OSHA and the Wage and Hour Division (W&HD), both under the umbrella of the Department of Labor, are collaborating at an ever-increasing rate according to officials with both agencies. With an emphasis on “fissured workplaces”—where employers split off functions that were once managed internally and allow staffing agencies, franchisees, or subcontractors to handle management of these functions—the two agencies hope their increasing collaboration will result in improved worker conditions.
Shedding some light on the aims of this collaboration, the head of the W&HD, David Weil, recently commented, “[p]articularly employers that are big problems for us are more than likely big problems for OSHA.”1 Working together, the agencies hope to accomplish their individual goals more strategically. The collaboration includes cross-training of agency personnel, referring potential violations found during inspections, and sharing of enforcement data. As a result, employers should be aware that an investigation or inspection by one agency could mean a subsequent investigation or inspection by the other agency, especially in situations involving staffing agencies and subcontractors.