As California braces for wildfire season, the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health approved an emergency regulation on July 30, 2019, that requires California employers to monitor air quality for particle pollution, and reduce workers exposure to the potential harmful pollutants from wildfire smoke.
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Last August, we reported on OSHA’s proposed rulemaking regarding electronic submissions of workplace injuries and illnesses in our blog entitled, “OSHA Issues Proposed Rule Regarding Electronic Submission Requirements.” OSHA has since issued a final rule which became effective on February 25, 2019.  The new rule rescinds the requirement that employers with 250 or more employees, or employers in certain high-hazard industries, electronically submit information from OSHA Form 300 (Log of Work-Related Injuries or Illnesses) and OSHA Form 301 (Injury and Illness Incident Report).
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A memorandum recently released by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has clarified the agency’s position on whether safety incentive programs and post-accident drug testing would be considered retaliatory pursuant to its controversial recordkeeping rule published on May 12, 2016.  This rule prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who report work-related injuries or instituting procedures that could chill employees from reporting work-related injuries.
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Federal employees awoke Tuesday morning to discover that the government had shut down for the first time in 17 years after Congress failed to agree on a new budget or extend the current one in a session that went past midnight on Monday.  As a result, more than 800,000 workers across the country have been immediately furloughed, while approximately a million more will report to work without pay to perform operations that have been designated as essential. The Department of Labor and related agencies, including the National Labor Relations Board and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, will maintain only a skeletal staff during the shutdown to perform tasks “involving the safety of human life or protection of property.”  These offices will continue to accept and docket administrative filings, but all other activities will be suspended until a budget or continuing resolution is passed by Congress.  As such, employers will enjoy a brief respite from the pressure of government investigations and inspections.


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