Workplace Regulation:

Information on Selected Employer and Union Experiences

HEHS-94-138: Published: Jun 30, 1994. Publicly Released: Jun 30, 1994.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on federal workplace regulation, focusing on the: (1) legislative framework on which workplace regulation is based; and (2) views of employers, employees, and unions on workplace regulation and agencies' enforcement efforts.

GAO found that: (1) workplace regulations pose many complex and dynamic challenges to employers; (2) workplace regulation is an expanding and constantly changing process; (3) although employers and union representatives generally support workplace regulation, most have concerns regarding agencies' operational processes and regulatory goals; (4) most employers comply with workplace-related paperwork requirements without undue burden, but many employers believe that certain paperwork requirements have questionable regulatory value; (5) many employers believe that the regulatory approach is adversarial and characterized by poor communication and unfair application of workplace laws and regulations; (6) most unions believe that agencies do not sufficiently enforce existing regulatory protections; and (7) both employer and union representatives have recommended that agencies develop more service-oriented approaches, improve employer and union access to information and educational resources, increase employer and union participation in setting safety standards, recognize employers' good faith compliance efforts, and work cooperatively during the regulatory process.

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