As we head into summer, I wanted to provide you with an update on my recent activity in Congress to improve workers’ rights and safe working environments.
Extending rights to Transportation Security Administration employees
Although members of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) are federal employees, they lack certain employee rights granted to federal employees of other agencies. For this reason, I signed on as a cosponsor of the Rights for Transportation Security Officers Act of 2016 (H.R. 4488), which would give TSA workers the same rights as other employees. Although TSA workers are unionized, the legislation would allow TSA officers to access collective bargaining and whistleblower protections, join the General Service wage scale, and appeal to a third party if necessary.
Supporting seasonal federal employees
Last month, I voted for legislation to ensure seasonal employees in our land management agencies can apply as federal employees to other federal positions. Firefighters, scientists, and other time-limited employees should have the right to compete for a permanent appointment at any federal agency under their rightful status as federal employees. H.R. 4906 unanimously passed the U.S. House of Representatives on June 7, 2016, and is now pending in the U.S. Senate.
Reducing occupational hazards
I recently cosponsored the Voluntary Protection Program Act (H.R. 2500), bipartisan legislation that would establish a line item for Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA)Voluntary Protection Program. This would encourage the Secretary of Labor to enter cooperative agreements with employers to foster overarching safety and health management systems and protect employees from occupational hazards. There are more than 1400 VPP sites in the United States, including several in our Valley.
Thank you for taking the time to read this update on labor-related news. Please do not hesitate to contact me regarding this or any federal issue of your concern. To stay up to date on the work I am doing in Congress please visit my website at costa.house.gov and sign up for my e-newsletter here.
Member of Congress