Labor: OSHA inspections and complaints

OSHA says unions are welcome to participate in administration’s inspections and complaints

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), unions are welcome to participate in OSHA inspections and complaints, even at union-free work sites where they do not represent employees and there is no active organizing.

In a letter of interpretation dated Feb. 21 but not publically released until April 5, OSHA said that nonunion employees can select a union official or member of a community organization to act as their “personal representative” in filing complaints on the employees’ behalves, requesting workplace inspections, participating in informal conferences to discuss citations, and challenging the abatement period in citations being contested by an employer. The interpretation letter goes on to state that “a person affiliated with a union without a collective bargaining agreement or with a community representative can act on behalf of employees as a walkaround representative.”

Contributing Author

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Ruthie Goodboe

Ruthie Goodboe is a shareholder in the Detroit Metro office of Ogletree Deakins, an international labor and employment law firm representing management. She counsels and...

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