The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) yesterday escaped the curse of Texas judges and Obama administration regulations when a federal court in the Lone Star state refused to place an injunction on the agency’s new recordkeeping rule, which will now take effect on Dec. 1.
OSHA had twice delayed the rule’s start date in light of resistance, both legal and administrative, after a trade group lawsuit was filed in July.
The rule being challenged, Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses, mostly goes into effect in 2017, but its anti-retaliation provisions now commence Dec. 1.
The main thrust of the regulation, requiring businesses with 250 or more employees to report workplace injuries and illnesses electronically, will become mandatory on Jan. 1, with the first reports due by July 1. (Certain “high risk” industries with between 25 and 249 employees are also affected.)
Despite the court’s refusal to issue an injunction, a trial over the underlying issues — whether OSHA exceeded its statutory authority and/or violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) — is still on the docket.
Last week, a Texas federal judge placed a nationwide injunction against the new “white collar” overtime rule (“strike two”), after a year earlier another Texas judge had effectively ended the Obama administration immigration edicts (“strike one”). OSHA is still a the plate, legally.