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U.S. Department of Labor Issued Final Rule to Protect Privacy of Workers

Published by on May 20, 2019

On January 24, 2019, the DOL’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a final rule that eliminated previous employer reporting requirements to safeguard worker privacy and promote administrative efficiency.

OSHA recently issued a final rule eliminating the Electronic Recordkeeping Rule that we previously discussed here. The previous rule required employers with 250 or more employees to electronically submit information from OSHA Form 300 (Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses) and OSHA Form 301 (Injury and Illnesses Incident Report) annually to the federal agency. Employers are still required to maintain these forms on-site, which can be obtained by OSHA via inspections and enforcement actions.

Under the new rule, covered employers are only required to electronically submit Form 300A (Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illness). By eliminating the previous recording requirements, OSHA is able to avoid the risk of sensitive employee information from being publicly disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and promote administrative efficiency by analyzing the large volume of data provided by 300A forms, as opposed to individually processing Forms 300 and 301 information.

Welter Insight

The new rule does not affect the information that employers with 250 or more employees are required to maintain concerning work-related incidents and injuries; however, OSHA’s final rule ensures that employer and employee information remains private and avoids public FOIA disclosures.

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