A United States District Court in Texas has refused to dismiss a law suit challenging OSHA’s practice of allowing union representatives and organizers to serve as “employee representatives” in inspections of non-union worksites. If the Court ultimately sustains the plaintiff’s claims, unions will lose another often valuable organizing tool that has provided them with visibility and access to employees in connection with organizing campaigns.
The National Federation of Independent Business (‘NFIB”) filed suit to challenge an OSHA Standard Interpretation Letter (the “Letter”), which sets forth the agency’s position that an employee of a union that does not represent the workers … Continue Reading
By Paul H. Burmeister and Eric J. Conn
On April 5, 2013, OSHA published a formal Interpretation Letter (dated February 21, 2013) addressing whether, pursuant to OSHA’s regulation at 29 C.F.R. 1903.8(c) (Representatives of Employers and Employees), employees at a worksite without a collective bargaining agreement may authorize a person affiliated with a union or community organization to act as the employees’ representative during proceedings under the OSH Act, including compliance inspections. OSHA responded affirmatively.
29 C.F.R. 1903.8(c) provides:
… Continue Reading
“The representative(s) authorized by employees shall be an employee(s) of the employer. However, if in the judgment of the Compliance Safety
By Amanda Strainis-Walker
OSHA’s recent string of hotel inspections in response to formal safety and health complaints filed by UNITE-HERE and others on behalf of hotel housekeepers is under serious scrutiny from the House of Representatives Subcommittee that oversees OSHA’s operations. OSHA leadership is defending its decision to inspect hotels, and is signaling that OSHA will not shy away from inspecting employers in the midst of organizing campaigns and/or contentious bargaining over labor agreements.
Over the last year, OSHA received a number of formal, written complaints alleging that employees at Hyatt Hotels were exposed to various hazards, including musculoskeletal injuries, … Continue Reading