Watchdog probes Trump administration over changes to labor rules

Watchdog probes Trump administration over changes to labor rules
© Greg Nash

A government watchdog says it is investigating the Trump administration’s process for making changes to labor rules.

Labor Department Inspector General Scott Dahl informed Democratic lawmakers of the probe in a letter reported by NBC News on Thursday.

The investigation comes after claims that administration officials are removing worker protections without following proper procedures.

The probe will be “a broader review of the rule-making process” at the Labor Department, Dahl wrote in his letter dated Jan. 25.

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It said that one particular case the office will investigate is whether the department had the right to remove a rule prohibiting 16 and 17-year-olds working in hospitals and nursing homes from operating power-driven patient lifts.

The Labor Department issued a notice that it would remove the protection in September.

The letter was addressed to Democrats who had asked Dahl for the audit, including Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenSanders tears into Trump in response to campaign kickoff rally Sanders tears into Trump in response to campaign kickoff rally Warren introduces universal child care legislation MORE (Mass.), House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Bobby ScottRobert (Bobby) Cortez ScottTop Trump health official warned against controversial ObamaCare changes in private memo Top Trump health official warned against controversial ObamaCare changes in private memo Centrist Democrats raise concerns over minimum wage push MORE (Va.) and Reps. Rosa DeLauro (Conn.), Mark TakanoMark Allan TakanoSteyer group targeting 12 congressional Democrats over impeachment Steyer group targeting 12 congressional Democrats over impeachment ICE does not know how many veterans it has deported, watchdog says MORE (Calif.) and Lucille Roybal-AllardLucille Roybal-AllardTrump's border funding comes back from the dead Democrats set stage for next shutdown fight with wall-free spending bill Democrats set stage for next shutdown fight with wall-free spending bill MORE (Calif.).

Democrats made their request in a letter to Dahl on Jan. 7, writing, “DOL’s actions in the course of this rulemaking raise serious questions around a lack of required transparency."

“The objective of this review is to determine how well DOL manages the issuance of regulations,” Dahl wrote in his letter responding to the lawmakers.

The Department of Labor did not immediately respond to The Hill’s request for comment Thursday.