Vigilant Blog

News, trends and analysis in employment law, HR, safety & workers' comp

Showing posts by Jon Benson

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Jan 06 2022
COVID-19Safety and Health  

OREGON: COVID-19 workplace rules modified and loosened

On December 21, 2021, Oregon OSHA adopted minor changes to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) rules for all indoor workplaces as well as for employer-provided labor housing. They took effect immediately. Changes to the rules for all Oregon workplaces include the following: Physical distancing requirements have been eliminated, except in health care and…

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Dec 02 2021
COVID-19  

OSHA vaccine mandate for employers with 100+ workers still on hold

Employers with 100 or more employees remain in limbo while awaiting a federal appeals court decision on the fate of OSHA’s regulation requiring workers to either be vaccinated against COVID-19 (coronavirus) or tested weekly. As we previously reported, the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals put a hold on OSHA’s COVID-19 Emergency…

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Sep 08 2020
COVID-19Leave Laws  

The FFCRA and kids’ return to school: What you need to know

Just in time for fall school schedules, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently added three new FAQs on whether employees are entitled to take paid leave under the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) as schools reopen for in-person or virtual instruction. These new FFCRA FAQs (#98-#100) clarify that…

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Aug 06 2020
Q&ALabor Relations  

Q&A: Untangle abusive employee conduct and protected activity

Question: One of our employees posted an abusive and profane message about their supervisor on social media, complaining to coworkers about pay and working conditions. Can we discipline this employee? Answer: Maybe, if you would discipline other employees for using such language at work. The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) protects…

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Jun 18 2020
COVID-19Safety and Health  

EEOC updates COVID-19 guidance

EEOC updates COVID-19 guidance The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently updated its technical assistance guidance regarding COVID-19 (coronavirus).These new FAQs clarify and update the agency’s guidance on several COVID-19-related issues. No protection for shielding high-risk family members: The guidance clarifies that there’s no protection under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for an…

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Jun 04 2020
COVID-19Safety and Health  

CDC issues guidance on reopening office workspaces

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently published detailed guidance for employers on reopening office buildings. The COVID-19 Employer Information for Office Buildings webpage includes specific steps and tips for employers planning to reopen office buildings. The CDC guidance is organized into the following six categories: Create a…

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May 07 2020
COVID-19Safety and Health  

CDC issues guidance on cleaning businesses and public spaces

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently issued detailed instructions on cleaning and disinfecting public spaces, workplaces, businesses, schools, and homes to help keep them free of COVID-19 (coronavirus). Much of the focus revolves around developing and implementing plans to maintain spaces in a clean and hygienic…

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Apr 23 2020
COVID-19  

OREGON: Unemployment “waiting week” may be paid retroactively

Although the Oregon Employment Department believes it isn’t feasible to update its computer systems to waive the normal one-week waiting period to obtain unemployment benefits during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, Oregon Governor Kate Brown says she’ll work with the department to make it happen. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES…

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Apr 16 2020
COVID-19Safety and Health  

OREGON: COVID-19 workplace safety spot checks are coming

Oregon OSHA recently announced it will begin spot-checking businesses for compliance with social distancing and other safety measures related to COVID-19 (coronavirus). This is in addition to the more thorough on-site inspections initiated by the agency. The on-site inspections will be driven by complaints from employees, who, as we previously…

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Apr 09 2020
Q&ACOVID-19Harassment & DiscriminationLeave Laws  

Q&A: Be careful about treating “high risk” employees differently

Question: Can we exclude employees from the workplace if they’re at high risk for severe illness from COVID-19, such as older workers or workers with underlying medical conditions? Answer: In general, no. If your reason for keeping employees away from work is based solely on their membership in a high-risk group based on…

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