Archives: OSHA

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Federal Agencies Close As Shutdown Begins

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 … Continue Reading

New OSHA Guidance Authorizes Union Participation During Inspections

In a departure from its previous guidance, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) recently released an interpretation letter that could potentially open the door to union organizing activity on employer property during OSHA inspections.  The new guidance authorizes non-unionized employees to select union agents as representatives and has been widely interpreted by unions to … Continue Reading

OSHA Issues Additional Guidance On Employer Safety Incentives Policies

On March 12, 2012, OSHA issued a memorandum expanding on specific policies and practices that OSHA asserts can discourage employees from reporting workplace injuries or illnesses, and thus, violate the Occupational Safety and Health Act (“OSH Act” or “Act”) and/or the Federal Railroad Safety Act (“FRSA”).  Intended as guidance to both field compliance officers and … Continue Reading

Watch List 2011 – Key Labor and Employment Regulations And Legislation

The Obama Administration has addressed labor and employment issues aggressively over the past two years.  The Department of Labor, under President Obama’s direction, has articulated its “Plan/Prevent/Protect” agenda and its focus on openness and transparency in labor practices.  As a result of the steps taken by the Obama Administration in 2010, the new Republican-dominated Congress … Continue Reading

OSHA Declares Texting While Driving A Workplace Hazard

Recently, there has been a large amount of public commentary regarding the dangers of distracted driving, including texting while driving.  The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which regulates workplace safety, has now officially declared texting while driving to be a workplace hazard and an OSHA violation.  In its recent open letter to employers, OSHA … Continue Reading

ALJ’s Decision in Employer’s Favor Does Not Preclude Employee’s New Sarbanes-Oxley Lawsuit in Federal Court

As a recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit makes clear, the fact that an employer prevailed against an employee’s Sarbanes-Oxley claim in an administrative proceeding cannot be used to bar a new trial of the claim in federal court.  The U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland dismissed … Continue Reading

Michaels Confirmed As New Head Of OSHA

Dr. David Michaels was confirmed and sworn in on December 9 as Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA.  Before coming to OSHA, Dr. Michaels was a professor and interim chair at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services’ Department of Environmental and Occupational Health.… Continue Reading

OSHA Vows To Be “Back In The Enforcement Business”

At the recent AFL-CIO Constitutional Convention, Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis declared that the Department of Labor (DOL) is “back in the enforcement business.”  The DOL chief vowed to increase the DOL’s workplace enforcement of the nation’s labor laws because vigorous enforcement “is not only our responsibility, it’s our moral obligation.”… Continue Reading

H1N1 Update

H1N1 flu has become as widespread as feared.  For the period of August 30 to October 24, 2009, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports 12,466 confirmed U.S. H1N1 hospitalizations and 530 confirmed deaths.  The CDC attributes 1339 deaths to H1N1 since the outbreak began in the Spring.  The Countries that are experiencing the worst … Continue Reading

Administrative Law Task Force

The Administrative Task Force plays a critical role in keeping our OSHA practice current and vibrant.  We follow developments daily and we work together to analyze the impact that proposed and actual changes will have on the law in general and specifically on our client’s industries. Employers today face an unprecedented range of workplace safety … Continue Reading