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OSHA’s Continued Stand Against Employer Retaliation

Employers, do your safety policies and procedures require employees to immediately report their injuries? Do you discipline employees for failing to follow your safety policies and procedures?

Most employers with safety programs in place probably answered “yes” to both of those questions and probably believe that both of those propositions are central to managing their safety programs. Standing on their own, each of those propositions is fine. However, applying the discipline policy to an instance where an employee fails to immediately report an injury can run afoul of the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s prohibition on employer retaliation.

In February, the secretary of labor filed a lawsuit against U.S. Steel Corporation Inc. in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware on behalf of two U.S. Steel employees because U.S. Steel allegedly retaliated against them for failing to immediately report their workplace injuries, as required by company policy.

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