President Donald Trump has professed in speech after speech that he wants to protect American workers. But many of the Labor Department’s agencies that do just that are missing their leadership.
At the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), there is no assistant secretary, chief of staff, or senior advisers.
The directorship of the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs remains vacant. There are multiple vacancies at the office that handles veterans’ employment and training. The department that deals with hours and wages is missing an administrator and a deputy administrator.
The entire upper level of the Employment and Training Administration remains empty.
The larger department keeps a list of each of its agencies and programs at this web page, which includes organizational charts and lists of personnel.
It matters in part because the Labor Department is the department that interfaces with American workers who depend on government help to protect their livelihoods.
The Office of Disability Employment Policy calls itself “the only non-regulatory federal agency that promotes policies and coordinates with employers and all levels of government to increase workplace success for people with disabilities.” It’s missing an assistant secretary and a chief of staff.
Of course, there are high-level vacancies in every Cabinet agency in the Trump administration. And the irony is that each agency has until the end of this month to “develop a plan to maximize employee performance,” according to guidance the Office of Management and Budget issued in April.
And that begs the question: How can these agencies maximize their employees’ performance when they’re missing so many managers?
A spokeswoman for the Labor Department did not return that inquiry.
But Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta did issue this statement about the president’s decision Thursday to leave the Paris Agreement:
“President Trump and I are committed to supporting policies that grow jobs and stimulate the economy. The United States’ withdrawal from the Paris climate accord is this administration’s bold commitment to promoting pro-growth principles and rebuilding America’s manufacturing base, which was under siege by the Paris accord. The U.S. Department of Labor remains laser focused on ensuring all Americans have access to good, safe jobs and will continue standing arm-in-arm with the American worker.”