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House Dems reintroduce updates to OSH Act

Washington – Calling it “vital to improving the health and safety of American workers,” House Democrats on April 18 reintroduced legislation to update the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

If passed into law, the Protecting America’s Workers Act (H.R. 1648) would expand OSHA coverage to government employees, increase civil penalties, allow felony prosecutions of employers in some instances and improve whistleblower protections.

Rep. George Miller (D-CA), who introduced the legislation, said in a press release that Congress needs to “give real teeth” to occupational safety and health laws.

PAWA has been introduced in several previous Congresses, but has never made it to the president’s desk. A similar bill (S. 655) was introduced in the Senate in March.

Also on April 18, Miller introduced the Offshore Oil and Gas Worker Whistleblower Protection Act (H.R. 1649), which would prohibit employers from retaliating against workers for a number of measures, including standards violations or reporting injuries.