Lawsuit Against OSHA’s Improve Tracking of Injuries Rule ContinuesAugust 19th, 2019 by Kyra Thompson
The ongoing lawsuit filed by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), and several other parties, may be close to an ending if the defendant, who just motioned to have the case dismissed on lack of jurisdiction, has anything to do with it.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has been in a 2-year legal battle over a rule passed near the end of President Obama’s administration that would require companies to make all of their injury and illness data public.
The Rule, called “Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses,” requires all businesses with 250 or more employees in industries covered by the administration’s recordkeeping regulation to submit injury and illness information electronically on OSHA forms 300, 300A and/or 301 directly to the agency.
Members of NAHB and other opposing parties took action citing this ordinance as a violation of the First and Fifth Amendments by disclosing private information unnecessarily and not providing adequate notice of reasonable reporting procedures while threatening penalties without providing due process of law.
The lawsuit was filed in the Western District of Oklahoma in January 2017 under the complaint that this rule was a clear “example of federal agency overreach.” Other complaints brought up in the lawsuit include that “the Rule exceeds the statutory authority Congress granted to the Agency” and that it is “arbitrary, capricious, and otherwise contrary to law.”
Furthermore, the plaintiff complained that even though many of them had filed comments opposing the ordinance “portions of the Rule were promulgated without proper observance of procedure required by the Administrative Procedure Act.”
In May 2017, OSHA delayed the enforcement of information submission under this rule due to the opposition brought against the ordinance in the lawsuit.
However, in spite of the controversy surrounding the rule, OSHA released an app in August 2017 called the Injury Tracking Application (ITA), intended for the electronic forms required by the rule.
OSHA amended the rule on January 25, eliminating the requirement for electronic submission of forms 300 and 301 due to retaliation against the privacy infringements those documents were believed to cause. As of this year, the annual deadline for submitting form 300A is now March 2, following when the injury occurred.
The plaintiff cross motioned against the dismissal by OSHA on July 24, which was preceded by the plaintiff calling for the summary of judgment as the legal battle continues.