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H.R. 798: Protecting America’s Meatpacking Workers Act of 2023

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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 Mar 14, 2023.

Protecting America's Meatpacking Workers Act of 2023

This bill addresses workplace conditions and safety with a particular focus on meat and poultry processing establishments and makes other changes to agricultural programs and activities.

Generally, the bill provides funding through FY2029 for hiring additional Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) inspectors and related activities. It also restricts an employer's use of certain attendance policies under which a worker is assessed points for absences with progressive discipline imposed as points accumulate.

Additionally, the bill expands protections for workers who exercise their rights under occupational safety and health laws and regulations. This includes specific protections and procedures for workers of meat and poultry processing establishments.

The bill expands workplace safety and health requirements that apply to meat and poultry processing establishments, including by prohibiting waivers (subject to limited exceptions) related to line speeds and inspections. Additionally, OSHA must issue standards for these establishments that address, for example, ergonomic program management and preventing occupational exposure to COVID-19. OSHA must also (1) establish, within seven days, a process for establishments to report COVID-19 information; and (2) publish certain regulations regarding a workers' representative accompanying an OSHA inspector during inspections of an establishment.

The bill provides funding through FY2032 for, and imposes additional conditions on recipients of, grants to improve meat and poultry processing facilities. Further, the bill increases funding for a program that supports regional and local food systems. It also requires country-of-origin labeling of beef, pork, and dairy products.