Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Federal court denies injunction against new OSHA retaliation rules

Stan Musial, Wade Boggs, Rod Carew, Honus Wagner, Jimmie Foxx, Joe DiMaggio. Six of the greatest hitters in the history of baseball. And all ended the careers with batting averages under .333. If you’re a baseball player, one out of three places you among the all-time greats. If you’re the Department of Labor, however, it’s not so good.

The DOL has already taken two big losses this month (first its Persuader Rule, and then its Overtime Rule), so you’ll forgive it if it’s not overly jubilant about closing November with a much needed win. Yet, a win is a win, and at this point the DOL will take what it can get from federal judges in Texas.

Yesterday, one such judge denied issuing an injunction against OSHA’s new reporting rules [pdf] (for background on these rules, click here, here, and here). Absent an unlikely last minute change of heart from OSHA, these rules take effect tomorrow.

What does this mean for you? Starting tomorrow, you will have to comply with all 273 pages of the OSHA’s new injury reporting rule, including the requirements that establishments with 250 or more employees in industries covered by OSHA’s recordkeeping regulation must electronically submit to OSHA injury and illness information on OSHA Forms 300, 300A, and 301, and establishments with 20-249 employees in certain industries electronically submit information on OSHA Form 300A only. It also limits post-accident and -injury discipline and drug testing, and further limits employers’ accident-free incentive programs. These changes are significant, and will impact how you do business.

If you have questions or concerns about how these new rules impact your business, we recommend that you contact your friendly neighborhood OSHA-familiar labor and employment lawyer for help.