On Wednesday, May 11, 2016, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) finalized a record keeping and reporting rule that requires employers to electronically submit information about work place injuries and illnesses, and bars employers from retaliating against workers for reporting such incidents. This new rule takes effect in January 2017. This rule will apply only to establishments with 250 or more employees, and for employers in designated hazardous industries that employ between 20 and 249 employees.
The final rule also requires employers to inform workers of their right to report work related injuries and illnesses without fear of retaliation, and provides employees’ rights to access work place injury data. OSHA intends to post the information received pursuant to this new rule on its publicly accessible website
OSHA included anti-retaliation provisions in the revised regulation and those provisions require employers to take the following steps:
- Establish a reasonable procedure for employees to report work-related injuries and illnesses promptly and accurately. A procedure is not reasonable if it would deter or discourage a reasonable employee from accurately reporting a workplace injury or illness.
- Inform each employee of the procedure for reporting work-related injuries and illnesses.
- Inform each employee that:
- Employees have the right to report work-related injuries and illnesses; and
- Employers are prohibited from discharging or in any manner discriminating against employees for reporting work-related injuries or illness.
- Refrain from discharging or in any manner discriminating against any employee for reporting a work-related injury or illness.