Vigilant Blog

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

Showing posts for: Safety and Health

Photo of Manish Gooneratne
Nov 17 2022
Safety and Health  

Q&A: Prioritize new hire safety

Question: One of our new hires suffered a serious injury to his hand at work. He was trained in the right procedure, didn’t follow it, and got injured as a result. What can we do differently? We’re really frustrated by the frequency of on-the-job injuries among our new hires. Answer: Safety orientations for new…

Read More…
Photo of Karen Davis
Nov 17 2022
Drug and AlcoholHarassment & DiscriminationSafety and HealthWage and Hour  

Follow these HR tips for holding holiday parties

With the widespread easing of COVID-19 (coronavirus) restrictions, our attorneys have been fielding a number of questions about resuming company holiday parties. Here are some recommendations to enjoy a fun celebration with coworkers without getting the company into trouble: Stay healthy: Tell employees to please stay home if they don’t feel well, so…

Read More…
Photo of Lorraine Amrine
Nov 03 2022
COVID-19DisabilityLeave LawsSafety and Health  

WASHINGTON: Public health emergency ends; some duties remain

Governor Jay Inslee ended the COVID-19 public health emergency for the state of Washington on October 31, 2022, but employers still have some obligations under state law. As we previously reported, the continuing requirements for COVID-19 (coronavirus) stem from Washington’s Health Emergency Labor Standards Act (HELSA) and from an ongoing obligation to…

Read More…
Oct 06 2022
Safety and Health

WASHINGTON: Fall protection rules updated

The Washington Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) has issued revisions to its unified fall protection rules, which take effect on November 1, 2022. The unified rules, originally published in 2020 (and reported here), merged all industry fall protection standards and aligned them with federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards.…

Read More…
Photo of Lorraine Amrine
Oct 06 2022
COVID-19Safety and Health  

WASHINGTON: COVID-19 state of emergency to end October 31, 2022

Governor Jay Inslee has announced that he will end Washington’s declared public health emergency (PHE) due to COVID-19 (coronavirus) on October 31, 2022. As he previously announced, 12 health care related orders will end on October 27. The remaining COVID-19 emergency proclamations, including the state of emergency, will be rescinded at the…

Read More…
Photo of Kara Craig
Sep 15 2022
Labor RelationsSafety and Health  

Q&A: Employees usually have right to display union insignia at work

Question: We have a dress code policy that requires production employees to wear either a plain t-shirt, or a t-shirt with the company logo. One of our employees came to work this morning wearing a t-shirt with the union logo. Can I require them to change? Answer: Probably not. The company…

Read More…
Photo of Sean Brown
Sep 15 2022
Safety and Health  

WASHINGTON: L&I updates agriculture pesticide safety rules

Washington’s Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) made minor changes to the existing agriculture pesticide safety standards found in WAC 296-307, which take effect on September 26, 2022. As a part of this process, L&I collaborated with the Washington State Department of Agriculture to ensure the existing rules met federal Environmental Protection…

Read More…
Photo of Chris Edison
Sep 15 2022
Safety and Health  

WASHINGTON: L&I updates safety rules to protect temps

The Washington Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) recently issued new rules confirming existing workplace protections for temporary workers. The rules align with RCW 49.17.490, a Washington statute that already requires staffing agencies and worksite employers to comply with specific health and safety standards for temporary workers in manufacturing and construction…

Read More…
Photo of Jodi Slavik
Aug 18 2022
Safety and Health  

WASHINGTON: COVID-19 workplace rules extended

On August 4, 2022, the Washington Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) filed an emergency workplace safety rule to extend and slightly modify COVID-19 (coronavirus) reporting, notification, and personal protective equipment requirements. The new rule took effect immediately and expires on December 2, 2022. (We reported on the prior rule here, which expired on August 4,…

Read More…
Photo of Chris Edison
Jul 21 2022
COVID-19DisabilityHarassment & DiscriminationHiringSafety and Health  

EEOC updates guidance on COVID-19 screening for employers

On July 12, 2022, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) updated its technical assistance guidance regarding COVID-19 (coronavirus) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). These FAQs scale back the agency’s approval of mandatory COVID-19 screening measures and clarify several other COVID-19 related issues. Viral screening tests and “business necessity: The EEOC now says…

Read More…