You may recall from the Crocodile Dundee movies that Dundee was a big fan of walkabouts in the Australian outback…and Manhattan. A while back OSHA began encouraging walkabouts of a sort. Back in 2013, OSHA issued its infamous “Fairfax memo”, which concluded that non-union employees could designate a union representative or organizer to accompany OSHA compliance officers during inspections. That guidance was obviously anti-employer and pro-union. It gave union representatives access to the workplace and the appearance of looking out for the workers, even in companies where the union was not the workers’ designated representative.
Just last week, OSHA came to its senses and rescinded the guidance. The guidance was the subject of a court challenge, and OSHA withdrew it in exchange for a dismissal of that suit. This move is consistent with the new administration’s emphasis on deregulation. So, when OSHA initiates an inspection of your non-union worksite, it is less likely that a wandering union representative or organizer will tag along, just for the adventure.