You must Publish this diary to make this visible to the public,
or click 'Edit Diary' to make further changes first.
Posting a Diary Entry
Daily Kos welcomes blog articles from readers, known as diaries. The Intro section to a diary should be about three paragraphs long, and is required. The body section is optional, as
is the poll, which can have 1 to 15 choices. Descriptive tags are also required to help others find your diary by subject; please don't use "cute" tags.
When you're ready, scroll down below the tags and click Save & Preview. You can edit your diary after it's published by clicking Edit Diary. Polls cannot be edited once they are published.
If this is your first time creating a Diary since the Ajax upgrade, before you enter any text below, please press Ctrl-F5 and then hold down the Shift Key and press your browser's Reload button to refresh its cache with the new script files.
ATTENTION: READ THE RULES.
One diary daily maximum.
Substantive diaries only. If you don't have at least three solid, original paragraphs, you should probably post a comment in an Open Thread.
No repetitive diaries. Take a moment to ensure your topic hasn't been blogged (you can search for Stories and Diaries
that already cover this topic), though fresh original analysis is always welcome.
Use the "Body" textbox if your diary entry is longer than three paragraphs.
Any images in your posts must be hosted by an approved image hosting service (one of: imageshack.us, photobucket.com, flickr.com, smugmug.com, allyoucanupload.com, picturetrail.com, mac.com, webshots.com, editgrid.com).
Copying and pasting entire copyrighted works is prohibited. If you do quote something, keep it brief, always provide a link to the original source, and use the <blockquote> tags to clearly identify the quoted material. Violating this rule is grounds for immediate banning.
Be civil. Do not "call out" other users by name in diary titles. Do not use profanity in diary titles. Don't write diaries whose main purpose is to deliberately inflame.
Labor Secretary Thomas Perez and President Barack Obama
In the three months since Labor Secretary Thomas Perez was confirmed—but not only because of him—the Obama administration has moved forward on a series of new rules to protect workers' safety and wages and promote hiring of veterans and disabled workers.
The rules that have been instituted include guidelines for government contractors that seven percent of new hires should be disabled people and eight percent should be veterans and the inclusion of home care workers under the Fair Labor Standards Act, entitling them to minimum wage and overtime protections starting in January 2015; a proposal to update silica dust regulations is in a public comment period.
While Perez has presided over the burst of activity, it's not that his predecessor, Hilda Solis, was any less committed to improving conditions for workers:
“What has changed is [the Office of Management and Budget] and [the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs],” [the AFL-CIO's Peg] Seminario said. “I think what this represents is Howard Shelanski coming in and making a determination that they’re going to do their job.”
Shelanski, a lawyer and economist, was recently confirmed as the administration’s regulatory czar after OIRA had been without an administrator for almost a year.
Roadblocks can be set up in so many different places, so confirming a high-profile job like labor secretary isn't the only thing that needs to happen to make the government function really well. Even with Shelanski's confirmation at OIRA and nearly five years of Obama-appointed labor secretaries, after decades of research and years of delay on the silica dust rule, its public comment period has been extended, with big business arguing furiously against the life-saving regulation. Those years of delay have let low-road businesses off the hook for investing in safety, but they've also killed a lot of workers. Hopefully Perez and the Department of Labor will be able to reduce the backlog of needed worker protections substantially more between now and 2016.