1020On Octo­ber 18, 2016, in response to a request from a fed­er­al judge pre­sid­ing over a legal chal­lenge, the Occu­pa­tion­al Safe­ty and Health Admin­is­tra­tion (OSHA) agreed to extend the effec­tive date of the anti-retal­i­a­tion pro­vi­sions in its new final rule, Improve Track­ing of Work­place Injuries and Ill­ness­es, to Decem­ber 1, 2016. Fed­er­al Judge Sam Lind­say of the North­ern Dis­trict of Texas is con­sid­er­ing a com­plaint and motion for pre­lim­i­nary injunc­tion filed by sev­er­al indus­try groups chal­leng­ing the anti-retal­i­a­tion pro­vi­sions of the new rule to the extent that OSHA seeks to lim­it rou­tine post-acci­dent drug test­ing and inci­dent-based safe­ty incen­tive and recog­ni­tion plans. The case seeks to per­ma­nent­ly delay the effec­tive date of the rule until a deci­sion is reached.

In its final rule, OSHA not only revised record­keep­ing require­ments but includ­ed anti-retal­i­a­tion pro­vi­sions intend­ed to pre­vent employ­ers from retal­i­at­ing against employ­ees for report­ing work-relat­ed injuries or ill­ness. Accord­ing to OSHA, the final rule would require employ­ers to inform employ­ees of their right to report work-relat­ed injuries and ill­ness­es free from retal­i­a­tion; would clar­i­fy the require­ment that an employer’s pro­ce­dure for report­ing work-relat­ed injuries and ill­ness­es must be rea­son­able and not deter or dis­cour­age employ­ees from report­ing; and would incor­po­rate the exist­ing statu­to­ry pro­hi­bi­tion on retal­i­at­ing against employ­ees for report­ing work-relat­ed injuries or illnesses.

Of note, this is the sec­ond delay in enforce­ment as the OSHA pro­vi­sions were orig­i­nal­ly sched­uled to go into effect on August 10, 2016, then delayed to Novem­ber 1, 2016, and now employ­ers have until Decem­ber 1, 2016 to comply.


Orig­i­nal­ly pub­lished by ThinkHR — Read More