Valerie Butera Quoted in “16 Legal Tips: Handling OSHA Citations the Right Way”Intelivert March 17, 2016
Valerie Butera, a Member of the Firm in the Employment, Labor, and Workforce Management practice, in the firm’s Washington, DC, office, was quoted by Intelivert, in “16 Legal Tips: Handling OSHA Citations the Right Way.”
Following is an excerpt:
OSHA has recently become a much more powerful agency than it ever has been before. In addition to a likely 80% increase in penalties, OSHA has entered into an agreement with the Department of Justice encouraging inspectors to look for workplace safety violations when investigating environmental incidents. In the past, there was very little criminal enforcement of workplace safety violations because OSHA violations are classified as misdemeanors – OSHA generally found that it was not a good use of resources to prosecute. Under the terms of the agreement with Department of Justice, workplace safety violations uncovered during environmental investigations will be treated as felony environmental violations for purposes of criminal prosecutions. Now more than ever, employers should be consulting with their OSHA counsel as soon as OSHA or the EPA show up. If an OSHA violation is found, the employer is not just facing huge penalties but a prison sentence as well.