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CDC Guidance Establishes the Bar for Workplace Safety and OSH Act Compliance Related to COVID-19

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, employers have had to keep abreast of evolving or incomplete government guidance, all while trying to discern for themselves the most prudent way to handle employee leaves, pay, workload, and safety.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have now worked together to produce a "Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19." This guidance is explicitly "advisory in nature" and "informational in content," and "not a standard or a regulation." Nevertheless, the guidance provides helpful information about how the agencies view the methodology of COVID-19 transmission, exposure risks and classifying worker exposure, and what to do to protect workers. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) provided similar advice in an April workplace poster. Efforts addressed include personal protective equipment (PPE), engineering controls (e.g. barriers), and administrative controls (e.g. monitoring, training, flexible hours, or telework). More ›

Lessons From Smithfield Pork Packing Plant Lawsuit: Could OSHA Preempt Worker Retaliation Claims Concerning Employer COVID-19 Safety Measures?

In a workplace safety whistleblower lawsuit recently filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, an air conditioning technician claims he was fired by his employer, HT Airsystems of Florida, LLC, in retaliation for complaining about purported overtime violations and for raising concerns about a lack of personal protective equipment (PPE), which would be a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and Florida's Private Whistleblower Act (FWA). More ›

DOL Issues OSHA Information to Help Reduce Coronavirus Exposure in the Workplace

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued a new poster—available in English or Spanish—which lists steps workplaces can take to reduce their risks of coronavirus exposure. This release is the latest effort by OSHA to educate and protect America's workers and employers during the pandemic. We outline their recommended infection prevention measures highlighted in the poster below. More ›

The 12 Days of California Labor & Employment Series – Day 7: Cal/OSHA Reporting Requirements

It's the end of the year and while everyone is busy, employers in California should be aware of new laws and regulations that go into effect on January 1, 2020. In the spirit of the season, we are using the "12 days of the holidays" to blog daily about one of these new California laws and its impact on California employers. On the seventh day of the holidays, my labor and employment attorney gave to me: seven swans a swimming and AB 1804 and 1805. More ›

A New Year, Another OSHA Update

OSHA had an active 2017. Now that we have rung in the new year, let's talk about how those changes are impacting employers in 2018. More ›

OSHA Delays Electronic Reporting to December 15th

In the ongoing series of updates on the status of OSHA's electronic reporting, we have another development.  More ›

Dear Employers, Familiarize Yourself with OSHA's Electronic Injury Tracking Application Before December 1, 2017

As reported by the Employment Law Observer in June, OSHA has formally proposed to delay the July 1, 2017 deadline for electronic injury and illness reporting to December 1, 2017. Since announcing the delay, OSHA formally launched the Injury Tracking Application (ITA), which will serve as the secure website covered employers will use to electronically report mandatory injury and illness information. This was the missing piece preventing the July 1, 2017 deadline from taking effect, as OSHA had not set up the portal in advance of the original deadline.  More ›

Electronic OSHA Reporting Deadline Delayed For Now, or Forever?

With the July 1, 2017 deadline looming for OSHA's electronic reporting requirement, it came as a relief to employers when, in May. OSHA gave word that it intended to propose extending this deadline.   More ›

DOL Challenges Injury and Accident Reporting Policy Under OSHA’s Anti-Retaliation Rule

OSHA’s new anti-retaliation rule went into effect on December 1, 2016. The purpose of the new rule was to clarify what OSHA considered “the existing implicit requirement” that an employer work-related injury and illness policies be reasonable and not deter or discourage employees from reporting injuries. Since that time, employers and lawyers alike have waited to see what types of policies OSHA would target under the new rule. The Department of Labor’s recent complaint filed in the Eastern District of Wisconsin sheds some light on that question. More ›

OSHA Likely to Postpone Electronic Injury and Illness Reporting

OSHA has announced it intends to propose extending the July 1, 2017 deadline by which certain employers were scheduled to begin reporting workplace injuries and illnesses electronically, as required by OSHA's new rule.  This may not come as a surprise, as the electronic portal through which reporting is to be made has not been created.  Updates will be posted to OSHA's webpage, which you can find here, when available.  More ›

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