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OSHA Issues Guidance on Anti-Retaliation, Delays Enforcement

Oct 26, 2016

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration last week released guidance on the new anti-retaliation provisions in its rule to “Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses.” The agency also provided sample scenarios of incentive, disciplinary and drug-testing programs and how the new rule would apply to each scenario. The scheduled enforcement date of the anti-retaliation provisions is now Dec. 1, 2016.

The injury and illness rule requires employers to establish reasonable procedures for reporting a work-related injury or illness. It also prohibits employers from retaliating or taking adverse action against employees for reporting work-related injuries or illnesses.

In the guidance, OSHA states that “the rule does not ban appropriate disciplinary, incentive or drug-testing programs” and describes what programs would be appropriate under the rule.

Enforcement Delayed, Again

The provisions were originally scheduled to begin August 10, 2016, but OSHA delayed enforcement until Nov.10, 2016, to provide more time for outreach to the regulated community. OSHA agreed to the new extended deadline of Dec.1, 2016, in response to a request from a federal judge who is presiding over a legal challenge of the new rule. 

Employers now have until Dec. 1, 2016, to comply with OSHA’s anti-retaliation provisions, which require employers to inform employees of their right to report work-related injuries and illnesses without fear of retaliation, to implement reasonable procedures for reporting injuries and illnesses that do not discourage employees from reporting work-related injuries or illnesses, and to prohibit employers from retaliating or discriminating against employees for reporting injuries and illnesses.

For more information, contact Emily Lyons, IDFA director of regulatory affairs and counsel, at

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