Recently, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced a final rule changing requirements for reporting severe injuries and fatalities. The rule also modifies OSHA’s exemptions from its record-keeping requirements. The new rule takes effect January 1, 2015.

In most circumstances, there is no obligation to notify OSHA when there is an injury or

Section 11(c) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act prohibits retaliation against employees who raise safety concerns at work or participate in OSHA enforcement activity. In recent Congressional hearings, Assistant Secretary of Labor, David Michael, proposed substantive and procedural changes for OSHA retaliation claims. If adopted, the changes could pose significant problems for companies defending

On September 21, 2010, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (“FMCSA”), an agency of the U.S. Department of Transportation, announced a final rule banning commercial vehicle operators from texting messages while driving.
Continue Reading US DOT Announces Final Rule Banning Texting While Driving by Commercial Motor Vehicle Operators: OSHA Joins In to Battle “Distracted Driving”

The Obama Administration has advanced various initiatives to strengthen OSHA enforcement efforts. The Severe Violator Enforcement Program (“SVEP”) is a draft OSHA directive expected to take effect in June, 2010. SVEP will replace OSHA’s current Enhanced Enforcement Program. SVEP will direct OSHA enforcement officials to take especially aggressive enforcement steps in four specific circumstances:

The

Publicly traded companies need to remain vigilant to avoid employment-related retaliation against employees who may complain about company violations of accounting controls and possible violations of SEC related rules or regulations. In a whistleblower case under SOX, OSHA recently ordered Tennessee Commerce Bank to reinstate its former chief financial officer and pay him more than $1 million in back wages, interest, attorneys fees and compensatory damages.

Apparently fostering the Obama administration’s push for stricter enforcement of Department of Labor and financial industry regulations, an Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA issued this statement about OSHA’s order: “This case clearly shows the Department’s commitment to ensuring individuals are provided the protections and relief forwarded by the laws and sends a strong message that retaliatory actions will not be tolerated.”


Continue Reading OSHA Sends Strong Message Under SOX