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Incentives, Discipline, And Drug Testing: How To Avoid Steep Penalties And Comply With OSHA’s Anti-Retaliation Provisions

Webinar: ID# 1026295
Recorded On-Demand
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About This Course:
According to those who have been monitoring drug testing, safety incentives, and disincentive closely, leaders of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have shown great concern that the safety incentive and award programs potentially encourage employees to underreport injuries and illnesses.

OSHA has found that incentive programs, disciplinary actions, and drug testing violate Section 11(c) of the OSH Act, and now also can be citable under 29 CFR Part 1904, with fines of up to $126,749. While these rules are currently in litigation, and may be reopened by OSHA in the near future, they are currently in effect and any change to Part 1904 would not eliminate Section 11(c) liability.

Even though companies have used such programs to reduce accidents and injuries for quite some time, OSHA leaders believe there are inherent flaws in these programs. The agency has now directed inspectors to look closer at incentive programs.

When structured properly, however, these programs can have a remarkably positive impact on your safety program. The real question is, how can you structure your program and achieve success while avoiding suspicions by OSHA inspectors about your program being “aboveboard”? And, how do you make sure your program is compliant with OSHA memorandums such as the “Revised VPP Policy Memorandum #5: Further Improvements to the Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP)” released late last summer? If you are in settlement negotiations with OSHA, often corporate-wide abatement provisions can include substantive changes to these programs, to conform with prevailing OSHA policy.

It’s important to take a close look at how to best structure your drug testing and safety incentive/disincentive programs to get the most value and stay in full compliance with some very tricky laws that will provide your safety program and your organization with significant benefits down the road.

Join us for an in-depth webinar on how to structure a compliant safety incentive/disincentive and drug-testing program. Attorney Adele Abrams, CMSP, will provide you with necessary information to evaluate your program and determine what, if any, changes are required to ensure that it passes regulatory muster and is fine-tuned to achieve the most success possible.

You’ll learn:
  • How to apply the anti-retaliation provisions in OSHA’s electronic reporting rule
  • The practical effect of other critical safety incentive-related OSHA announcements, white papers, and memorandums, including:
    • 2014 “Revised VPP Policy Memorandum #5: Further Improvements to the Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP)”
    • 2012 “Employer Safety Incentive and Disincentive Policies and Practices”
    • 2012 GAO study to OSHA for improving incentive/disincentive policy

  • Evaluate the relationship between OSHA’s position on incentive/disincentive programs, drug testing programs and other programs, such as the National Emphasis Program and Whistleblower Protection Program
  • The key parts of a compliant safety-incentive and drug-testing program using case studies and examples
  • Assess possible violations, citations, and legal compliance consequences that could result from noncompliance
  • Best practices for managing drug testing, incentives, and disincentives based on legal approaches that have worked for other companies
  • The role of disciplinary programs in your overall incentive/disincentive and drug testing processes
  • Tips for ensuring that your existing and future drug testing, incentive and disincentive programs are compliant and have a positive benefit on your overall safety program
About Your Presenter:

Adele Abrams, Esq., CMSP
Attorney and Firm President
Law Offices of Adele L. Abrams P.C.

Adele Abrams, Esq., CMSP, is an attorney, safety professional and firm president of the Law Office of Adele L. Abrams P.C. who is recognized as a national expert on occupational safety and health. Ms. Abrams heads a multi-attorney firm with offices in Maryland, Colorado and West Virginia, that represents employers and contractors nationwide in OSHA and MSHA litigation. Ms. Abrams also provides safety and health training, auditing, and consultation services. She is a Certified Mine Safety Professional, and a Department of Labor–approved trainer. Ms. Abrams is on the adjunct faculty of Catholic University in Washington, DC, where she teaches employment and labor law.

Ms. Abrams is also a professional member of the American Society of Safety Engineers, and is co-author of several safety-related textbooks. She is chair of the National Safety Council’s Business & Industry Division committee on regulatory and legal affairs. She is admitted to the Bars of MD, DC and PA, as well as multiple federal courts including the US Supreme Court.
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Incentives, Discipline, And Drug Testing: How To Avoid Steep Penalties And Comply With OSHA’s Anti-Retaliation Provisions
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