The COVID-19 pandemic has presented countless challenges to employers across all industries for well over a year now, as rules and guidance from state and federal agencies continue to develop – and change. These changes have left many questions unanswered; however, we have definitive instructions now regarding employers with federal contracts.
We address issues, cases and matters of statutory and regulatory compliance of employment law that can impact a business' growth and profitability.
With the ongoing complexities of responding to COVIF-19, employers should remain mindful of their obligations under the OSH Act’s general duty clause to provide employees with a workplace free from recognized hazards likely to cause death or serious physical harm. To assist employers’ understandings of their safety and health obligations and preventive measures, OSHA has released an informational guidance titled “Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19,” describing “lower exposure,” “medium exposure,” and “high or very high exposure” risk occupations and what precautions employers can take with respect to protect employees at each level.
OSHA administrator David Michaels has stated, “It's time for hospitals and the health care industry to make the changes necessary to protect their workers.” Workers’ injury rates at nursing and residential care facilities are more than twice that of the overall private industry, and hospital workers face a rate nearly as high, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Therefore, OSHA has decided to target hospital and nursing facility for inspections on hazards that contribute to the industry’s high injury rate. To address these injuries, an internal OSHA memorandum directs compliance officers to target hospitals and nursing facilities and inspect the following hazards:
On June 1, 2015, The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released “A Guide to Restroom Access for Transgender Workers”. Under current federal law, employers are required to provide all employees reasonable access to restroom facilities. Now under OSHA’s “model practices” for employers to follow when providing access to restrooms by transgender employees, including: