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 WarrenSteyer calls on DNC to expand polling criteria for debates Gabbard hits DNC over poll criteria for debates The Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch MORE (Mass.), House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Bobby ScottRobert (Bobby) Cortez ScottDemocrats: Trump plan could jeopardize 500,000 children's free school meals Lawmakers, press hit the courts for charity tennis event House approves bill raising minimum wage to per hour MORE (Va.) and Reps. Rosa DeLauro (Conn.), Mark TakanoMark Allan TakanoCollege should profit students and taxpayers — even at for-profit schools Lawmakers urge DNC to name Asian American debate moderator Steyer group targeting 12 congressional Democrats over impeachment MORE (Calif.) and Lucille Roybal-AllardLucille Roybal-AllardMigrants in US border detention centers won't receive flu vaccine DHS wants to shift money to immigration enforcement: report Latina leaders: 'It's a women's world more than anything' 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.