Under Puzder’s replacement, Alex Acosta, the Department of Labor has taken measures to ensure deadbeat employers will go unpunished. These include ending a policy holding businesses responsible for violations committed by subcontractors, rescinding disclosure requirements for law firms engaging in union busting, overturning rules to prevent companies from misclassifying employees as independent contractors (making them ineligible for overtime, unemployment insurance and workers compensation), and excluding many workers from overtime by lowering the disqualifying income threshold former president Barack Obama had raised from just over $23,000 to $47,000.
The Trump Department of Labor has also taken steps to hobble the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), an agency established by Richard Nixon whose workplace safety mission isn’t normally an area of partisan contestation.
Nevertheless, under Trump, the Department of Labor has delayed rules protecting workers from lung disease caused by exposure to silica and beryllium, barred union representatives from certain health and safety inspections and, in a petty but symbolic move, erased a tally of deaths from workplace accidents from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration website.
The Department of Labor isn’t the only arena for Trump’s assault on workers. He has overturned Obama-era executive orders requiring federal contractors to disclose labour and safety violations, and companies to disclose race and gender pay gaps; equal pay for women had been one of Ivanka Trump’s personal causes until it suddenly wasn’