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OSHA announces second delay for enforcement of recordkeeping rule’s anti-retaliation provisions

October 24, 2016

Washington – OSHA has pushed back to Dec. 1 the deadline for enforcement of anti-retaliation provisions in its injury and illness tracking rule.

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas sought the additional delay on Oct. 14, to allow the court time to weigh a motion that challenges the new provisions. Eight industry groups, including the National Association of Manufacturers and Associated Builders and Contractors, have filed a lawsuit to block the rule. According to the groups, the anti-retaliation provisions unlawfully ban or limit safety incentive programs and post-incident drug testing.

The provisions, announced in May, forbid employers from dissuading workers from reporting an injury or illness. They originally were set to go into effect on Aug. 10, but the enforcement date was first delayed to Nov. 10 to allow for additional outreach to the regulated community, OSHA stated.

Under the provisions, employers are required to inform workers about their rights to report work-related injuries and illnesses without the threat of retaliation. Employers can satisfy this requirement by posting the OSHA workplace poster. Employers’ reporting systems also “must be reasonable and not deter or discourage employees from reporting,” OSHA states.

The final rule, which requires certain employers to electronically submit worker injury and illness data annually to the agency, drew criticism from numerous employer groups because of OSHA’s intent to make the data available to the public.