The Department of Labor (DOL) announced on Friday it will publish a final rule on Monday, Dec. 19 — the day electors meet to cast their votes for the next president — that will clarify employers’ obligation to retain records of workplace injuries and illnesses for five full years.
The rule is scheduled to take effect on Jan. 18, 2017, two days before Donald Trump is to be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States. Of course, Trump and the Republicans in Congress could easily reject the rule by using the majority vote mechanism of review and repeal under the Congressional Review Act (CRA).
The announced action by the DOL’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) seeks to overturn a 2012 ruling by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals that employers are obligated only to retain OSHA records during the period of the relevant statute of limitations, not for the five years the agency mandates.
“This rule simply returns us to the standard practice of the last 40 years,” Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health David Michaels said in a statement. “It’s important to keep in mind that accurate records are not just paperwork; they have a valuable and potentially life-saving purpose.”
Again, this final rule