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 WarrenThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - House panel expected to approve impeachment articles Thursday Warren, Buttigieg duke it out in sprint to 2020 The Memo: Pelosi-Trump trade deal provokes debate on left MORE (Mass.), House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Bobby ScottRobert (Bobby) Cortez ScottHouse passes bill that would give legal status to thousands of undocumented farmworkers This week: House impeachment inquiry hits crucial stretch Overnight Health Care: House to vote next week on drug prices bill | Conway says Trump trying to find 'balance' on youth vaping | US spent trillion on hospitals in 2018 MORE (Va.) and Reps. Rosa DeLauro (Conn.), Mark TakanoMark Allan TakanoMark Takano keeps using partisan tactics when legislating veterans issues Hillicon Valley: Google buying Fitbit for .1B | US launches national security review of TikTok | Twitter shakes up fight over political ads | Dems push committee on 'revenge porn' law Progressives urge end to mass phone data collection program MORE (Calif.) and Lucille Roybal-AllardLucille Roybal-AllardICE emerges as stumbling block in government funding talks Bicameral group of Democrats introduces bill to protect immigrant laborers Lawmakers skeptical of progress on spending deal as wall battle looms 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.