U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) reintroduced the Protecting America's Workers Act (PAWA), which amends and updates the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSH Act) to make sure that workers are protected in the 21st century economy.
"Every worker, in every industry, deserves to be confident that while they are working hard and doing their jobs, their employers are doing everything they can to protect them," said Senator Murray. "That is why I am so proud to reintroduce the Protecting America's Workers Act. This legislation is a long-overdue update to the OSH Act, and a good step towards making workplaces safer and healthier across America."
PAWA works to address workplace injuries, illnesses and deaths, which have remained persistent despite the administration of the OSH Act. Specifically, PAWA expands OSH Act protections to include state, county, municipal and U.S. government employees; it increases whistleblower protections, so workers can sound the alarm on unsafe working conditions without fear of retaliation; and improves OSHA reporting, inspection, and enforcement.
These improvements will help the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) ensure safe and healthful work environments in industries that have outpaced decades old government regulation. This legislation was sponsored by Senator Kennedy in previous Congresses, and has the support of the AFL-CIO.
Original Senate co-sponsors of this legislation include Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Al Franken (D-MN), Tom Harkin (D-IA), Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Bob Casey (D-PA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Ben Cardin (D-MD).