On Friday, President Biden announced that he intends to nominate Douglas L. Parker to serve as assistant secretary of labor for the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Parker has been the Chief of the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) since September 2019. In that role, Parker has overseen the drafting, implementation, and enforcement of the COVID-19 Cal/OSHA Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) that are now in litigation.

Prior to Cal/OSHA, Parker worked as the executive director of Worksafe, Inc., a workers’ advocacy and and legal aid organization focused on supporting unions and “exposing” unsafe workplaces throughout California. Parker also previously served with the DOL during the Obama administration, including as deputy assistant secretary of labor for policy in the Mine Safety and Health Administration. Finally, Parker started his career as a staff attorney at the United Mine Workers of America.


This nomination is not surprising given the appointment of Martin Walsh as Secretary of Labor (which we previously reported on in January). At this time, the nomination is not yet official and the Senate has not released a hearing date on the nomination. We will keep you updated as new developments emerge. In the meantime, employers should ensure they are complying with the ETS and all other COVID-related regulations that Parker has implemented and overseen in his role as Cal/OSHA Chief. If you have any questions, contact the experts at The Saqui Law Group, P.C.

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