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Written by:
Fred Rine, CEO of FDRsafety and former long-time Managing Director of Safety and Health at FedEx
Jim Stanley, President of FDRsafety and former U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA
Mike Taubitz, Senior Advisor to FDRsafety and former Global Safety Director for General Motors
Rose McMurray, Chief Transportation Advisor to FDRsafety and former Chief Safety Officer of the Federal Motor Carrier Administration

Supreme Court decision means OSHA has 6 months to issue citations

March 5th, 2013 posted by Jim Stanley

Jim Stanley

OSHA can no longer issue citations alleging violations more than six months old.

That is the impact of a U.S. Supreme Court decision issued Feb. 27 in a case called Gabelli v. SEC. Although the case dealt directly with the Securities and Exchange Commission, it applies to OSHA as well.

The issue, as described in an article by the McDermott Will & Emery law firm, centers on the so-called discovery rule for postponing the running of a statute of limitations when a federal government agency seeks a civil penalty.

“The Court held that the limitations period begins to run once a violation occurs, and is not postponed until the agency discovers or reasonably should have discovered the violation,” the law firm said.

The decisioneffectively eliminates what might have remained of the OSH Review Commission’s 1993 Johnson Controls decision, which had endorsed the use of a discovery rule in Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recordkeeping cases.”

The ruling follows one issued by the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in the so called “Volks” case, whichdisapproved of OSHA’s continuing violation theory, under which the limitations period does not begin to run until the violation is corrected.”




One Response to “Supreme Court decision means OSHA has 6 months to issue citations”

  1. Hi Jim,
    This is gonna intensify the effectiveness of OSHA. 6 months sounds sufficient time to make correct decisions. I would appreciate if the same guideline hits Alberta Safety.

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