The Senate confirmed Thomas E. Perez as the new labor secretary on July 18. He replaces Hilda L. Solis, who resigned from the position in January. Previously Perez served as the assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice. President Obama issued a statement congratulating Perez on his confirmation and thanking the Senate. “At the Department of Labor, Tom will help us continue to grow our economy, help businesses create jobs, make sure workers have the skills those jobs require, and ensure safe workplaces and economic opportunity for all,” Obama said.
AIHA® is drafting a letter of congratulations to Perez outlining some of the most important issues that the association hopes Perez will consider when addressing occupational health and safety as secretary of labor. These issues include the impact of sequestration on occupational safety and health; issues in the regulatory process that delay rules, regulations, and standards to protect workers; and finding the best way to update OSHA’s permissible exposure limits (PELs). “The letter will also express AIHA’s support for Dr. David Michaels’ continued leadership of OSHA,” AIHA Director of Government Affairs Aaron Trippler says. Trippler adds that Perez could replace Michaels, but doesn’t think that will happen.
Follow AIHA on social media to read the letter when it is released.