Policy Watch: Congress blocks 14 Obama-era rules in an unprecedented blitz of CRA votes
"The blocked Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces rule required companies applying for federal contracts to disclose violations of federal labor laws and executive orders addressing wage and hour, safety and health, collective bargaining, family medical leave, and civil rights protections. Currently, there is no effective system for distinguishing between law-abiding contractors and those that violate labor and employment laws. By blocking this rule, Republicans have ensured that businesses that violate basic labor and employment laws will continue to be rewarded with taxpayer dollars. The blocked Workplace Injury and Illness recordkeeping rule clarified an employer’s obligation to maintain accurate records of workplace injuries and illnesses. This information is critical in targeting injury prevention efforts and assessing their effectiveness. By blocking the rule, Republicans have made it impossible for OSHA, which is tasked with ensuring workers’ safety on the job, to require that employers keep accurate records that could be used to identify unsafe, potentially life-threatening working conditions. As a result, workers will go to work every day in less safe conditions. Two blocked rules would have assisted state and local governments that develop individual retirement account (IRA) programs for private-sector workers. The rule simply clarified that these arrangements are not covered by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, the federal law governing private-sector employer-sponsored plans. By blocking the rule, Republicans have blocked a path for retirement savings for the roughly 55 million private-sector wage and salary workers who do not have access to a retirement savings plan through their employers."