The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently clarified their 2016 final policy on the electronic reporting of workplace illness or injury. This comes in response to backlash from industry groups unhappy with the rule. Middletown employment lawyers report that the rule addresses the means that workers have to safely report workplace incidents without fear of discrimination or retaliation.
With the rule, employers are expected to offer employees a reasonable method or policy for reporting workplace injuries. That may constitute allowing workers to report work-related injuries or illnesses to supervisors via phone, e-mail, or in person either immediately or the following day.
If an employer makes it difficult for a worker to report a work-related injury, they are in violation of OSHA’s rule. If the process for reporting an injury is complicated or cumbersome, the employer may be in violation.
Retaliating against an employee who reports a work-related injury or illness has long been illegal. Citations against employers for retaliation must demonstrate the that the employee reported a work-related injury or illness and that the employer retaliated because of it.
Drug Use and Accident Reporting
Post-accident drug testing is one part of the anti-retaliation policy causing a lot of debate among workers and employers. While OSHA does permit employers to drug-test employees who report workplace illnesses or injuries, the employer must have a reasonable basis for doing so.
The employer must prove that there was reasonable cause to believe the accident could have been due to the employer’s drug use. If the work involved is especially hazardous and the use of drugs is even more pressing, the employer can test for drugs. However, if employee drug use seems to be completely irrelevant to the injury or illness involved, yet they employer still tests for drugs, that can be considered retaliation.
Employees need to feel safe reporting accidents and illnesses that occur on the job. No worker should fear discrimination or retaliation for doing what is necessary to make their workplace safer for everyone. OSHA set standards to ensure this, but employers and employees need to work together to make these policies effective.
Middletown Employment Lawyers at McOmber McOmber & Luber, P.C. Protect Workers’ Rights
If you suspect you are a victim of retaliation in New Jersey, you need the assistance of a team of Middletown employment lawyers. With offices in Red Bank and Marlton, New Jersey, McOmber McOmber & Luber, P.C. associates tackle employer retaliation and discrimination cases throughout New Jersey. You can reach us at 856-985-9800 or at 732-842-6500, or through our online contact form to discuss your situation today.