The latest injury reporting rule affecting workplaces across the country has been facing a lot of pushback from employers. The National Association of Home Builders and the US Chamber of Commerce are currently suing the US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) over it! So what is the new injury reporting rule and how can the lawsuits change it?
What is the New Injury Reporting Rule?
The new rule is titled the “Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses” rule. The rule changes the requirements that govern the recording and reporting of work-based injuries and illnesses and requires that employers submit work-based injuries and illnesses electronically to OSHA. Once the information is submitted, OSHA will post the information to the public website. All employees will be reminded of their right to report injuries and illnesses without retaliation. Procedures governing the reporting must not prevent employees from reporting and be reasonable.
What’s the Problem?
The rule has become controversial due to the word “reasonable” and the use of post-accident drug testing. Drug testing can be used as retaliation and also help to protect the employer from a lawsuit. Many businesses want OSHA to clarify the rule and the meaning of the word reasonable in this context.
According to the lawsuits currently filed, the plaintiffs are claiming that the new OSHA rule violates the first and fifth Constitutional amendments, as it requires that confidential and proprietary information be submitted to a public database. They allege that the fifth amendment violation stems from failing to give clarification on the meaning of the word reasonable reporting procedures, so employers could suffer fines and penalties for misinterpreting the rule. Many business owners are currently viewing the rule as an example of regulatory overreach.
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