Magazine article Occupational Hazards

Court Orders DOL to Respond to Lawsuit

Magazine article Occupational Hazards

Court Orders DOL to Respond to Lawsuit

Article excerpt

A federal appeals court on Feb. 16 ordered the Department of Labor to file a response to a lawsuit that seeks to compel OSHA to promulgate its proposed employer-payment-for-PPE standard.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit gave the Labor Department 30 days from the date of its order to respond to the lawsuit, which was filed Jan. 3 by AFL-CIO and the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW). The two unions contend that the Department of Labor--which houses OSHA--has been dragging its heels ever since the agency in 1999 proposed a standard that would require employers to pay for the costs of PPE.

Lynn Rhinehart, associate general counsel for AFL-CIO, explained to OCCUPATIONAL HAZARDS that the appeals court is not ordering the Labor Department to promulgate the proposed standard. The court, however, "has taken a preliminary look at our petition and has decided that it merits a response from the government. …

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