The U.S. Capitol building on Capitol Hill, seen during sunset in Washington, U.S., September 30, 2021. REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz

Senate confirms Biden pick to lead OSHA as vaccine rule nears

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(Reuters) – The U.S. Senate on Monday voted alongside social gathering traces to verify California office security chief Doug Parker to lead the Occupational Security and Well being Administration (OSHA), filling the submit for the primary time in additional than 4 years.

The 50-41 vote comes as OSHA is poised to undertake a rule requiring bigger corporations to mandate that their staff get the COVID-19 vaccine or be examined commonly.

Parker is the primary Senate-confirmed director at OSHA since early 2017, when Obama appointee David Michaels stepped down. Loren Sweatt, who was then appointed performing director, served within the function for the whole lot of the Trump administration.

Parker is a former office security advocate and union lawyer who has headed California’s Division of Occupational Security (Cal/OSHA) since 2019. He couldn’t instantly be reached for touch upon Tuesday.

President Joe Biden nominated Parker in April, shortly earlier than OSHA adopted an emergency rule requiring employers within the healthcare business to undertake pandemic office protections.

Below Parker’s management, California was one in every of a number of states to undertake its personal COVID-19 emergency employee security requirements.

OSHA had declined to achieve this throughout the Trump administration, drawing criticism from Democrats and employee advocates.

Jessica Martinez, the co-executive director of the Nationwide Council for Occupational Security and Well being, stated it was important for OSHA to have a everlasting, Senate-confirmed chief as hundreds of thousands of staff proceed to face the specter of COVID-19 each day.

“OSHA has taken important steps in the right direction this year,” Martinez said in a statement on Monday, but “way more work stays to be performed to scale back dangers and enhance security in our workplaces.”

Earlier than becoming a member of Cal/OSHA, Parker was the chief director of Worksafe, an Oakland-based nonprofit legislation agency that focuses on employee questions of safety. Through the Obama administration, Parker served as the deputy assistant secretary for coverage on the U.S. Division of Labor’s Mine Security and Well being Administration.

Earlier in his profession, Parker was a workers legal professional for United Mine Employees of America and a accomplice at Washington D.C.-based Mooney Inexperienced Saindon Murphy & Welch, which represents unions.

He additionally beforehand labored in communications for the Democratic Nationwide Committee and was a staffer for former U.S. Sen. Paul Wellstone of Minnesota.

Daniel Wiessner

Dan Wiessner (@danwiessner) stories on labor and employment and immigration legislation, together with litigation and coverage making. He could be reached at [email protected]