US House of Representatives Disapproves OSHA Rule Recently Analyzed in WLF Paper

oshaThe US House of Representatives passed a resolution on March 1, 2017 under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) disapproving an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rule, “Clarification of Employer’s Continuing Obligation to Make and Maintain an Accurate Record of Each Recordable Injury and Illness.”

A February 24, 2017 Washington Legal Foundation Legal Opinion Letter, OSHA’s Midnight Attempt to Overrule Federal Court’s Decision Is Ripe for Rescission, explained how the late-December 2016 rule essentially overturned a 2012 federal appeals court decision. That decision held that an OSHA recordkeeping rule’s continuing obligation to make or update records conflicted directly with the Occupational Safety and Health Act’s six-month statute of limitations. The WLF paper’s author, Eric J. Conn, Co-Founder and Chair of the OSHA Practice at Conn Maciel Carey PLLC, wrote of the rule acted on by the House:

This is an untenable policy for the nation’s employers, which are entitled to a short, fixed period of repose in order to fairly defend OSHA citations.  The new rule also undermines the OSH Act’s intent to encourage prompt resolution of workplace-safety hazards.  Following OSHA’s logic, were OSHA to extend the retention period in § 1904.33(a) from five to ten to 30 years, the statute of limitations for recordkeeping citations would be extended with it, further subverting Congress’ intent.

Action of the OSHA rule now moves to the US Senate, which would consider a similar CRA resolution.

Change Coming for SEC’s Controversial Conflict Minerals Rule

Featured Expert Contributor — Corporate Governance/Securities Law

bainbridgeStephen M. Bainbridge, William D. Warren Distinguished Professor of Law, UCLA School of Law.

Section 1502 of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act required the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to develop disclosure rules requiring public companies to disclose whether their products contained “conflict minerals.” The minerals in question included cassiterite, columbite-tantalite, gold, wolframite, or their derivatives, all of which are used in a variety of common products, including computers, smart phones, and other everyday technology. In order to be deemed conflict minerals, they had to be sourced from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) or its adjoining countries. Continue reading