On May 12, 2016, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published a final rule that, among other things, amended 29 C.F.R. § 1904.35 to add a provision prohibiting employers from retaliating against employees for reporting work-related injuries or illnesses. A memorandum was issued on October 11, 2018 clarifying that this rule does not prohibit employers from instituting workplace safety incentive programs or post-incident drug testing. OSHA has indicated that they will likely consider the counterbalancing effects of the following: (1) an incentive program with rewards for reporting unsafe conditions; (2) a training program for all employees to reinforce reporting rights and responsibilities while emphasizing the employer’s non-retaliation policy; (3) a mechanism for evaluating employees’ willingness to report injuries and illnesses. Incentive programs can be a valuable tool to promote workplace health and safety. To read the full memorandum, click here.
On August 8, 2018, the Global Cold Chain Alliance (GCCA) hosted a webinar with Brad Hammock, Attorney, Jackson Lewis P.C. discussing the Rule. This webinar identified steps your company can take to ensure compliance with the Rule's new prohibition on certain safety incentive and drug testing programs. As a complimentary member benefit, members can download any recording from a previously held webinar. To download this recording, click here.