DOL turns 100

March 6, 2013

Washington – In the face of sequestration, the Department of Labor on March 4 celebrated its 100th anniversary. In March 1913, President William Howard Taft signed into law legislation creating DOL and the Cabinet position of secretary of labor.

The anniversary comes days after automatic, across-the-board spending cuts known as sequestration went into effect, reducing DOL’s budget – and that of its agencies – by about 8 percent for the rest of the fiscal year.

“In a way, it’s also fitting,” said Carl Fillichio, head of DOL’s public affairs office and chair of its centennial, in a blog post about the anniversary and sequester. “The establishment of the Labor Department came about only after decades of struggle and debate, so hardship and resilience are woven into our DNA.”

Despite earlier statements from DOL that the sequester will lead to fewer OSHA inspections and the potential for increased workplace injuries, Fillichio said the department will continue to address workplace conditions and issues workers face in the years ahead.