Yesterday was the final day that the Texas lawsuit against the OSHA anti-retaliation and discrimination rule could have pushed off the rule to a later date. However, a judge denied the preliminary injunction that would have delayed the enforcement from taking effect as scheduled. As a result of this ruling. the final rule went into effect on December 1, 2016.
This final rule has been a battle through the court system and was originally scheduled to go into enforcement August 10. An injunction was granted which first delayed the rule to November 1 and then again to December 1.
As you may recall, this final rule has been particularly controversial due to the fact that OSHA has taken a stance against blanket policy drug testing and safety incentive programs as they see these controls as a deterrent for an individual to report a work place injury. Additionally, going forward employees can now report post-accident discrimination for a longer period of time.
Will this final rule stand? The lawsuit will continue in Texas with plaintiffs hopes to have the rule deemed unlawful and indefinitely suspended.