WASHINGTON The U.S. electronics industry is vigorously opposing a government ruling that extends federal occupational health and safety rules to home offices.
The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) recently interpreted the Occupational Safety and Health Act as covering home offices. The interpretation could require employers to meet the requirements of that law for employees who telecommute.
Industry groups were quick to condemn the ruling. "Extending OSHA safety and health standards to home offices is both an incorrect interpretation of the [law] and a Big Brother-like overreach of the agency's authority," said the American Electronics Association (AEA). On Tuesday (Jan. 4), AEA called on OSHA chief Charles Jeffress to withdraw its interpretation.
OSHA has said it would not conduct compliance inspections of home offices. "If OSHA is not going to conduct compliance inspections to enforce this interpretation, why issue it?" AEA said in its letter to Jeffress.