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 — Mueller aftermath: What will House Dems do now? Warren spends big on staff in high-stakes 2020 gamble On The Money: Inside the Mueller report | Cain undeterred in push for Fed seat | Analysis finds modest boost to economy from new NAFTA | White House says deal will give auto sector B boost MORE (Mass.), House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Bobby ScottRobert (Bobby) Cortez ScottLabor Department official steps down amid ethics questions: report The Congressional Black Caucus: America stands to lose a lot under TrumpCare House passes Paycheck Fairness Act MORE (Va.) and Reps. Rosa DeLauro (Conn.), Mark TakanoMark Allan Takano'Queer Eye' stars push for Equality Act House Democrats open investigation of Trump associates' influence at VA Watchdog probes Trump administration over changes to labor rules MORE (Calif.) and Lucille Roybal-AllardLucille Roybal-AllardOvernight Defense: Dem chair rejects Pentagon request to use B for border wall | House fails to override Trump veto | Pelosi at AIPAC vows Israel won't be 'wedge issue' Coast Guard has still not recovered from shutdown, commandant says The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump unveils budget wish list with domestic cuts, defense hikes 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.