On March 22, 2021, Marty Walsh, the two-term Boston mayor, was confirmed as the Labor Secretary by the United States Senate in a 68-29 vote.  He becomes the first union leader to run the Department of Labor in over four decades. Workplace safety will be one area that we can expect to undergo significant change under Walsh. 
Continue Reading DOL and OSHA: Agency Updates

In response to the ongoing spread of COVID-19 in California, Governor Gavin Newsom signed AB 685.  In short, AB 685 imposes uniform notice requirements on California employers dealing with a potential COVID-19 exposure or outbreak, requires employers to maintain records of COVID-19 notices, and empowers the Division of Occupational Health and Safety to close down worksites where the risk of exposure to COVID-19 constitutes an imminent hazard to employees.
Continue Reading California’s New COVID-19 Notice And Record-Keeping Requirements

Virginia became the first state in the country to pass a workplace safety standard specific to COVID-19 on July 15.  It includes hazard assessment, communication and training requirements, depending on the types of tasks employees perform at work.
Continue Reading Virginia Passes First-in-the-Nation COVID-19 Safety Standard – What it Means for Your Workplace

On May 1, 2020, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released an OSHA Alert for restaurants and beverage service businesses providing curbside and takeout service during the pandemic.  This Alert is one in a series of industry-specific alerts that OSHA has published, and will continue to publish, to assist and educate businesses that will re-open (or that continued to operate), and which recommends certain measures to protect employees and patrons during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Continue Reading OSHA Releases COVID-19 Safety Guidance for Restaurants Offering Takeout or Curbside Pickup

The Centers for Disease Control and Occupational Safety and Health Administration collaborated to release new guidance for employers in the meat processing industry on April 26. OSHA and the CDC noted several unique facets of meat processing work that exposed workers to increased likelihood of COVID-19 transmission at work, including close contact, the duration of the close contact, shared tools and surfaces and the frequency of ride-sharing and community-based interactions among employees.
Continue Reading CDC, OSHA Release Workplace Safety Guidance for Meat Processing Employers

Although the World Health Organization has declared the coronavirus outbreak a “public health emergency of international concern,” it has not yet declared the outbreak as a pandemic. Nevertheless, the emergence of the latest coronavirus is an opportunity for employers, as it reminds them to consider policies and procedures related to pandemic planning.
Continue Reading Coronavirus: A Reminder for Employers Without a Pandemic Plan

California Labor Code §2802 requires employers to reimburse employees for all “necessary expenditures” incurred by an employee in the discharge of his or her duties. Business travel expenses fall into this category, as do uniforms, and even the portion of personal cell phone costs that can be attributed to business use.
Continue Reading Safety Footwear: Reimbursement Obligation for Restaurants in California?

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.
Continue Reading California Employers Must Take Steps To Protect Workers From Wildfire Smoke