Legislative Alert

Letter Supporting Nomination of Doug Parker as Assistant Secretary for OSHA

Dear Senator:

The AFL-CIO urges you to support the swift confirmation of Doug Parker to be the Assistant Secretary for the Occupational and Health Administration (OSHA) in the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). Mr. Parker is the ideal candidate to lead OSHA, the agency charged with enforcing federal statutes that aim to ensure worker safety and health. Now more than ever, OSHA must have a steadfast worker advocate at the helm who will protect workers from the critical safety and health hazards in workplaces that cause injuries and illnesses every day, including the continuous and lasting effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The appointment of an OSHA Assistant Secretary is long overdue. OSHA has not had a confirmed Assistant Secretary since January of 2017, and our nation’s workers have paid the price. Mr. Parker’s experience in both federal and state government will enable him to begin this crucial work on day one.

Mr. Parker is an experienced attorney who has dedicated his career to protecting workers’ rights and preventing injury and illness on the job. Mr. Parker most recently served as the Chief of California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) and played a lead role in developing the agency’s response to the pandemic, including targeted enforcement, compliance assistance and an emergency temporary COVID-19 standard. Faced with limited resources and staffing at the agency, Mr. Parker actively worked to efficiently utilize resources to prioritize employee safety and implement policies that ensure employers do the same.

Before leading Cal/OSHA, Mr. Parker served as the Executive Director of WorkSafe, a nonprofit dedicated to preventing injury, illness, and death in the workplace. During the Obama/Biden Administration, Mr. Parker served in multiple roles at the U.S. Department of Labor, including Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and as Special Assistant in DOL’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA).

Mr. Parker’s years of experience advocating for and protecting workers make him uniquely qualified to lead our nation’s workplace safety and health agency, and to ensure the agency enforces standards that address new and emerging hazards and reaches targeted populations especially vulnerable to dangerous working conditions through enforcement, education and training. Perhaps most importantly, his service in prior administrations provides an intimate knowledge of the operations and work of the Labor Department, and he will bring that knowledge to bear on his work immediately upon confirmation.

The moment calls for an OSHA administrator who will ensure workers’ voices are heard and that our Labor Department does everything possible to make sure workers get home safe each day. Mr. Parker’s practical expertise and commitment to the health and safety of workers will make him an outstanding Assistant Secretary. Therefore, the AFL-CIO urges his swift

William Samuel
Director, Government Affairs