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Where’s Secretary Walsh? And When Will DOL Employees Return to In-Person Work?

Today, Education and Labor Committee Republican Leader Virginia Foxx (R-NC) and Oversight and Reform Committee Republican Leader James Comer (R-KY) sent a follow-up letter to the Secretary of the Department of Labor (DOL) Marty Walsh to reiterate numerous concerns about DOL operations, including how the majority of DOL employees have yet to return to in-person work and that the Secretary himself has spent little time in Washington, D.C.

The Members wrote: In our letter, we sought an explanation of why DOL’s previous plans and deadlines to return most DOL personnel were not met and what DOL’s future plans are. DOL’s reply was wholly unresponsive…Further, DOL’s response did not provide any of the requested data regarding the daily presence of employees at the Frances Perkins Building or the Bureau of Labor Statistics in Washington, D.C. We therefore have no basis to verify DOL’s claim that personnel presence has increased since January 2021.”

The Members continue: “We also continue to be very concerned that DOL is paying employees working from alternative work sites at rates that do not align with their physical work locations… This situation is very concerning to us…as it should be to all taxpayers…”

The Members also write: “In addition, our October 18 letter raised concerns about your own failure to be present in Washington, D.C. to conduct business on behalf of America’s workers and employers…Including the eight days you were apparently working in Washington, D.C. in September, you were here just 40 days over the course of your first six months as Secretary of Labor.”

The Members conclude: “Our concerns about DOL’s ability in its current posture to conduct business on behalf of workers and employers and your failure to reopen the Department for in-person business have only increased.”

Read the full letter here.
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