Extreme heat is holding the economy back. Don’t expect federal legislation to help any time soon.
Millions of workers in the US are facing challenges as a heat wave sweeps the nation, but federal legislation to protect them from extreme heat is yet to be finalized. The Biden administration proposed federal protections, including directing the Labor Department to issue a Hazard Alert and enforcing heat-safety violations at agriculture and construction sites. However, opposition from business lobbyists, concerns about productivity losses, and regulatory processes have hindered the finalization of these protections. While some states have implemented heat-related labor protections, many workers are left to choose between enduring extreme heat to earn a living or reducing their hours for safety. The need for nationwide regulations to safeguard workers from heat-related risks remains a pressing issue.