- OSHA has once again delayed the "anti-retaliation" rule provision, moving the enforcement deadline from Nov. 1 to Dec. 1, the department announced.
- The rule was initially supposed to go into effect on Aug. 10. The new provisions are part of the updated injury and illness tracking rule and essentially limit post-accident drug and alcohol testing. OSHA sees such testing as an invasion of privacy and believes it prevents workers from reporting workplace injuries.
- Texas employer groups led the call for the delay. In this case, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas requested the delay.
The OSHA rule has two parts, and this delay largely involves the second. The first part of the rule deals with mandatory annual submission of injury and illness data to OSHA, which will be phased in starting July 1, 2017.
Under the rule, employers have to inform employees of their right to report workplace injuries and illness and are not permitted to retaliation against those who do report. Many of the concerns are due to the fact that injury reporting data will be made public, thanks to the new electronic submission guidelines. Industry leaders are concerned that making that information public could risk exposing private information and give the public a skewed view of goings-on within certain companies.
OSHA's stance is that public data is meant to encourage safe workplace behaviors and create transparency to improve outcomes.