A memorandum recently released by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has clarified the agency’s position on whether safety incentive programs and post-accident drug testing would be considered retaliatory pursuant to its controversial recordkeeping rule published on May 12, 2016.  This rule prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who report work-related injuries or instituting procedures that could chill employees from reporting work-related injuries. In the accompanying interpretative documents, OSHA specifically identified workplace safety incentive programs and post-accident drug testing policies as procedures that were likely to deter employee reporting, and therefore would be subject to increased scrutiny by the agency.

Continue Reading OSHA Clarifies Stance on Anti-Retaliation Measures to the Relief of Employers

In May 2016, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) issued a final rule to “Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses, “ which requires employers to electronically submit their injury and illness records to OSHA.  Specifically, establishments with 250 or more employees must annually submit their Forms 300, 300A, and 301.  And, establishments with 20 to 249 employees must annually submit their Form 300A.  Prior to this rule, most employers had no obligation to submit their illness/injury logs to OSHA.  This rule has been controversial, as OSHA intends to post the records, subjecting employers to increased scrutiny by investors, business partners, regulators, and the public at large.  Moreover, many employers are skeptical that OSHA will appropriately safeguard individualized confidential information from public disclosure.

Continue Reading OSHA Issues Proposed Rule Regarding Electronic Submission Requirements

The effects of the regulatory reform initiatives of the Trump Administration are beginning to be felt at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) with the formal action by OSHA to finalize withdrawal of the “Volks Rule” regulation. On May 3, 2017, in response to a CRA resolution of disapproval, OSHA published a final rule removing amendments to OSHA’s recordkeeping regulations from the Code of Federal Regulations.

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On March 25, 2016, OSHA published a final rule which significantly reduces the permissible limits of silica dust to which workers can be exposed.  The rule will take effect 90 days after publication, and will be codified at 29 CFR Parts 1910, 1915, and 1926.

Continue Reading New OSHA Rule Significantly Reduces Permissible Limits for Exposure to Silica Dust

More and more employers are faced with the following question — can a transgender employee use the restroom associated with his or her gender identity? According to federal governmental agencies, the answer seems to be yes.

Continue Reading Can a Transgender Employee Use the Restroom Associated With His or Her Gender Identity?

In a departure from its previous guidance, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) recently released an interpretation letter that could potentially open the door to union organizing activity on employer property during OSHA inspections.  The new guidance authorizes non-unionized employees to select union agents as representatives and has been widely interpreted by unions to facilitate the use of OSHA inspections as an organizing tool. 

Continue Reading New OSHA Guidance Authorizes Union Participation During Inspections