A lawsuit challenging a controversial Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rule that requires companies to make all of their injury and illness data public won’t be heard until after July 1 — the date employers were supposed to begin complying with the new regulation.

Judge Sam Lindsay of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas issued an order earlier this week that gives attorneys from the Department of Labor and industry groups challenging the rule until July 5 to submit a proposed summary judgment briefing schedule.

In July 2016, a coalition of business groups, including Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) and the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas challenging the anti-retaliation provisions of the reporting regulation. The groups say it “will limit post-accident drug testing and safety programs that contribute to jobsite construction safety,” such as contests that give prizes to workers for injury-free days.

The rule bans post-accident drug testing because the agency thinks it might make employees think twice about going on the record with injury claims.

“The final rule does prohibit employers from using drug testing (or the threat of drug testing) as a form of adverse action against employees who report injuries or illnesses,” the new rule reads. “To strike the appropriate balance here, drug testing policies should limit post-incident testing to situations in which employee drug use is likely to have contributed to the incident, and for which the drug test can accurately identify impairment caused by drug use.”

Incentive programs such as prizes to reduce injuries are also a no-no under the new regulation. Richard Fairfax, OSHA’s deputy assistant director, sent a memo to agency officials in March 2012 that described acceptable and unacceptable safety incentives.

“Some employers establish programs that unintentionally or intentionally provide employees an incentive to not report injuries,” Fairfax wrote. ”For example, an employer might enter all employees who have not been injured in the previous year into a drawing to win a prize, or a team of employees might be awarded a bonus if no one from the team is injured over some period of time. Such programs might be well-intentioned efforts by employers to encourage their workers to use safe practices. However, there are better ways to encourage safe work practices, such as incentives that promote worker participation in safety-related activities, such as identifying hazards or participating in investigations of injuries, incidents or ‘near misses.’”

The new rule is facing another legal challenge in Oklahoma.

In January, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other groups sued OSHA over the new rule, which is called “Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses.”

The lawsuit claimed that the regulation is “arbitrary, capricious, and otherwise contrary to law.” The plaintiffs also say it violates the first and fifth amendments of the Constitution.

“The rule violates the First Amendment by compelling companies to submit their confidential and proprietary information for publication on a publicly available online database,” the complaint reads. “There is no evidence that publication of this information will have any effect on workplace safety and health. The limited authority given OSHA by Congress to require employers to collect and maintain injury and illness data cannot be read to allow the agency to force employers to make public this information in violation of their constitutional rights. Further, the rule violates the Fifth Amendment by failing to provide employers adequate notice of what constitutes ‘reasonable’ reporting procedures, subjecting employers to citation and potentially significant penalties without providing due process of law.”

The new rule requires employers with 250 or more workers in high-hazard industries such as manufacturing and construction to submit injury and illness information from OSHA Forms 300, 300A, and/or 301 directly to the agency, which would then post it on the agency’s website.

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