OSHA

Fulfilling a promise made early in the Biden Administration, on June 10, 2021, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) issued an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) related to COVID-19.  However, the ETS applies only to healthcare and healthcare support service workers in settings where people with COVID-19 are reasonably expected to be present.  Although this

In April 2020, an executive assistant at a Staten Island health care provider was allegedly terminated for raising COVID-19 related safety concerns about an in-person meeting.  In what may be a sign of litigation to come, the Department of Labor has filed suit against the employee’s former employer alleging violation of the whistleblower provisions of

On May 17, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) advised employers to follow the new CDC mask guidance for people fully vaccinated against COVID-19.  Although this provides some guidance for employers, it is important that businesses continue to practice workplace safety protocols that reflect the unique characteristics of each workplace, and account for

On May 13, 2021 the CDC overhauled its guidance, stating that fully vaccinated people can resume most of their pre-pandemic activities without wearing a mask or social distancing. This includes indoor and outdoor gatherings, regardless of size. The CDC does still recommend that fully vaccinated people wear a mask while using public transportation and

Recently, the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) released its 30th annual “Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect” report.  Every year, the report highlights the number of states and industries with the most workplace injuries.  Though this year’s report focused on data from 2019, not surprisingly,

On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act. At $1.9 trillion, it is the second largest stimulus bill in legislative history. The ARP includes labor-related spending initiatives important to both employers and employees.

Employers should particularly take heed of the increased funding to OSHA for enforcement actions, which could indicate a

On March 12, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) launched a National Emphasis Program (NEP) that signaled a new enforcement agenda, targeting establishments in industries that have an increased potential for employee exposure to the Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) disease, including healthcare institutions.  NEPs are temporary programs that focus OSHA’s resources on particular hazards

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (“OSHA”) will now investigate workers’ complaints of retaliation for reporting antitrust and money laundering-related violations under new whistleblower statutes.

On February 19, 2021, the Department of Labor announced that OSHA would oversee whistleblower claims alleging retaliation under two laws – the Criminal Antitrust Anti-Retaliation Act and the Anti-Money Laundering

On January 29, 2021, OSHA issued expanded COVID Guidance for non-healthcare workplaces.   The guidance contains recommendations as well as descriptions of mandatory safety and health standards. The recommendations are advisory in nature.

Face Coverings.  The guidance advises that face coverings, either cloth face coverings or surgical masks, are simple barriers that help prevent respiratory