OSHA Postpones Enforcement of New Retaliation Provisions
Now scheduled to take effect Dec. 1, 2016
10.26.16 – By Joseph P. Hoag and Jeff Youmans
The retaliation provisions of OSHA’s new “Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses” rule are now scheduled to take effect on Dec. 1, 2016.
OSHA states that the purpose of the rule is to intensify anti-retaliation enforcement and to encourage “accurate recording of work-related injuries and illnesses by preventing the under-recording that arises when workers are discouraged from reporting these occurrences.”
Employers are now required to establish “reasonable procedures” for employees to report work-related injuries and illnesses. The rule specifically states that a procedure would “not be reasonable” if it would “tend to deter” or “discourage” accurate reporting.
The most controversial aspect of the rule is an explicit statement in its preamble prohibiting employers from using drug testing (or the threat of drug testing) as a form of adverse action against employees who report injuries or illnesses.
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