On November 28, a federal judge in Texas ruled against an injunction that would have prevented a new Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) anti-retaliation regulation from going into effect.
This new regulation requires all employers to provide proper notice to their employees of their right to report any injuries suffered in the scope of their employment, without being retaliated against. Additionally, all employers must implement reasonable procedures for employees to report their injuries.
In the preamble to the rule, OSHA indicates there are many employer drug testing and safety incentive programs throughout the country that actually discourage employees from reporting their injuries or conditions. These rules would be in violation of the newly established regulations. Now, unless the injury occurred as the result of drug or alcohol impairment, it is considered unreasonable under the new rules for employers to require post-injury drug testing. OSHA considers this practice to be retaliatory in nature and that it discourages employees from reporting their injuries.
The preamble also offers additional examples of circumstances that would likely be considered unreasonable under these new regulations. These include repetitive motion injuries, bee stings and injuries due to equipment defects or malfunctions.
OSHA also clarifies that the law is not meant to prohibit drug tests in the workplace in general, as many companies require them. It simply protects employees from having such a test used as retaliation tool.
For more information about this new OSHA regulation and the protections it offers, contact an experienced Dallas attorney at Whistleblower Law for Managers.