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Foley & Lardner Labor and Employment Law Weekly Update (Week of July 5, 2011)

Don't Work, Text, and Drive By John S. Lord, Jr. None of us should be texting and driving. None of our employees should ever be working, texting, and driving. We all understand these common sense rules, but does your organization have such policies in writing? If not, recent discussions...

Foley & Lardner Labor and Employment Law Weekly Update (Week of August 1, 2011)

Baby, It's Hot Outside! OSHA Undertakes Campaign to Prevent Heat-Related Illness in the Workplace By Mark J. Neuberger Much of the country has been sweltering under record high temperatures in what may yet develop into the hottest summer on record. Maintaining normal operations and productivity...

Employers, Don't be too Quick to Take that IRS "Independent Contractor" Deal

Don't eat that pretty red apple, Snow White!!! It has poison in it!!!! You know the old saying, "If it seems too good to be true, it probably is"? Well, it appears that this may be the case with the new "sweet deal" the Internal Revenue Service is offering to employers who...

OSHA Announces That It Has Revised Its Compliance Assistance Materials

On October 17, 2011, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced that it had recently published new and revised information that explains workers' and employers' rights, as well as how to protect employees from hazards in the construction, general and maritime ...

OSHA Releases New Whistleblower Investigations Manual

by Denise M. Keyser and Farrah I. Gold As many employers know, "whistleblower" retaliation claims have proliferated in recent years, under the many federal and state laws which recognize and protect whistleblowing activities. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA),...

Can You Be Fired If You Are Sick After Your Vacation? Probably

I returned from a lovely three week trip to Italy with the souvenir that keeps on giving: pneumonia. It started out with sniffles. By Monday afternoon, I had a fever. Tuesday, I was coughing. On the Fourth, instead of enjoying barbecue and fireworks, I ended up at the urgent care. He counted back the...

The long hot summer: some reminders for employers

Global warming or not, this summer is setting records for high temperatures across the country. Employees who work outside are affected as well as those who work in warehouse and factory settings where air condition may be non existent or inadequate in the this year's heat. Employers need to remember...

My Office Air Conditioning Broke In A Heat Wave. What Are My Rights?

The agency that regulates workplace safety is OSHA. If your workplace temperature has reached dangerous levels, OSHA might be able to help. In general, though, there's no law saying how hot is too hot. OSHA's general recommendation is that temperatures at work be kept between 68-76° F with...

Do you know what to do when violence invades your workplace?

Tragically, mass shootings seem to be all the rage in America. The latest occurred last Friday morning outside New York City's Empire State Building. The shooter was a disgruntled ex-employee targeting his former coworkers . Do you have a plan in your workplace for a shooting or other emergency...

President Obama Details Possible Cuts to Federal Spending under Budget Control Act of 2011

On September 14, 2012, the President's Office of Management and Budget released a report on what the estimated impact of sequestration pursuant to Sequestration Transparency Act, as mandated by the Budget Control Act of 2011, would be on January 2, 2013, should the Congress not agree upon a budget...

The NFL and OSHA

The obligation of an employer to provide its employees with a safe workplace free from recognized hazards is well established. In the absence of specific standards for an industry, an employer is required under OSHA's general duty clause to provide its employees with a workplace free from recognized...

Fertilizer Plant Explosion Reveals Regulatory Flaws

A week after the explosion at the West Chemical and Fertilizer Company plant in West, Texas killed at least 15 people and destroyed homes and buildings - including a nursing home and a middle school - within a five-block radius, authorities still didn't know exactly what caused the blast. What...

When You Gotta Go, You Gotta Go: The Right to Workplace Bathroom Breaks

Do you know that OSHA protects the right of employees to go to the bathroom? OSHA’s sanitation standard states: Toilet facilities, in toilet rooms separate for each sex, shall be provided in all places of employment. The OSHA standard tells you everything you would ever want to know about...

Thoughts on Safely Implementing Safety Incentive Programs

by James W. Heslep In the past decade, it has become increasingly common to see employers devise new and innovative ways to reinforce the importance of safe workplaces to their employees. In an effort to achieve greater workplace safety, employers have frequently looked to implementing safety incentive...

Exempt or Non-Exempt? That Is the Question. New Recordkeeping and Reporting Under OSHA

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has announced a final rule which revises not only the list of employers which are partially exempt from OSHA record-keeping requirements, but also the types of events and circumstances giving rise to the requirement to report. The damage: close...

Is Your Company Complying with the New OSHA Reporting Requirements?

Employers under federal OSHA’s jurisdiction are now required to report all work-related fatalities within 8 hours and all in-patient hospitalizations, amputations, and losses of an eye within 24 hours of finding about the incident. Companies can call the nearest area office during normal business...

Updated OSHA Reporting and Recordkeeping Rule: What Employers Need to Know

by Nicole Cheuk As of January 1, 2015, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (“OSHA”) updated recordkeeping and reporting rule went into effect. The recordkeeping rule changed in two key ways: (1) the rule updated the industries that are exempt (and not exempt) from...

OSHA and Pro Sports—Are Concussions the NFL’s Black Lung?

San Francisco linebacker Chris Borland rocked the sports world yesterday by announcing his retirement from pro football at the age of 24 after playing only one NFL season. His reason: concerns about the long-term impact of football-related head trauma. The news comes even as the NFL has implemented...

OSHA Chimes in on Transgender Bathrooms

OSHA is no stranger to regulating workplace bathrooms . Now, Employment Law 360 [sub. req.] reports that OSHA and the National Center for Transgender Equality “have entered into a partnership to develop and distribute information to ensure transgender employees have safe and adequate access to...

Manufacturers and Temporary Workers

by A. Keith "Kip" McAlister, Jr. On April 29, 2013, the U.S Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced its temporary worker initiative. OSHA contends that temporary workers encounter an increased risk of work-related injuries. As a result,...

From Caitlyn Jenner to New OSHA Guidance on Restroom Access for Transgender Workers

Caitlyn Jenner got the cover of Vanity Fair and a million new Twitter followers shortly after confirming that she was no longer Bruce Jenner. So, by riding that wave with a timely blog post, I should at least get page 5 — above the fold — in the latest edition of “ Employment-Law Blog...

The Time for Your Safety Audit Is Now

According to data released last week by the Bureau of Labor Statistics , the number of workers killed on the job as a result of slips, trips, and falls rose in 2014 by nearly ten percent. Here are some the key findings: • The number of fatal work injuries in private goods-producing industries...

John Oliver on OSHA (and a Not-So-Subtle Shout-Out to My Firm’s New OSHA Blog)

On this week’s Last Week Tonight , John Oliver gives OSHA a pass on its slack investigations of North Dakota oil field accidents . He blames OSHA’s inactivity on its lack of resources coupled with the oil companies’ use of subcontracted employees. (Please visit the site to view this...

OSHA Encourages Nationwide Adoption of “Early Resolution” ADR in Whistleblower Cases

On August 18, 2015, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration released a directive to its regional offices to adopt “early resolution” alternative dispute resolution in whistleblower cases. The directive follows a successful pilot program by OSHA in its Chicago and San Francisco regions...

OSHA’s Penalties Are on the Rise

Today’s post (or most of it, anyway) originally appeared on Meyers Roman’s Ohio OSHA Law Blog , but it’s worth reprinting for my readers. Have you subscribed to our new OSHA blog? If not, what are you waiting for? Subscribe by email here , or by RSS here . Earlier this...