Small Businesses Join Lawsuit Challenging OSHA’s Walkaround Rule | NFIB

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NFIB argues against final rule on workplace inspections

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 21, 2024)NFIB joined a lawsuit against the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in the case Chamber et al v. OSHA at the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas. NFIB challenges OSHA’s final rule on workplace inspections in its lawsuit.

“Small businesses want to create a safe work environment for their employees, and they understand the necessity of reasonable mandates and inspections to this end,” said Beth Milito, Executive Director of NFIB’s Small Business Legal Center. “But the final rule issued by OSHA goes beyond ‘reasonable’. This rule will allow unlimited third-party individuals to initiate and then join an inspection of a private workplace under the guise of representing the employees. Not only does this violate a small business owner’s private property rights, it will not advance worker safety. It only makes small businesses susceptible to harassment from competitors, union representatives, and other parties intending to cause harm.”

NFIB’s complaint makes four main arguments: 1) the final walkaround rule exceeded OSHA’s statutory authority and conflicts with the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) by allowing an unlimited number of third parties to participate in inspections, instead of the single employee representative authorized by Congress, 2) Congress did not grant OSHA the authority to appropriate employers’ private property on such a massive scale, 3) the walkaround rule violates the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), and 4) OSHA did not prepare the required regulatory flexibility analyses required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) despite the significant impact this rule will have on small businesses.

NFIB sent a statement expressing the concerns of small business owners following OSHA’s release of the final rule in April 2024. In 2016, NFIB successfully challenged the previous iteration of this rule, which similarly allowed union representatives to accompany OSHA inspectors when inspecting non-unionized companies.

The NFIB Small Business Legal Center protects the rights of small business owners in the nation’s courts. NFIB is currently active in more than 40 cases in federal and state courts across the country and in the U.S. Supreme Court.



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