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OSHA Hosts Discussion as New Agency Authority Goes into Effect

Under the memorandum signed in February, OSHA can now “issue certifications in support of applications for U nonimmigrant status and T nonimmigrant status visas,” the agency said.

OSHA recently held a discussion to address a new agency authority, which will help OSHA protect the health and safety of more workers.

In mid-February, OSHA signed a memorandum that would allow the agency “to issue certifications in support of applications for U nonimmigrant status and T nonimmigrant status visas,” according to a news release. That authority—which marked the first time OSHA could do this—went into effect the same day the discussion was held: March 30, 2023.

"The Occupational Safety and Health Administration's top priority is to ensure workers are safe and can exercise their rights, regardless of their demographic or immigration status," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Doug Parker in the news release.

"A key part of that mission is expanding our work to combat workplace inequities that can create hazards and affect vulnerable workers who are likely to be exploited or victims of crimes. Our vision extends beyond setting standards, inspecting workplaces and providing training. Becoming a visa certifying agency gives us one more tool in our wide-ranging effort to better protect workers and their rights on the job,” Parker continued.

Along with hosting a discussion, which included “workers, advocates and worker organization leaders,” OSHA published a webpage about the visa certifications.

These specific visas—known as U Visas and T Visas—grant people immigration status and allow them to not worry about retaliation when working with officials during criminal investigations and proceedings, OSHA said.

The U Visa applies to people who are a victim of a crime, such as abduction, involuntary servitude or stalking (view a full list here), and the T Visa is for people who are victims of human trafficking.

Watch the event online.

Photo credit: rafapress / Shutterstock.com

About the Author

Alex Saurman is a former Content Editor for Occupational Health & Safety,who has since joined OH&S’s client services team. She continues to work closely with OH&S’s editorial team and contributes to the magazine.

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