To improve workplace safety, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in 2016 issued a rule entitled “Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses” (the Electronic Reporting Rule). The rule required certain covered establishments to submit electronically to OSHA three forms detailing their workplace injury and illness data—OSHA Forms 300, 301, and 300A. The rule also included anti-retaliation provisions to encourage workers to report work-related injuries and illnesses. In January, 2017, several industry groups filed suit to challenge the rule.
In March 2017, Public Citizen Litigation Group, representing Public Citizen Health Research Group, American Public Health Association, Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists, and Center for Media and Democracy, filed a motion to intervene as defendants to defend the lawfulness of rule. Although OSHA had defended the rule during the prior presidential administration, executive orders and memoranda from the new administration reflected an intent to rescind or weaken regulations, raising doubts as to OSHA’s commitment to defending the rule and prompting our motion to intervene to defend it.
On June 15, 2017, we filed our reply in support of our motion to intervene as defendants. On June 26, 2017, the court issued an order denying our motion without prejudice, finding that although the administration might move to weaken or rescind the Rule, there was insufficient evidence to conclude that the government would not defend the Rule. The case was subsequently stayed pending a new rulemaking.
On January 25, 2019, OSHA published a new rule entitled “Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses” (the Rollback Rule), that rescinds the Electronic Reporting Rule’s requirement that covered establishments electronically submit to OSHA information from OSHA Forms 300 and 301. The Rollback Rule retains the requirement that employers submit the Form 300A data, and it retains the anti-retaliation provisions.
On April 1, 2019, industry filed an amended complaint challenging only the anti-retaliation provisions of the 2016 rule.