The NFIB Legal Foundation, along with a coalition of like-minded industry groups, filed a brief with the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission urging OSHRC not to pile additional liability on the backs of small-business owners.
In response to issues pending in four cases before the commission, OSHRC invited friend-of-the court briefs on two important issues raised by those cases, whether, contrary to current law:
- Individuals can be held personally liable for violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and
- OSHRC can authorize successor liability for a repeat violation of the OSH Act.
For decades, a corporation has been considered separate and distinct from its owners or shareholders. Legitimate corporations provide small-business owners with personal-liability protections that are vital to encouraging entrepreneurship.
In its brief, the NFIB Legal Foundation argued that:
- OSHRC should not change existing law and create personal liability for small-business owners;
- Small-business owners only should be held personally liable in very limited circumstances, such as fraud; and
- Successor liability should only be imposed when there is a final order against the same employer or its alter ego for a substantially similar violation.
Status: PENDING. Amicus brief filed March 24, 2004.