In a little publicized letter of interpretation, dated April 5, 2013, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced for the first time that during an OSHA inspection of non-union worksites, employees can be represented by anyone selected by the employees including outside union agents. In so doing, the letter, issued to the Steelworkers Union earlier this year, OSHA Deputy Assistant Secretary Richard Fairfax gave the green light to allowing union officials and community organizers to serve as the “employee representative” and thus accompany OSHA inspectors when doing inspections of non-union workplaces. This development provides a welcoming open door to many union organizers in those industries sought after by labor organizations.

For a more detailed discussion of OSHA’s new interpretation, as well as some suggestions for employers dealing with this change, click here.