressive Reform are tracking bills that would protect the health and safety of Maryland workers in the food and farm sectors. These protections are urgently needed to protect these workers from COVID-19 infections and keep the public healthy and safe.
Katie Tracy | January 21, 2021
President Joe Biden has tapped three seasoned experts to jumpstart the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the federal government's main worker health and safety agency. Jim Frederick will serve as Deputy Assistant Secretary of OSHA and will head the agency until a permanent Assistant Secretary is confirmed. Frederick’s experience includes over two decades working for the United Steel Workers' health, safety, and environment department. In his latest role, Frederick served as the assistant director and principal investigator for the department. Biden has also named Chip Hughes, former director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Worker Education and Training Program, as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Pandemic and Emergency Response. This will be a crucial role in the weeks and months ahead. Ann Rosenthal will join the team as Senior Advisor. Rosenthal served as the Associate Solicitor for Occupational Safety and Health at the Department of Labor until 2017 and has decades of legal experience protecting worker health and safety.
Katie Tracy | July 29, 2020
Workers presently have no right to bring a lawsuit against employers under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) for failing to provide safe and healthy working conditions. If an employer exposes workers to toxic chemicals or fails to guard a dangerous machine, for example, they must rely on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to inspect, find a violation, and issue a citation. This omission in the 1970 statute is especially troubling in the context of COVID-19, as workers across the United States continue to face a massive workplace health crisis without any meaningful support from OSHA or most of its state and territorial counterparts. As the pandemic makes crystal clear, workers need and deserve the right to step up and enforce the law when OSHA is unable or unwilling to do its job. In a new CPR report, CPR Member Scholars Michael Duff, Thomas McGarity, Sidney Shapiro, Rena Steinzor, and I call on Congress to update the OSH Act and provide workers with a private right of action.
Katie Tracy | June 19, 2020
Until this week, laws in a majority of U.S. states permitted some form of employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. On Monday, the law changed – dramatically, sweepingly, historically – when the U.S. Supreme Court made clear that in this respect the 1964 Civil Rights Act's anti-employment discrimination provisions mean exactly what they say. The Court's ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia makes clear that it is illegal to base employment decisions – hiring and firing, the allocation of work, the grouping of employees, compensation practices, harassment – on sexual orientation or identity. The prior patchwork of state laws – most of which permitted some type of employment discrimination based on orientation or identity – is no more.
Brian Gumm, Katie Tracy | June 11, 2020
In a June 11 order, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals denied an AFL-CIO writ of mandamus asking the court to compel the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to do more to protect workers from infectious diseases, such as COVID-19. The order continues the dangerous status quo of workers laboring with no enforceable protections from the highly contagious and deadly virus.
Alice Kaswan, Amy Sinden, Brian Gumm, Catherine Jones, Darya Minovi, David Flores, James Goodwin, Joel A. Mintz, Katie Tracy, Katlyn Schmitt, Matt Shudtz, Matthew Freeman, Robert L. Glicksman, Robert Verchick, Sidney A. Shapiro, Thomas McGarity | June 1, 2020
Staff and Board members of the Center for Progressive Reform (CPR) denounce the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin on Memorial Day. We stand with the peaceful protestors calling for radical, systemic reforms to root out racism from our society and all levels of our governing institutions and the policies they administer. CPR Member Scholars and staff are dedicated to listening to and working alongside Black communities and non-Black people of color to call out racism and injustice and demand immediate and long-lasting change. Racism and bigotry cannot continue in the United States if our nation is to live up to its creed of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all.
Katie Tracy | May 19, 2020
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) Whistleblower Protection Program (WPP) plays a vital role in protecting workers from employers who cut corners on safety or who violate other federal laws: It protects those workers who report such abuses from retaliation, making it harder for employers to get away with breaking the law. Or at least that's how it's supposed to work. The 23 separate federal statutes the program encompasses cover a wide range of corporate wrongdoing, including violations of clean air and drinking water standards, food safety standards, workplace health and safety standards, and much more. If an employer retaliates against an employee for taking any of the actions covered by these laws, the employee may file a retaliation complaint with OSHA for investigation.