Last Thursday, President Obama released a budget blueprint that starts to restore the Department of Labor’s ability to enforce worker protection laws that keep Americans safe on the job and ensure that they are paid the wages due to them. For too long, inadequate enforcement staffing has jeopardized American workers. Moreover, lax enforcement has hurt employers who play by the rules but must compete with irresponsible, unscrupulous firms.
Former President George W. Bush’s ideologically-driven approach of hands-off government drove an eight-year effort at the DOL to weaken the enforcement of worker protection laws. By increasing funding of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Wage and Hour Division, and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, President Obama has signaled that his administration will prioritize the safety and well-being of working Americans and restore the DOL’s ability to enforce the law.
Report: Enforcing Change: Five Strategies for the Obama Administration to Enforce Workers’ Rights at the Department of Labor
Report: Making Contracting Work for the United States: Government Spending Must Lead to Good Jobs
See also: American Worker Project