- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has suspended its new electronic injury reporting portal after it suffered a potential security breach. Only one employer's data was affected, Business Insurance reports.
- The requirement to file electronically was set to take effect in July but the Trump administration pushed the deadline to Dec. 1. It also announced it was reconsidering the rule that implemented that requirement. Still, the agency went ahead and opened the portal.
- OSHA says the shutdown is temporary, according to Business Insurance.
Several employment law attorneys had recommended that companies wait until much closer to the Dec. 1 deadline to file their reports, especially because the administration announced its intent to begin a new rulemaking.
That was welcome news for employers, who saw three major issues with the Obama-era rule: (1) it would require proactive reporting, which could put employers on the agency’s radar who otherwise would not have been; (2) the information would be public, giving employers’ injury data to plaintiffs’ attorneys, union organizers, competitors and reporters; and (3) it includes anti-retaliation provisions that could potentially end certain safety incentive programs, certain post-injury discipline and certain post-injury drug testing.
The mixed-messages on the issue may be the result of a disconnect between the administration and career employees at OSHA. The agency's first political appointee only just arrived and it's still without top leadership. Separate from the other issues surrounding the portal, a breach so early in its existence could spark additional concerns around data security. For now, employers subject to this rule should keep a close eye on the agency's site.