Overview: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulates almost every employer, which means that virtually every employer must comply with some OSHA regulations in order to achieve acceptable levels of workplace health and safety. Safety in the workplace can seem like a challenging goal, but it is required by law.
One of the most important concepts employers must understand in the world of workplace safety is the General Duty Clause of the OSH Act. While there are many regulations governing workplace safety, there is not a specific rule covering every possible workplace safety situation. Instead, OSHA enforces the General Duty Clause, which requires an employer to provide a workplace free from recognized safety and health hazards. If an employer knows of an unsafe activity, behavior or situation, then it is obligated to remedy it.
Trends: The civil monetary penalties for failing to comply with OSHA regulations were increased in 2016 for the first time since 1990. To "catch up" with inflation, the maximum penalties went up by 78 percent. For example, the top penalty for willful or repeated violations jumped from $70,000 to $124,709. The new penalty amounts apply to penalties assessed after August 1, 2016, whose associated violations occurred after November 2, 2015.
Author: Melissa Gonzalez Boyce, JD, Legal Editor
Enhanced to improve the scope of coverage regarding billing disputes over responsibility for medical treatments, lien filing fees and lien filing process.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued a cease and desist order targeting provisions in severance agreements that limit an employee's ability to cash in on a whistleblower award.
Fisher Phillips employment attorney Ed Foulke, a former head of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, takes an in-depth look at OSHA's new reporting rules. The rules place additional requirements on employers, and Foulke reviews the changes.
Updated to incorporate a final rule requiring employers to electronically report injury and illness data to OSHA, effective August 10, 2016.
Updated to reflect OSHA's stance on blanket post-accident drug testing in light of the anti-retaliation provisions of the electronic reporting final rule, effective August 10, 2016.
Updated to reflect amendments to posting requirements, effective August 1, 2016.
Updated to reflect increased civil penalties for violations of various federal laws, effective August 1, 2016.
Updated to reflect forthcoming amendments covering penalties and credits, medical reimbursement disputes, reporting requirements and selection of medical providers.
Updated policy and guidance to reflect the Defend Trade Secrets Act, effective May 11, 2016. See Defend Trade Secrets Act.
HR considerations for employers regarding all areas of workplace safety. Advice and guidance on creating and keeping safety in the workplace.