Insights: Alerts OSHA Rescinds Policy Allowing Union Access to Nonunionized Facilities
On April 25, 2017, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) rescinded a four-year-old policy allowing unions to participate in OSHA safety and health inspections at nonunionized facilities. Under a long-standing OSHA regulation, employees may authorize a non-employee representative to participate in an OSHA walkaround inspection, and OSHA has historically recognized that a labor union that is the certified representative of the employees at the inspection site could be an appropriate employee representative for such an inspection. In 2013, however, OSHA issued an interpretation letter adopting the position that employees at a nonunionized facility could designate a union that was not their certified or recognized representative for collective bargaining purposes as their representative for an OSHA walkaround inspection. This interpretation letter was discussed in our May 14, 2013 Legal Alert. Recently, the 2013 interpretation letter was challenged in a federal district court lawsuit. After failing to get the lawsuit dismissed at an early stage of the litigation, OSHA rescinded the 2013 interpretation letter in an April 25, 2017 memorandum to OSHA regional administrators. Thus, OSHA policy no longer endorses the designation of a union as the representative of employees for purposes of a walkaround inspection at a nonunionized facility, and unions will have far less opportunity to use such inspections as an organizing tool.
For more information about this development, please contact one of the following Kilpatrick Townsend Labor & Employment Team attorneys:
John W. Alden
Randall D. Avram
Charles E. Feuss
Susan W. Pangborn
+1 415.273.4763 | +1 404.815.6305
Craig A. McDougal
Related People View All
While we are pleased to have you contact us by telephone, surface mail, electronic mail, or by facsimile transmission, contacting Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP or any of its attorneys does not create an attorney-client relationship. The formation of an attorney-client relationship requires consideration of multiple factors, including possible conflicts of interest. An attorney-client relationship is formed only when both you and the Firm have agreed to proceed with a defined engagement.
DO NOT CONVEY TO US ANY INFORMATION YOU REGARD AS CONFIDENTIAL UNTIL A FORMAL CLIENT-ATTORNEY RELATIONSHIP HAS BEEN ESTABLISHED.
If you do convey information, you recognize that we may review and disclose the information, and you agree that even if you regard the information as highly confidential and even if it is transmitted in a good faith effort to retain us, such a review does not preclude us from representing another client directly adverse to you, even in a matter where that information could be used against you.