On September 20, 2021, the Biden Administration announced a multi-agency initiative to protect employees from excessive workplace heat exposure.  The Administration acknowledged its public health concern arising from heat waves experienced this summer and what it has identified as a systemic threat to workers from exposure to high temperatures – indoors and outdoors – while doing their jobs.… Continue Reading

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 potential increase in the number of audits and inspections, as well as additional scrutiny of whistleblower claims.… Continue Reading

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 and designated high-hazard industries.   … Continue Reading

On March 10, 2021, less than three weeks after New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation legalizing recreational marijuana and establishing employee protections for off duty marijuana use, a State lawmaker has introduced a bill (NJ S 3525) to amend the employment related provisions of the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act (“NJCREAMMA”) to address concerns that employers will not be able to control marijuana use, or the effects of marijuana use, in the workplace for safety sensitive positions.  Continue Reading

On March 1, 2021 the Wolf administration announced statewide loosened event and gathering restrictions and lifted out-of-state travel restrictions. Governor Wolf stated in the press release “Pennsylvania is taking a measured approach to revising or lifting mitigation orders.” “The reason we are seeing cases drop can be attributed, in part, to people following the mitigation efforts we have in place.”… Continue Reading

In November, New Jersey voters said “yes” to the legalization of recreational marijuana.  On February 22, 2021, Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation that legalized and decriminalized recreational marijuana and established a system for a recreational marijuana industry in New Jersey.

Importantly, the new legislation addresses many issues of significance affecting the employer-employee relationship. … Continue Reading

Louis Chodoff leads a discussion with his Labor and Employment colleagues Karli Lubin and Tara Humma. The group discusses the various liability issues that may arise as employers work to bring employees back to the physical workplace, including claims about workplace safety, vaccination policies, overtime claims arising from work from home, and activity created by the new Biden administration’s Labor and Employment Policies.… Continue Reading

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 droplets from your nose and mouth from reaching others.… Continue Reading