This morning, Secretary Ray LaHood announced to the employees of the U.S. Department of Transportation that after serving for four years in President Obama’s Cabinet, he would not be staying on for the second term. The Secretary sent the following email to DOT employees across the country, informing them of his plans:
A public service career that started “almost as a lark” ends – at least for now – with the departure of Hilda S. Solis as U.S. Secretary of Labor. In her farewell on the Department of Labor’s (DOL) blog, Solis listed the accomplishments of the department under her tenure:
In a move that could impact worker health and safety, the U.S. Labor Department (DOL) will launch a $1.9 million study on job misclassification. “The misclassification of employees as something other than employees, such as independent contractors, presents a serious problem for affected employees, employers, and to the entire economy,” according to the DOL.
The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) submitted comments on Jan. 22 raising questions about a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposed-policy to allow the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) oversight of aircraft cabin workplace safety issues. The FAA proposal raises the specter of additional oversight and regulation of business aircraft operations, according to an NBAA press statement.
Seth D. Harris, the Department of Labor's deputy secretary since May 2009, has been named acting secretary of labor. Before joining the department, Harris was a professor of law at New York Law School and director of its Labor & Employment Law Programs.
If OSHA’s fiscal year 2013 budget ever gets formal approval by Congress, part of the budget plan calls for cost-savings by consolidating three of the agency’s ten regional offices. States the FY 2013 Congressional Budget Justification for OSHA: “In an effort to streamline agency operations, OSHA is reorganizing its regional structure and jurisdictional authority from its current operation of 10 Regional Offices (ROs) to seven.
According to the fiscal year 2013 Congressional Budget Justification document for OSHA, here are salary averages for agency personnel: Executive schedule (top officials in the executive branch) - OSHA average ES salary in FY2012 = $170,036. GM/GS grade employees - OSHA average GM/GS salary in FY 2012 = $84,959.
OSHA is considering allowing whistleblowers to submit their complaints online. That new method is part of a proposal by the agency to provide additional methods for employees to submit retaliation complaints to the agency, including electronic submission.
Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis last week announced a final rule to strengthen safety in the nation's most dangerous mines. The rule, which revises the Mine Safety and Health Administration's pattern of violations regulation in 30 Code of Federal Regulations Part 104, has been submitted to the Federal Register for publication.