CWS Urges Congress to Reject Ill-Conceived Warehouse Worker Protection Act

On May 2, 2024, members of Congress introduced their ill-conceived Warehouse Worker Protection Act, which, despite its industry-specific title, will have wide-reaching and damaging consequences for the economy at large. In response, CWS sent a letter to Congress urging them to reject the bill, and 61 employer organizations sent a separate letter emphasizing the breadth of the bill’s impact and the serious consequences it would have on the economy.

The following statement can be attributed to CWS spokeswoman Lauren Williams of the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors:

“The Warehouse Worker Protection Act implements numerous provisions that would force OSHA to implement unworkable rules on the economy and make it that much harder for businesses to operate. While the name of the bill insinuates it would only impact a specific segment of the economy, in actuality, it would hit every employer in every industry.

“The bill forces OSHA to pursue an ergonomics standard, even though Congress nullified a similar effort on a strong bipartisan basis in 2001. Ergonomics is a complex, controversial area of safety and health. The science around it is not settled, and OSHA cannot even determine if an employee’s injuries are related to workplace activities or activities the employee engages in outside of work. The costs of complying with an ergonomics standard would be impossible for many businesses to absorb. All of these flaws were recognized when Congress vacated OSHA’s last misguided effort to regulate this space.

“Moreover, the bill attempts to micromanage the warehousing industry while simultaneously making it impossible for any business to implement even the most innocuous productivity metrics in the workplace.

“All said, this is an ill-conceived, misguided bill that would devastate the economy.”