Labor & Employment Environmental

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Environmental, Health & Safety – What to Watch in 2016

To round out our series on industry and legal outlooks for 2016, I have compiled some of the many things for manufacturers to be aware of in the Environmental Health & Safety world for 2016....more

Litigating Environmental Whistleblower Claims Under OSHA Procedures

The federal government is allocating more time and resources to whistleblower programs. Now, more than ever, companies need to take steps to minimize exposure to whistleblower claims. When a whistleblower case is filed, it...more

DOJ shifts enforcement of worker safety violations to Environmental Crimes Section

Deputy Attorney General Sally Quillian Yates announced in a December 17 memo that the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Labor (DOL) are making a renewed commitment “to utilize criminal prosecution as an...more

OSHA and DOJ to Join Forces on Safety Violations/Penalties to Increase

Employers that violate safety-related laws are likely to face more aggressive enforcement and steeper penalties in the future under new legislation allowing the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (“OSHA”) to increase...more

OSHA Extends Process Safety Management Standard Compliance Date for Bulk Chemical Distributors

OSHA has come full circle…almost. In a December, 2015 revised interim enforcement memorandum, the agency indicated it will not enforce the Process Safety Management (PSM) Standard for “highly hazardous chemicals” (HHC)...more

News from the Vermont Statehouse - An analysis from DRM's Government & Public Affairs Team - January 2016 #1

Labor Commissioner Proposes Independent Contractor Legislation - Few issues have proven to be as perennially vexing to the legislature as the definition of “independent contractor.” Legislators hear repeated complaints...more

New DOJ and DOL Initiative Marries Environmental Crimes with Worker Safety Violations

The last quarter of 2015 was marked by an ever-increasing drumbeat of employee and union concern over what many viewed as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (“OSHA’s”) anemic enforcement capability. The...more

Energy Newsletter - December 2015

Guaranteed Sunshine: Performance and Testing of Solar Power Projects - This article is the third of three articles on solar power projects and discusses testing and performance guarantees in the context of engineering,...more

The US Departments of Justice and Labor Announce Expansion of Worker Endangerment Initiative

Just in time for the holidays, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Department of Labor (DOL) announced a new plan to prosecute crimes that put workers’ health and lives at risk. As explained in the December 17, 2015 press...more

ERISA Fiduciaries May Factor Climate Change Issues Into Economic Analysis of Investments

New guidance from the US Department of Labor (“DOL”) clarifies the role of environmental, social and governance issues (referred to as “ESG factors”) in investment decisions by ERISA fiduciaries. ERISA Interpretive Bulletin...more

DOJ Redoubles Efforts to Prosecute Workplace Violations as Environmental Crimes

Reporting that 13 workers in America die each day on the job due to injuries and 150 workers succumb to exposure to carcinogens and other toxic and hazardous substances while working, the United States Department of Justice...more

Criminal Prosecutions and Workplace Safety

On September 15, 2015, we wrote an OSHA Bulletin that summarized a memorandum issued by Deputy Attorney General Yates. You can read the Bulletin here. On December 17, 2015, Yates issued another memorandum that will impact all...more

U.S. Department of Justice Expands Worker Endangerment Initiative

On December 17, 2015, Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates issued a memorandum to all 93 U.S. Attorneys urging federal prosecutors to work with the Department of Justice Environment and Natural Resource Division (ENRD) to...more

Congress breathes new life into expired tax provisions and adopts other changes

Permanence for R&D credit, small business expensing and other popular tax provisions - The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016, or as it is more commonly known, the "Omnibus," does more than just fund the federal...more

New DOJ Prosecutorial Initiative Blends Environmental and Worker Safety

Companies with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) citations may face criminal charges going beyond those allowed under the OSHA statute, under a new Worker Endangerment Initiative and Memorandum of...more

EPA Launches Pesticide Worker Protection Dashboard

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently launched a new Pesticide Worker Protection Dashboard (Dashboard). EPA states this Dashboard is “focused on the universe of agricultural operations regulated and farm...more

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House provides a high-level overview of recent activity at the Maine State House. Legislative Council Meets in Advance of 2016 Second Regular Session - Maine’s Legislative...more

IRSST Publishes Best Practices Guidance for Nanomaterial Risk Management in the Workplace

On December 11, 2015, the Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail (IRSST), a leading occupational health and safety research center in Canada, published the second edition of its Best Practices...more

Wrap-Up of Federal and State Chemical Regulatory Developments, December 2015.

EPA Issues Final Rule Adding 1-Bromopropane To EPCRA Section 313 List: On November 23, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a final rule adding 1-bromopropane to the list of toxic chemicals subject to...more

HCS: OSHA Issues Letter of Interpretation on Import/Export Labels for Hazard Communication Standard (HCS 2012)

On November 23, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a Letter of Interpretation (LOI) on labeling packages for import and export. The LOI discusses labeling...more

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House provides a high-level overview of recent activity at the Maine State House. Oversight Committee’s Investigation into Good Will-Hinckley Hiring Controversy Concludes - On...more

Asbestos: the French State Council (“Conseil d’Etat”) holds the State liable when an employer is deemed responsible for...

On the 9th of November 2015, the French State Council (“Conseil d’Etat”) admitted for the first time the possibility for an employer held liable on the grounds of inexcusable fault to take action against the State so as to be...more

Substantial OSHA Penalty Increases Are Coming

OSHA penalties are going up. EPA’s penalties are going up, too. However, while EPA penalties have been going up modestly every four years to take inflation into account, OSHA penalties have not increased in 25 years. Maximum...more

Previously-Exempt Retailers Now Subject to PSM Standard

To help prevent or minimize unexpected releases of highly hazardous chemicals, OSHA requires employers to implement its process safety management (PSM) standard. Under the PSM standard, employers gather information, analyze...more

Trans-Pacific Partnership Publicly Released, Approval is Next Hurdle

One month after announcing the conclusion of negotiations, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) today released the full text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP). The TPP’s 12 partner...more

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