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 TIME on politics TIME CNN/AllPolitics CNN/AllPolitics - Storypage, with TIME and TIME

GOP to act against OSHA rule for home workers

By Dana Bash/CNN

January 5, 2000
Web posted at: 1:41 p.m. EST (1841 GMT)

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Republican congressional leaders announced plans Wednesday to introduce legislation to overturn a Labor Department ruling that companies must enforce federal safety standards for employees who work at home.

President Clinton could forestall such a proposal by rescinding the order from the Labor Department's Occupational, Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA.

"The OSHA advisory could be the single greatest threat to advancing telework just days after ringing in the beginning of the 21st century," said Rep. Frank Wolf, chairman of the Transportation Approriations Subcommittee and representative of Northern Virginia's high-tech corridor.

Wolf gathered representatives from the business community to disparage the Labor Department for a ruling they said would slow technological innovation, increase litigation, worsen traffic congestion and deny personal flexibility to employees who work from home.

"The recent OSHA advisory would have a chilling effect on telework or telecommuting. The advisory is a low technology interpretation in a rapidly expanding high technology society. The advisory ignores the realities of the modern day workplace," said Wolf.

Wolf, who wrote the president asking him to use executive authority to revoke the Labor Department ruling, said Republicans will attach a rider to the next appropriations bill eliminating the advisory.

Labor Secretary Alexis Herman has said the advisory does not mean OSHA officials will be inspecting homes and home offices, but companies will be responsible for ensuring safety standards for their employees.


Wednesday, January 5, 2000

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