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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Oct 28, 2021.
Protecting America's Workers Act
This bill expands the coverage of requirements governing workplace safety and health to include protection for federal, state, and local government employees. However, the bill does not cover working conditions otherwise covered by federal requirements for mine safety and health.
The bill revises requirements governing worker protection, including by
expanding protections for whistle-blowers, such as protections for employees who refuse to perform work because they reasonably believe the work would result in serious injury or illness and for employees who aid inspections; directing employers to furnish a hazard-free place of employment to all individuals performing work, not just employees; directing employers to report work-related deaths or certain injuries, illnesses, or hospitalizations; requiring the Department of Labor to investigate fatalities or significant incidents in the workplace; establishing rights for victims, or representatives of victims, with respect to inspections or investigations of work-related bodily injuries or deaths; setting the permitted period for employers to correct serious, willful, or repeated violations while citations for the violations are being contested; increasing civil and criminal penalties for certain violations; expanding enforcement requirements relating to state occupational safety and health plans; expanding requirements for workplace health hazard evaluations by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health; and requiring Labor to provide training programs concerning employee rights and employer responsibilities.