This past spring, the U.S. House of Representatives passed four measures that would substantially help small and medium-sized businesses involved in disputes with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) of the U.S. Department of Labor. The measures, which were placed in HR 2728, would:
Require the federal courts to defer to interpretations by the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (the Review Commission or Commission) rather than by OSHA.
Expand the Commission to five members from its current three.
Substantially liberalize the criteria permitting small employers to recover attorneys' fees and costs incurred in successfully defending against OSHA citations.
Permit employers who have good cause for failing to timely contest an OSHA citation to seek relief under criteria like that in Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60.
The bill is now pending before the Senate.