May 21, 2024


Washington, D.C. — Today, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and a coalition of business groups filed a lawsuit in the Western District of Texas, Waco Division against the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The lawsuit challenges OSHA’s new walkaround rule, which gives union organizers, activists, plaintiffs’ attorneys, and even competitors access to workplaces under the guise of “assisting” OSHA inspectors during routine inspections.

OSHA upended over 50 years of precedent by dramatically expanding the type of third parties allowed to accompany inspectors during walkarounds. The OSH Act permits employee representatives to accompany the inspectors, which was generally limited to employees themselves, with very limited exceptions.

The presence of these third parties can expose companies to excessive lawsuits and unionization efforts, cause disturbances, reveal confidential business information, and raise safety concerns.

“OSHA’s new walkaround rule is the Administration’s latest regulation to take a 'whole-of-government' approach to promoting unionization at all costs,” said Marc Freedman, vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Employment Policy Division. “OSHA claims this rule is about workplace safety, but as some union organizers have publicly admitted this rule is about gaining access to nonunionized workplaces to advance their organizing campaigns."

The Chamber is joined by co-plaintiffs, including the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce, Longview Chamber of Commerce, Associated Builders and Contractors, Alliance for Chemical Distribution, Associated General Contractors, International Franchise Association, International Warehouse Logistics Association, National Association of Manufacturers, National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors, National Federation of Independent Business, and National Retail Federation.

The full complaint can be viewed here.