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States sue over rollback of e-reporting rule

Lawsuit calls for all aspects of 2016 rule to be reinstated

Posted March 13, 2019

Six attorneys general have filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against OSHA and the Department of Labor, challenging OSHA’s rollback of the electronic reporting (e-reporting) requirement. The lawsuit states that OSHA’s January 2019 reversal on implementation of a portion of the e-reporting requirement lacks valid rationale and legal basis.

The lawsuit was led by the attorney general from New Jersey, and joined by Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and New York. The states call on the court to order that all aspects of the original OSHA reporting rule passed in 2016 be implemented.

Prior to the 2016 rule, employers were only required to record and maintain all of the information recorded in Forms 300A, 300, and 301, and to make the forms available to OSHA or state inspectors upon demand. The 2016 rule required employers with 250 or more employees to electronically file the forms with OSHA each year. In January 2019, OSHA published a final rule removing the requirement to submit Forms 300 and 301 electronically. Note: These employers, as well as establishments with 20-249 employees in certain high-hazard industries, must still continue to electronically submit their Form 300A annual summaries.

The lawsuit alleges that as a result of the 2019 final rule, there will not be a comprehensive, nationwide requirement that all large employers submit detailed workplace injury and illness information to OSHA. As a result, this information will not be available to OSHA, state agencies, researchers, or the general public.

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