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The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has postponed enforcement of the anti-retaliation provisions of its electronic recordkeeping rule until Dec. 1.
The delay comes at the request of the federal judge overseeing a legal challenge to the rule filed in July by the National Association of Manufacturers, Great American Insurance Co. and several other organizations. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Dallas, claims that OSHA does not have the statutory authority to promulgate the rule's anti-retaliation provisions, which establish a new, citation-based pathway for employee complaints.
The judge asked the U.S. Department of Labor, which is defending the rule on OSHA’s behalf, for another month to allow parties to file briefs on the organizations’ motion for injunctive relief to stop OSHA from enforcing the rule. The court will consider whether a nationwide injunction is warranted in the case and whether such an injunction can be lawfully imposed by the court. Briefs are due on this issue by Nov. 1.
The electronic recordkeeping rule, set to take effect Jan. 1, 2017, requires certain employers to annually electronically submit injury and illness data that they are already required to record on their on-site OSHA Injury and Illness forms.
The White House has signed off on a controversial new regulatory rule that proposed to expand electronic recordkeeping requirements for workplace injuries and illnesses and make such records publicly available.