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 WarrenSupport drops for Medicare for All but increases for public option Hillicon Valley: Warren takes on Facebook over political ads | Zuckerberg defends meetings with conservatives | Civil liberties groups sound alarm over online extremism bill Feehery: Trump may be down, but he's not out yet MORE (Mass.), House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Bobby ScottRobert (Bobby) Cortez ScottCBO: Pelosi bill to lower drug prices saves Medicare 5 billion Democrats divided on surprise medical bill fix NYC teacher suing DeVos over student loan forgiveness program MORE (Va.) and Reps. Rosa DeLauro (Conn.), Mark TakanoMark Allan TakanoOvernight Defense — Presented by Huntington Ingalls Industries — Impeachment inquiry overshadows Trump at UN | Veterans push VA to follow through on reforms | Iranian leader open to changes in nuke deal Veterans groups push VA to follow through on reforms Democrat Raul Ruiz challenged by Republican with the same name in California race MORE (Calif.) and Lucille Roybal-AllardLucille Roybal-AllardDeLauro enters race to succeed Lowey as Appropriations chief EPA's bold step forward: Good for animals and science, better for people Trump rips Puerto Rico as 'corrupt' as storm approaches 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.