Employers’ Injury and Illness Information Becomes Public and Expanded Protections for Employees that Report Injuries and Illnesses
On May 11, 2016, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued its much anticipated final rule on recordkeeping and reporting. The final rule requires employers in certain industries to electronically submit information about workplace injuries and illnesses to OSHA. OSHA will post the electronically submitted information, according to the final rule, on its public website. The final rule’s new recordkeeping requirement does not go into effect until July 1, 2017.
The final rule also provides updated requirements on how employers must inform employees to report work-related injuries and illnesses to their employer. In short, the final rule requires employers to inform employees of their right to report work-related injuries and illnesses free from retaliation, and clarifies the existing implicit requirement that an employer must provide reasonable procedures for reporting work-related injuries and illnesses that do not deter or discourage employees from reporting them. To this end, OSHA will now be permitted to cite an employer for taking an adverse employment action against an employee for reporting an injury or illness, even if the employee does not file a retaliation complaint with OSHA. The expanded protections for employees who report workplace injuries or illnesses go into effect 90 days after the final rule is published in the Federal Register.