Biz Group Challenges OSHA ‘Walk-around’ Rule

Posted September 16, 2016 at 2:05 pm

A national group representing small businesses recently sued the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) over its ruling that allows union representatives to accompany nonunion employees on workplace inspections along with agency inspectors, according to news reports.

The legal challenge, filed on Sept. 8 in federal court in Dallas by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), argues that allowing union representatives to participate in such meetings at nonunion companies is an illegal move that unfairly benefits unions. The NFIB claims that the practice illegally expands on a policy adopted in 2013 under the Williams-Steiger Occupational Safety and Health Act that allows employees and “reasonably necessary” nonemployees to accompany OSHA inspectors on facility inspections.

In its 15-page complaint, the NFIB claims that last fall OSHA illegally broadened the rule to include representatives from other groups that “will make a positive contribution” during an inspection. They further argue that businesses had no opportunity to comment on the change as required by law. Click here for details.