News & Commentary

August 24, 2023

Linh Tang

Linh is a student at Harvard Law School.

On Wednesday, the Sixth Circuit ruled in favor of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to protect work safety regulations passed in the past 50 years. An Ohio general contracting company, represented by Jones Day and supported by conservative advocacy groups, challenged that most OSHA rules were unconstitutional because the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 gave the Agency too much discretion. Affirming the district court’s decision, a 2-1 Sixth Circuit panel held that OSHA’s rulemakings are within the powers approved by lawmakers intended in the Act, and while the Agency’s discretion on which hazards to regulate is “significant,” it is not unconstitutional. 

The NLRB issued a direct final rule that will make the union election process faster and less complex. Set to take effect on Dec 26, 2023, the new regulation rolls back Trump-era changes to how workers vote for union representation, returning the procedure to a 2014 rule that “codified best practices, simplified representation case procedures, made those procedures more transparent and uniform across regions, and modernized those procedures in view of changing technology.” 

In response to several high-profile strikes by screenwriters, actors, and hotel workers in California, legislators are making last-minute efforts to pass a bill that would extend unemployment benefits to striking workers after two weeks off the job. Current state law excludes workers from unemployment benefits if they leave work to go on strike. A similar proposal failed in the California Senate in 2019, and now even with a Democratic-majority Senate and Assembly, support for the bill remains tenuous.

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