News & Analysis as of

Employment Law - May 2015 #2

Coming Soon to an In-Box Near You: An EEOC Charge - Why it matters: Employers, take note: the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has initiated the rollout of its electronic complaint program, the first...more

OSHA Announces New Rules for Confined Spaces (Effective August 3, 2015)

On May 4, 2015, the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published a new final rule in the Federal Register intended to increase protection for construction workers in confined spaces (e.g.,...more

OSHA Issues New Confined Spaces in Construction Standard

OSHA has issued its long-awaited standard on confined spaces in construction. The new rule will take effect on August 3, 2015. Previously, construction contractors only had to comply with minimal training requirements when it...more

OSHA Announces Final Rule for Confined Spaces in Construction

On May 1, 2015, Dr. David Michaels, the head of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and Deputy Secretary of Labor Christopher P. Lu announced the issuance of OSHA’s long-awaited Confined Spaces in...more

OSHRC Rules Process Safety Violations NOT Barred By OSHA’s Six Month Statute of Limitations

In a decision last week, the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHRC) found that the six month statute of limitations for OSHA to cite an employer does not apply to Process Safety Management (PSM) violations...more

Ninth Circuit Overturns Summary Judgment Issued in Favor of Employer in Retaliation Case

Lukov v. Schindler Elevator Corp., No. 12-17695 (February 24, 2015): In an unpublished decision, the Ninth Circuit recently overturned summary judgment granted to an employer on the plaintiff’s retaliation claims. William...more

OSHA Announces Request for Information on Communication Tower Safety

On April 15, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published in the Federal Register a Request for Information (RFI) on Communication Tower Safety. The agency requests that the communication tower industry...more

Immediate Action Required: Employers With Outdoor Workers Need to Update Their Heat Injury Illness Programs

This week, the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board confirmed that new major changes to the state's heat illness prevention regulations will take effect on May 1, 2015. In response to the new regulations,...more

Recent OSHA Enforcement Actions – Implications for Manufacturers

A good way to get a sense of OSHA’s priorities and focus is to look at the citations it’s recently issued. So this post will highlight just a few of the recent enforcement actions by OSHA Region 1 (MA, CT, VT, NH and ME)....more

Are you driving a defective forklift at work?

Freight shipping employees in Illinois operate tens of thousands of forklifts every day. According to a recent report released by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, a well-known shipping company exposed...more

Is your Illinois company protecting you against a trenching injury?

Trenching is an important part of the construction industry. Unfortunately, it is also associated with an elevated rate of injury and death on the job....more

The Rights of an Employee to Object to Working in an Unsafe Situation

In this Newsletter: OSHA - NLRA - State Law & Possible Federal Law Preemption - Conclusion - Excerpt from OSHA: The Occupational and Safety Health Act, 29 U.S.C. § 651 et seq.,...more

Illinois company’s safety violations contributed to worker’s death

A 21-year-old auto manufacturing operator was crushed to death in 2014 because of safety violations at an Illinois supply plant, according to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration....more

Workplace Violence: Keeping Employees Safe

Cartoonists shot at work in Paris. Teachers killed while trying to protect their students in Newtown, Connecticut. A CEO shot in the head and stomach by a recently demoted employee in Illinois. News reports are filled with...more

Toxins and the workplace: What you should know

Many Illinois employees face considerable health risks from toxins in the workplace. Common workplace toxins, including solvents, pesticides, fuels and chemical reagents, can cause lasting physical damage....more

OSHA Hands Down Record Award Under Federal Railroad Safety Act

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) gave a MTA Metro-North railroad employee a record award under the Federal Railroad Safety Act after they suffered an injury in 2011. The $250,000 in punitive damages...more

Fighting The Flu - Don't Forget To Wash Your Hands!

You can’t open the newspaper, turn on the television, or visit a website without seeing some alarming statistic about the flu. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the flu is already “widespread”...more

OSHA Ups the Ante: Changes to Your Injury Reporting Obligations in 2015

The Occupational Safety and Hazard Administration ("OSHA") is the federal agency within the Department of Labor that is tasked with reducing workplace hazards and implementing worker health and safety protections. To that...more

Expect the Best, Prepare for the Worst: OSHA Enforcement Looms Over Black Friday

“Black Friday” is the day after Thanksgiving and considered by many to be the start of the holiday shopping season. In recent times, the term “Black Friday” has been associated with the concept that retailers’ shift from...more

Will Ebola Drive a New OSHA Infectious Disease Standard?

If asked, most safety directors, human resource professionals and others involved regularly with OSHA would probably cite construction as the industry most associated with employee injury and illness. Yet, according to OSHA...more

OSHA Strengthens Local Emphasis on Hazardous Chemical Compliance

Omaha Area Director of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently announced a brand-new local emphasis program that will introduce regular health inspections at funeral homes, product and chemical...more

OSHA Launches National Dialogue to Update Hazardous Substance Standards

The Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently launched a national dialogue aimed at revising its permissible exposure limits (PELs) to more effectively prevent the adverse effects of...more

OSHA Releases Top Ten Violations List

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently released its list of the top ten most frequently cited safety violations for fiscal year 2014, which concluded on September 30....more

Failing to correct hazards, pay OSHA fines gets U.S. business owner taken into custody

An Illinois business owner has been taken into custody after his business failed to correct serious trenching hazards and pay Occupational Safety and Health Administration penalties. The case illustrates the personal risk to...more

OSHA Issues Guidance to Employers Regarding Protection of Workers from Ebola Virus

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) launched a new web page yesterday to assist employers with efforts to inform and protect their workers from the Ebola virus. The web page provides employers with a...more

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