Vigilant Blog

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

Showing posts by Karen Davis

Photo of Karen Davis
Mar 24 2020
COVID-19Leave Laws  

Q&A: New federal leave related to COVID-19 doesn’t apply to layoffs

Question: If we have to shut down our business because of a government mandate related to COVID-19, will our workers be eligible for the new federal emergency paid sick leave and paid emergency family and medical leave? Answer: Probably not, based on the text of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act…

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Mar 17 2020
COVID-19Safety and Health  

Alert: Know where to find coronavirus guidance

Know where to find COVID-19 guidance With new developments rapidly unfolding on the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak, employers need to know where to find the latest guidance. In this Alert, we’re sharing links to the resources we’re finding to be most helpful. We’re also tracking pending federal legislation which is expected to temporarily expand the…

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Mar 10 2020
Drug and Alcohol  

DOT confirms CBD use doesn’t excuse positive marijuana test

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) recently issued a bulletin confirming that using a product containing cannabidiol (CBD) isn’t a valid excuse for testing positive for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) under DOT rules. Both products are derived from marijuana; THC has psychoactive effects, while CBD doesn’t. The cannabis industry is poorly regulated and as we…

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Feb 28 2020
Safety and Health  

OSHA zeroes in on respirable crystalline silica

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently launched a new National Emphasis Program to reduce worker exposure to respirable crystalline silica. Workers who inhale silica dust can develop serious lung diseases, which may be fatal or require lung transplants. The dust is generated when materials such as stone, rock,…

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Feb 28 2020
Q&ASafety and Health  

Q&A: Follow CDC guidance on coronavirus concerns

Question: One of our employees went on vacation to Thailand and is scheduled to return to work in a couple of days. We don’t know whether her itinerary included any connections through China, but we’re concerned she could have been exposed to the coronavirus. Can we tell her not to come to work…

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Feb 11 2020
Drug and Alcohol  

FMCSA random drug testing rate increases to 50%

The minimum random drug testing rate for commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers subject to federal drug and alcohol testing requirements has increased from 25 percent to 50 percent for calendar year 2020. Covered motor carriers must conduct enough random drug tests during the year to amount to at least 50…

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Nov 21 2019
Wage and Hour  

Oregon employers must ensure workers take meal periods

The Oregon Court of Appeals has ruled that employers have a duty to ensure that workers actually take the meal periods required by state regulations. With limited exceptions, the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI)’s regulations on meal and rest periods require employers to provide a 30-minute unpaid meal period for…

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Nov 13 2019
Featured Worker’s CompSafety and Health  

New hire fatality from wood chipper results in $67k penalty

A sole proprietor of a tree-trimming business was ordered to pay $66,986 in penalties after an employee was killed by a wood chipper on his first day on the job. A crew of four workers, including the new employee, met in the morning at the owner’s house. Two of the workers were…

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Photo of Karen Davis
Oct 23 2019
Featured Worker’s CompSafety and Health  

OSHA cites employers for poor emergency procedures after two fatalities

In two separate cases, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued six-figure citations against employers that failed to plan ahead for foreseeable emergency situations. The employers have 15 business days to comply with the citations, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or challenge the findings before the Occupational…

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Photo of Karen Davis
Sep 25 2019
Wage and Hour  

EEOC doesn’t intend to seek pay & hours data for 2019 or beyond

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) says it needs time to analyze the 2017 and 2018 data on worker pay and hours it’s currently collecting, and therefore doesn’t intend to ask for such data in future years. The agency has also come to the conclusion that it grossly underestimated the amount of…

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