Federal agencies Leadership

Mugno withdraws from consideration as OSHA head: report

Scott Mugno

Washington – Already in its longest period without a permanent administrator, OSHA will have to wait even longer, as Scott Mugno has withdrawn from consideration as the agency’s assistant secretary of labor, according to a Bloomberg Law report published May 15.

A LinkedIn page for Scott A. Mugno was changed from “Awaiting Senate Confirmation for the Assistant Secretary of Labor” to “Nominee for the Assistant Secretary of Labor” from October 2017 to May 2019.

The Trump administration initially nominated Mugno, a retired FedEx Ground executive, for the agency’s top post Nov. 1, 2017. He was re-nominated twice, most recently Jan. 16. The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee approved his nomination for a third time Feb. 27.

The Senate’s recent rule change to limit debate time on certain nominees to two hours from 30 hours appeared to give Mugno an improved chance at a long-awaited confirmation. William Beach was confirmed March 13 as commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, ending his 17-month confirmation process. The Senate also confirmed Cheryl Stanton as administrator of the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division on April 10 to finish her 19-month wait.

With Mugno’s withdrawal, Loren Sweatt will continue in her role as acting administrator, which began July 24, 2017, and marks the longest such tenure in OSHA history. The agency has been without had a permanent leader since David Michaels stepped down in January 2017.

Previously, OSHA’s longest period without a permanent administrator was just shy of two years – from January 1992 to November 1993, when Dorothy L. Strunk and David Zeigler served separate tenures as acting assistant secretaries of labor.

Mugno retired from FedEx in March 2018 after nearly 24 years with the company, beginning as a senior attorney. His most recent title was vice president of safety, sustainability and vehicle maintenance.

If it so chooses, the White House will have to put forth another nominee, who would likely have to go before a Senate HELP Committee or subcommittee before any potential confirmation.

Post a comment to this article

Safety+Health welcomes comments that promote respectful dialogue. Please stay on topic. Comments that contain personal attacks, profanity or abusive language – or those aggressively promoting products or services – will be removed. We reserve the right to determine which comments violate our comment policy. (Anonymous comments are welcome; merely skip the “name” field in the comment box. An email address is required but will not be included with your comment.)