Effective Date is Now December 1, While Court Considers Further Delay

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced yesterday that it is once again delaying enforcement of the anti-retaliation provisions of its new "Reasonable Reporting Procedure" rule, §1904.35. The new effective date is December 1. The rule was originally scheduled to go into effect on August 10, but was delayed until November 1 to allow OSHA to provide guidance to the public in the form of Frequently Asked Questions or a Compliance Directive. OSHA has now agreed to "postpone the postponement" by another month in response to a request by a federal court in Texas that will be ruling on a challenge to the anti-retaliation requirements, and especially their effect on post-accident drug testing and safety incentive programs. The court said that it needed additional time to be able to issue a ruling. The industry plaintiffs want the court to block OSHA from enforcing the new provisions while the case is pending.