Small Business Applauds Circuit Court Decision Limiting Timeframe on OSHA Violations

Date: April 10, 2012

Contact: Kevan Chapman (202) 314-2041

Court affirms six-month statute of limitations for citing record-keeping violations

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 10, 2012 — The National Federation of Independent Business, the nation’s leading small-business association, is applauding a decision by the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit (Volks v.  Secretary of Labor) which ruled that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is limited to citing employers for record-keeping violations within six months of the violation.

Despite a statute stating explicitly that no citation should be issued after six months following the violation, OSHA was issuing citations on violations which had occurred as long as five years prior to the citation.

The National Federation of Independent Business filed an amicus brief in the case and considers the decision a big win for employers.

“The court absolutely made the right decision to protect employers from federal enforcers digging years through the history books to find violations,” said Karen Harned, Executive Director of the NFIB Small Business Legal Center. “Federal agencies do not have the power to make their own rules and subvert written law to suit their agenda of punishing small-business owners. We are pleased the court agrees.”

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