Davis bill excludes at-home workers from OSHA coverage

Laws that protect workers from federal health and safety violations in the workplace would not apply to employees working at home if a bill introduced last week by Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) is signed into law.

The bill (H.R. 3518) would amend the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 so that workers who worked at home via telephone, computer or other electronic device would not be covered under the law.

In early January, the Labor Department issued — and then later retracted — a policy decision that would have held employers responsible for federal health and safety violations that occur in home offices.

Although the Labor Department rescinded its guidance, a spokesman for Davis said the congressman believes a "legislative remedy" needs to be in place to prevent Labor from considering the issue again in the future and to encourage companies to continue to allow employees to telecommute. The legislation is narrowly targeted because "we don't want to get into an area where OSHA might have a strong reason for walking into people's homes," such as when employees work with hazardous materials, the spokesman said.

Davis' bill, the Telecommuting Choice Act, has been referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.

Featured

  • People
    Federal CIO Suzette Kent

    Federal CIO Kent to exit in July

    During her tenure, Suzette Kent pushed on policies including Trusted Internet Connection, identity management and the creation of the Chief Data Officers Council

  • Defense
    Essye Miller, Director at Defense Information Management, speaks during the Breaking the Gender Barrier panel at the Air Space, Cyber Conference in National Harbor, Md., Sept. 19, 2017. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Chad Trujillo)

    Essye Miller: The exit interview

    Essye Miller, DOD's outgoing principal deputy CIO, talks about COVID, the state of the tech workforce and the hard conversations DOD has to have to prepare personnel for the future.

Stay Connected

FCW INSIDER

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.