Big changes are happening in the realm of workplace compliance issues and labor laws in the United States. Noncompliance with government regulations can have serious consequences—and can cost your business big time. Keep up with what's happening between the government and the workplace with the HR Compliance Tracker: your go-to place to stay updated on some major workforce compliance issues.
New OSHA guidance reveals permissible safety incentive programs and drug tests
It’s better to be safe than sorry when you report workplace incidents, and OSHA wants you to know that. Under a new guidance from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), most safety incentive programs and drug testing policies are not considered retaliatory.
Previously, the agency stated that the guidance could deter employees from reporting work-related injuries and post-accident drug and alcohol testing in fear of retaliation. The updated guidance clarifies that safety incentive programs are unlawful and retaliatory only if they seek to punish an employee rather than promote workplace safety and health.
Lawful safety programs include:
- Incentive programs that reward employees for reporting unsafe conditions in the workplace
- Employee training programs to reinforce reporting rights and responsibilities
- Systems for accurately evaluating employees’ willingness to report injuries and illnesses
Lawful types of drug tests include:
- Random drug testing
- Drug testing unrelated to the reporting of a work-related injury/illness
- Drug testing under state workers’ compensation law and other federal law
- Drug testing to evaluate the cause of a workplace incident that harmed or could have harmed employees
To ensure your policies are compliant with OSHA’s new guidance, you can learn more here.
OSHA announces filing extension for recordkeeping rule under new electronic reporting system
Employers will now have an additional two weeks to file electronic illness and injury forms under the OSHA recordkeeping rule. On November 22, 2017, OSHA extended the deadline for submitting electronic illness and injury reports from December 1, 2017 to December 15, 2017.
OSHA stated in a news release that the extension will “allow affected employers additional time to become familiar with a new electronic reporting system launched on August 1, 2017.” The release also notes that OSHA is “currently reviewing the other provisions of its final rule to Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses, and intends to publish a notice of proposed rulemaking to reconsider, revise, or remove portions of that rule in 2018.”