Federal Judge Refuses to Block New OSHA Anti-Retaliation Rule from Taking Effect Tomorrow

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November 30, 2016

A federal judge has refused to issue a preliminary injunction to block OSHA’s new anti-retaliation and discrimination rule from taking effect as scheduled.  This means that tomorrow, December 1, the rule prohibiting employers from retaliating or discriminating against employees for reporting workplace injuries and illnesses will take effect.

Multiple plaintiffs have sued OSHA in federal court in Texas seeking to prevent the new rule from going into effect.  The rule has been particularly controversial because it is OSHA’s position that it will limit post-incident drug testing and workplace safety incentive programs and allow it the opportunity to undertake more aggressive enforcement activities.

The other part of the rule, which requires electronic reporting of workplace injuries and illnesses, will take effect as scheduled on January 1, 2017.  This has also been controversial due to OSHA’s plan to post company injury and illness information on its website.

Even though the judge declined to issue a preliminary injunction, the Texas lawsuit will continue as the plaintiffs seek to have the new rule declared unlawful and set aside permanently.  However, it is important to remember that compliance with the rule must begin immediately.

Ruder Ware’s employment and labor team is knowledgeable about the new OSHA rule and can assist you with questions and implementation.

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