Will Secretary Walsh Stop Playing Hooky from Work?
WASHINGTON, D.C., October 18, 2021
Today, Education and Labor Committee Republican Leader Virginia Foxx (R-NC), Oversight and Reform Committee Republican Leader James Comer (R-KY), Subcommittee on Government Operations Republican Leader Jody Hice (R-GA), Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions Republican Leader Rick Allen (R-GA), and Subcommittee on Workforce Protections Republican Leader Fred Keller (R-PA) sent a letter to Department of Labor (DOL) Secretary Marty Walsh demanding to know why DOL has yet to reopen for in-person business. With businesses around the country opening at a steady pace, there is no excuse for DOL to continue dragging its feet.
Given DOL’s mission to foster and promote the welfare of America’s workers, the Republican lawmakers want to know how Secretary Walsh can encourage Americans to go back to work if he won’t go himself.
In the letter, the Members write: “In March 2020, DOL ceased its regular operations to protect its staff from the then-unknown threats of COVID-19… However, it was understood that remote work status was to be a temporary protective measure and not a new way of life for federal workers.”
The Members continue: “[P]lans and deadlines for a return to work for DOL personnel announced in August have not been implemented—with the deadline for 50 percent occupancy by September 7 having long since passed. [DOL’s] new plan to begin phasing-in workers on January 3, 2022… [means] some DOL staff will have not seen their desks in two years.”
The letter also states: “We are particularly concerned that DOL’s senior leadership—including you and Deputy Secretary Julie Su—are not reporting to work in the national office daily… According to your own calendar, during nearly your first five months as Secretary, you spent only 30 days in Washington, D.C.”
Read the full letter to Secretary Walsh here.