Flash Report: New Appeals Board Member

Marvin Kropke to the labor seat on the Cal/OSHA Appeals Board. The seat was vacated last year by the well-respected Art Carter who retired.  Kropke, 71, most recently was a member of the State Compensation Insurance Fund’s board of directors.

Kropke will be the only non-lawyer on the three-member Appeals Board.  The Board handles appeals based upon legal issues, from employers regarding citations issued by the Cal/OSHA for alleged violation of workplace safety and health laws and regulations.

Newsom’s move comes after the State Building and Construction Trades Council recently released digital ads criticizing him for failing to fill the seat.  One ad, aimed directly at Newsom, said, “Construction workers die while you can’t be bothered to fill a Cal/OSHA vacancy.”

Kropke has been on the State Fund board since 2013 but served the bulk of his career in labor. He was the business manager and financial secretary of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 11 for almost 20 years. He also is a Vietnam War veteran, suffering disabling injuries in that conflict.

His fellow Board members are management representative Judith Freyman, and public member Ed Lowry. Kropke’s appointment requires state Senate confirmation. His salary is $138,874.

Newsom has taken his time filling Cal/OSHA and Department of Industrial Relations vacancies. The Standards Board has an open management seat that has been vacant for months after the retirement of Barbara Smisko. The DIR director’s seat has been unfilled since the spring of 2018 after the abrupt retirement of Christine Baker.