The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) announced today that it will delay enforcement, for a second time, of the anti-retaliation provisions in its injury and illness tracking rule until Dec. 1, 2016. We previously reported on the Work Knowledge Blog that the first delay in enforcement may have been associated with ongoing litigation over the provisions in the Northern District of Texas, captioned TEXO ABC/AGC, Inc., et al. v. United States Sec’y of Lab., Civil Action No. 3:16-cv-01998-D. OSHA has now confirmed that its newest delay is in response to Judge Lindsay’s request for more time to consider the employer group’s motion for injunctive relief to prevent enforcement of the provisions.
Judge Lindsay has specified that any additional briefing by the parties must focus on “the issues of (1) whether a nationwide injunction that applies to Plaintiffs, as well as nonparties, is warranted in this case; and (2) whether such an injunction can be lawfully imposed by the court.” This particular focus by the Court may be a positive sign for concerned employers. Any additional briefing by the parties to that litigation is due by November 1, 2016. Such briefing may shed further light on the issues presented. So we will continue to monitor and report on developments.