On April 1, 2024, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) published its Final Rule clarifying the rights of employees to designate a non-employee representative to be present during workplace inspections. Notably, the designated non-employee representative may “accompany” the OSHA investigator during the physical walkaround portion of the inspection but may not “participate” in the inspection. The Final Rule will become effective May 31, 2024.Continue Reading OSHA Issues Final Rule Clarifying an Employee’s Ability to Have a Non-Employee Representative Present During Inspection

Starting July 1, 2024, California employers across all industries must have a written Workplace Violence Prevention Plan (“WVPP”) in place. As previously reported, the recently enacted SB 553 established this new requirement, along with mandatory employee training, initial and periodic workplace violence hazard inspections, and maintenance of a violent incident log and other related records. On March 18, 2024, California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (“Cal/OSHA”), the agency responsible for enforcing the new law’s requirements, announced the creation of its Cal/OSHA Workplace Violence Prevention Guidance and Resources webpage. The webpage contains guidance and educational materials on the new law and workplace violence prevention, a model WVPP, fact sheets, and other resources for employers and employees. Continue Reading Cal/OSHA Publishes Long-Awaited Guidance and Model Workplace Violence Prevention Plan

In the past few months, California Governor Newsom has signed numerous new employment laws affecting California employers of all sizes. Below is a summary of some of the laws going into effect in 2024.Continue Reading Looking Ahead: New California Employment Laws for 2024

On July 13, 2023, the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) announced the launch of a three-year National Emphasis Program meant to prevent workplace hazards in warehouses, processing facilities, distribution centers, and high-risk retail establishments. OSHA’s announcement explains that warehousing and distribution centers have experienced tremendous growth over the past 10 years, with over 1.9 million people currently employed in the related industries. OSHA also notes that data from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics shows the injury and illness rate for warehousing and distribution centers is higher than the overall rate for private industry.Continue Reading OSHA’s New National Emphasis Program Aimed at Preventing Warehouse Injury and Heat Hazards and Its Possible Implications on California

On Friday, January 21, 2022, Judge Jeffrey V. Brown of the Southern District of Texas issued a nation-wide injunction, blocking enforcement of President Biden’s Executive Order 14043. Executive Order 14043 requires vaccination for COVID-19 for all federal workers without qualifying medical or religious exemptions. The mandate, issued in September, was one of the first and most successful vaccination requirements from the Biden administration.
Continue Reading Federal Judge in Texas Blocks Enforcement of Vaccine Mandate for Federal Workers

On December 22, 2021, the California Department of Public Health (“CDPH”) issued an order requiring workers in health care facilities to receive booster vaccinations to help combat COVID-19. Health care workers must receive the booster vaccine by February 1, 2022.
Continue Reading California Department of Public Health Requires Health Care Workers to Receive the Booster Vaccine by February 1, 2022

On December 17, 2021, in a “Friday Night Surprise” the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals lifted the Stay on the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS).  This seminal ETS applies to employers with 100 or more employees and requires that employees be either (1) vaccinated; or (2) weekly tested and fully masked if unvaccinated.  While it is anticipated that the Supreme Court will ultimately decide whether the ETS stands, OSHA has already stated that they will begin enforcement of the ETS in January 2022.  Specifically, OSHA will enforce all requirements except testing for unvaccinated employees beginning January 10, 2022, and enforcement related to testing will begin February 9, 2022.
Continue Reading OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard Survival Guide

On November 4, 2021, in response to President Biden’s Executive Order, the Department of Labor, through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”), issued an Emergency Temporary Standard (“ETS”).  You can read our prior article about the ETS here.  Generally, the ETS mandates all employers with 100 or more employees to require employees be vaccinated against COVID-19 or undergo weekly testing.  The ETS was immediately halted when the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued a temporary stay.  Then, numerous lawsuits were filed across the nation, and actions were pending in each of the other Circuit Courts.  The Sixth Circuit “won” the multidistrict lottery, and was selected to hear the combined challenges, including OSHA’s emergency motion to dissolve the stay.  You can read our prior article about the temporary stay here.
Continue Reading Sixth Circuit Reinstates OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standard for Private Employers Mandating COVID-19 Vaccinations or Weekly Testing

On December 6, 2021, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a vaccine mandate which requires that all private sector employees who work in a workplace in the presence of another worker, or who interact with a member of the public, be vaccinated by December 27, 2021.  The mandate applies to approximately 184,000 businesses in the City.  It extends a vaccine mandate to those employees who were not previously covered by the “Key to NYC” vaccination requirements.  Accordingly, private sector employees who report to work in person or interact with the public will need to be vaccinated by December 27.
Continue Reading New York City Requires Private Sector Employees to Be Vaccinated by December 27