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Bill would end practice of regulation by shaming

H.R. 5870 would make OSHA wait before issuing press releases

Posted May 21, 2018

A new bill introduced into the U.S. House of Representatives would place limitations on OSHA press releases. The OSHA Employer Notification Act (H.R. 5870), advanced by Congressman Glenn Grothman (R-WI), would require OSHA to notify a business of an alleged violation at least 24 hours before making a public statement about the violation. In addition, the bill would require OSHA to update the news releases on its website if a citation is subsequently reduced or removed.

According to Grothman, the legislation is necessary because OSHA can issue a press release on alleged violations against a business before the business itself knows about the citation. Grothman labeled this practice “regulation by shaming,” and said it can delay resolution of the problem. Further, public notice of a violation can damage the reputation of the business, even if it turns out there was no violation.

The bill has been referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.

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