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Senate HELP Committee advances Doug Parker’s nomination to head OSHA

Photo: Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee

Washington — Doug Parker’s nomination to lead OSHA moved closer to a Senate confirmation with a 13-9 vote by the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on June 16.

Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) joined the 11 Democrats on the committee in approving the nomination.

On April 9, President Joe Biden announced his intent to nominate Parker, head of the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health – also known as Cal/OSHA – since September 2019.

Parker appeared before the committee May 27 and was asked about Cal/OSHA’s emergency temporary standard on COVID-19, among other topics.

OSHA has issued its own ETS on COVID-19 that focuses on health care workers. The ETS, also known as Subpart U, was published on the agency’s website June 9 but will not go into effect until its publication in the Federal Register. At press time, a publication date had not been announced.


Before heading Cal/OSHA, Parker was the executive director of Worksafe – a legal services provider in Oakland, CA. He previously served as deputy assistant secretary of policy and a senior policy advisor at the Mine Safety and Health Administration during the Obama administration, and was a partner at the Mooney, Green, Saindon, Murphy and Welch law firm in Washington. In addition, he served as a staff attorney for the United Mine Workers of America.

OSHA is in its longest period in its 50-year history without a Senate-confirmed leader, or assistant secretary of labor, dating to David Michaels’ departure in January 2017. Former President Donald Trump nominated Scott Mugno to lead OSHA in October 2017, but Mugno withdrew from consideration in May 2019 after waiting nearly 20 months for Senate confirmation.

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