Employment Law Blog

News, trends and analysis in employment law and HR

Showing posts for: Safety and Health

Photo of Matt Norris
Aug 14 2019
Safety and HealthTermination & Resignation  

Oregon employers may be liable if they retaliate without knowing it

If an employer disciplines or terminates an employee on the advice of a supervisor, without knowing the supervisor is actually retaliating against the employee, the employer can still be liable, ruled the Oregon Supreme Court. Sometimes, the people with authority to make employment decisions don’t really make decisions alone, but instead rely…

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Photo of Matt Norris
Aug 14 2019
Safety and Health  

New app calculates heat index and illness risks for outdoor workers

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) have created a “Heat Safety Tool” app for Android and iPhone to help workers and supervisors calculate the heat index for their worksites and determine risk levels for outdoor workers. The app also includes…

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Photo of Kara Craig
Jul 30 2019
Safety and Health  

Employer can’t blame worker for preventable on-the-job injury

A federal appeals court recently affirmed three citations for serious safety violations following the partial amputation of an employee’s thumb at a poultry processing plant. The company had challenged the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)’s citations in federal court, arguing that the injured employee engaged in unpreventable employee misconduct by violating…

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Photo of Manish Gooneratne
Jul 16 2019
Safety and Health  

Q&A: Keep exit routes clear and unobstructed

Question: How many exit routes should we have? Also, is it okay to temporarily block an exit route?   Answer: Generally, you’ll need to have at least two solid exit routes for your employees and your operation, but more exit routes may be required depending on the number of people onsite and/or the size of…

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Photo of Kara Craig
Jul 01 2019
DisabilityHarassment & DiscriminationSafety and Health  

Employers need objective basis to require fitness-for-duty exam

A federal district court recently ruled that a police department complied with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) when it required a bomb squad technician to undergo a fitness-for-duty exam. Their justification? The city had an objective basis for the fitness-for-duty exam request. In this case, the technician was experiencing hand…

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Photo of Michael Sorensen
Jun 21 2019
Safety and Health  

Wildfire season…are you ready?

As wildfire season approaches, it’s important to understand your obligations if employees want to wear dust masks to try to protect themselves from smoke in the air. Wildfire smoke is a mixture of gases and fine particles from burning trees and other plant material. Smoke can irritate workers’ eyes and respiratory systems,…

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Photo of Karen Davis
Feb 08 2019
Safety and Health  

OSHA launches new inspection initiative based on 2016 data

Employers who reported high injury and illness rates in 2016, or who failed to report at all, will be targeted for inspections by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Site-Specific Targeting The agency announced the directive, “Site-Specific Targeting 2016,” on October 16, 2018. States with their own safety programs, such as…

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Photo of Karen Davis
Feb 08 2019
Safety and Health  

OSHA cites employer after forklift crushes employee during maintenance

A forklift maintenance procedure at a Kansas drywall contractor turned tragic when a hydraulic cylinder in the process of being swapped out fatally crushed an employee. The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently issued a press release announcing that it had cited the company for seven serious safety…

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Photo of Kara Craig
Aug 17 2018
Q&ADisabilityLeave LawsSafety and Health  

Q&A: No FMLA notice required unless employee asks for time off

Question: I have a production employee who says that standing for eight hours a day is causing him pain. He doesn’t want to go on any type of leave and says he’d rather just suffer through it. We are covered by the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). What do I do?
 

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Photo of Kandis Sells
Aug 06 2018
Q&ADisabilityHarassment & DiscriminationSafety and Health  

Q&A: “100-percent healed” return-to-work policy violates ADA

Question: To avoid workplace injuries, we require all employees to be 100-percent healed without any medical restrictions before they return to work after an illness or injury. We think this is an important policy to protect employee safety, but recently heard it might be unlawful discrimination. Is it?

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