Health Employment And Labor labor and employment law for the healthcare industry

Tag Archives: OSHA

Implications of the Trump Administration for Transgender Workers

How will the Trump administration handle discrimination cases involving transgender employees? The EEOC’s pursuit of a sex discrimination claim on behalf of Aimee Stephens, a transgender woman who was terminated by a Michigan funeral home for expressing her intention to dress in conformance with her gender identity, will be an early indicator.

In a brief filed with the Sixth Circuit on January 26, 2017, Stephens argues that the interests of transgender individuals will not be adequately represented under the new administration. Under the Obama administration, the EEOC sued Stephens’ former employer, R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes, for sex discrimination … Continue Reading

OSHA Fines Home Health Care Provider for Failing to Protect Employee from Workplace Assault

Denise Dadika

Denise Dadika

In a matter highlighting the importance of workplace violence prevention programs, Epic Health Services, a national home health care provider, was recently issued a citation and fine by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) for failing to protect its employees from the dangers of workplace violence. The fine and citation stemmed from a complaint by one of Epic’s nurses, who alleged she was sexually assaulted by a client while providing services in the client’s home.

After an investigation, OSHA determined that the nurse was subjected to physical and sexual assault. The investigation also revealed that Epic had … Continue Reading

DC OHR Publishes Best Practices Guide Regarding Transgender Workers

The District of Columbia Office of Human Rights recently partnered with the National LGBTQ Task Force to publish a resource guide, “Valuing Transgender Applicants & Employees: A Best Practices Guide for Employers” (the “Guide”), designed to support employers in creating workplace and hiring policies that prevent discrimination against transgender and gender-nonconforming individuals. The guide is meant to lay the framework for building a culture of inclusion in the workplace that goes beyond legal obligations.

The suggested best practices include ensuring managers and coworkers use the names and pronouns preferred by transgender employees, maintaining the confidentiality of employees’ gender … Continue Reading

Respiratory Protection Essentials: Preparing Health Care Employees for the Next Pandemic

Valerie N. Butera

Valerie N. Butera

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) recognizes that the health care industry is among the most dangerous in the United States (see related story).  Health care employees are more likely to be exposed to various infectious respiratory illnesses spread through airborne and droplet routes, such as tuberculosis, influenza, and pandemics.  Employees who work in or near areas where there are patients suspected of having a disease that can be spread by airborne transmission should be using proper respiratory protection to minimize exposure of airborne diseases.

In March 2016, the National Institute for Occupational Safety … Continue Reading

Five Steps Toward Boosting Employee Safety and Avoiding OSHA Citations

Our colleague Valerie Butera recently authored Epstein Becker Green’s March issue of Take 5 in which she outlines actionable steps that employers can take to improve safety in the workplaceand avoid costly OSHA citations.

Following is an excerpt:Take 5 banner

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) was created by Congress to ensure safe and healthful working conditions for employees. OSHA establishes standards and provides training and compliance assistance. It also enforces its standards with investigations and citations.

Although it’s impossible for employers to mitigate against every conceivable hazard in the workplace, there are five critical steps that every employer should take … Continue Reading

OSHA and NLRB Agreement Opens New Door To Whistleblower Claims

On Epstein Becker Green’s OSHA Law Update blog, Eric Conn reviews the agreement between the NLRB and OSHA, which allows employees to file out-of-date safety related whistleblower claims to be filed with the NLRB.

Following is an excerpt from the blog post:

On May 21, 2014, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) published a memorandum discussing a new agreement between NLRB and OSHA regarding a backdoor route for employees to file safety related whistleblower claims that are too stale to be filed with OSHA. The NLRB memo directs OSHA representatives to “notify all complainants who file an untimely [OSHA] … Continue Reading

OSHA’s Hospital Worker and Patient Safety Guidance

On Epstein Becker Green’s OSHA Law Update blog, Eric Conn reviews an article about OSHA’s web-based “Worker Safety in Hospitals” guidance.  The article is entitled “Hospitals’ Heavy Lifting: Understanding OSHA’s New Hospital Worker and Patient Safety Guidance” and is co-authored by our colleagues Eric Conn, James Frank, and Serra Schlanger.

Following is an excerpt from the blog post:

The article, published in AHLA’s Spring 2014 Labor & Employment publication, summarizes OSHA’s new web-based “Worker Safety in Hospitals” guidance, explains how the guidance relates to OSHA’s existing regulatory framework, and details what OSHA considers necessary … Continue Reading

Webinar, April 8: OSHA’s Temporary Worker Initiative

Our colleague Eric Conn, Chair of Epstein Becker Green’s OSHA Practice Group, will present a complimentary webinar on April 8, at 1:00 p.m. EDT: OSHA’s Temporary Worker Initiative. Topics include enforcement issues and data related to this work relationship, and recommendations and strategies for managing safety and health issues related to a temporary workforce.

Companies are expected to employ many more temporary workers as the Affordable Care Act is implemented, particularly when the “Employer Mandate” kicks in, which will require employers with 50 or more workers to provide affordable coverage to employees who work at least 30 hours per … Continue Reading

Impact of the Government Shutdown on OSHA

The OSHA Law Update blog has an update on the government shutdown: “OSHA Shutdown – Government Shutdown Strips OSHA to a Skeleton Crew,” by Casey Cosentino and Eric Conn of Epstein Becker Green.

Following is an excerpt:

The federal government shut down all but essential operations on October 1, 2013, after Congress failed to reach an agreement on a budget or a continuing resolution for funding government operations. As a result, OSHA (like most federal agencies) has furloughed more than 90% of its personnel and suspended most of its operations.

Read the full post here.… Continue Reading

OSHA Launches Ergonomics Campaign in Healthcare Industries

Our colleagues’ OSHA Law Update blog has a post we think will be of interest: “OSHA Launches Ergonomics Campaign in Healthcare Industries,” by Eric J. Conn, Head of Epstein Becker Green’s OSHA Practice Group.

Following is an excerpt:

OSHA recently announced a campaign to raise awareness about the hazards likely to cause musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) among health care workers responsible for patient care.  Common MSDs suffered in the patient care industry include sprains, strains, soft tissue and back injuries.  These injuries are due in large part to over exertion related to manual patient handling activities, often … Continue Reading

OSHA’s New Enterprise-Wide Approach to Enforcement

Written by: Eric J. Conn and Alexis M. Downs

This week, Washington Legal Foundation published an article regarding OSHA’s New Enterprise-Wide Approach to Enforcement, authored by EBG attorneys Eric J. Conn and Alexis M. Downs. The article expands on a February 2012 post entitled “Enterprise Enforcement: OSHA’s Attack on Employers with Multiple Locations” here on the OSHA Law Update Blog.

The gist of the article and the prior blog post is that companies that operate multiple facilities in different locations, such as national retail and grocery chains, grain cooperatives, large national nursing and medical care organization manufacturers, hotel … Continue Reading

Complimentary Seminar/Webinar – Preparing for and Managing an OSHA Workplace Safety & Health Inspection

Join us Wednesday, June 20, 2012 at 9:00 am Eastern either by Webinar or in person for a complimentary briefing presented by Epstein Becker Green attorneys Eric J. Conn and Amanda R. Strainis-Walker of the Firm’s national OSHA Practice Group.

The briefing will cover actions that employers can take now to prepare their workplaces and workforce for unexpected visits from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), review employers’ and employees’ rights during an OSHA inspection, and discuss inspection strategies to ensure the best possible outcome from an inspection.  Topics to be covered include:

  • OSHA’s current philosophy of enhanced
Continue Reading

Workplace Violence Policies and Background Checks Are Essential Components of a Prevention Plan

Sadly, workplace violence continues to be a topic that many organizations face, especially those in the health care industry.  Indeed, as the news reports serve to remind us all, employees and non-employees often take out their aggression and violent acts within the workplace.  As the recent attacks at hospitals in Pittsburgh and in Washington, D.C. demonstrate, there remains a high rate of fatal and nonfatal assaults and violent acts committed within the workplace.  One of the struggles that employers face is trying to prevent violent conduct by third-party non employees that are simply beyond the control of the employer. 

 OSHA Continue Reading

OSHA Launches New Nursing Home National Emphasis Program

By Julia E. Lloyd and Eric J. Conn

Last week, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) launched a new National Emphasis Program targeting Nursing Homes and Residential Care facilities (“Nursing Home NEP”).  In an accompanying Press Release, OSHA announced that the Nursing Home NEP aims to protect workers from safety and health hazards “common in medical industries.”  Effective upon its announcement and for a three-year period thereafter, the NEP focuses on ergonomic hazards (e.g., strains and sprains from patient  handling), exposure to bloodborne pathogens (e.g., needlestick injuries), workplace violence (e.g., assaults by patients or … Continue Reading

Text Free Zone: OSHA’s Distracted Driving Initiative Kicks Into Gear

By Casey M. Cosentino and Eric J. Conn

“Texting while driving” is an epidemic in America, which has prompted forty-two states and the District of Columbia to ban (completely or partially) this conduct for drivers.  Here’s a map of the U.S. states that have enacted some ban on texting while driving.  Studies suggest that texting while driving distracts drivers’ cognitive focus and removes their eyes from the road and hands from the wheel.  It is not surprising, therefore, that distracted driving is attributed with sixteen percent (16%) of all traffic fatalities in 2009.

The consequences of texting while … Continue Reading

2012 HEAL Briefings for Healthcare and Wellness Executive and HR Professionals – EBG Atlanta Office

A monthly breakfast law briefing and networking series specifically  designed for health care and wellness company executives and human resources professionals.  This informative series will address labor and employment issues during these challenging times and offer solutions.

For additional information and to register,  contact Carla Llarena or by tel: (404) 869-5363.

February 8, 2012 
Today’s OSHA: What Healthcare Companies and Practices Need to Know

March 14, 2012
It Can Hurt to Ask: TMI in the Digital Age
(Focusing on Social Media & Background Checks)

April 11, 2012
Best Practices to Avoid Wage and Hour Liability

May 9, 2012
What You Continue Reading