Workplace Safety and Health Law Blog | Fisher & Phillips LLP
News, commentary and legal updates from Fisher & Phillips attorneys who
assist employers with workplace safety and health matters.

OCTOBER 23, 2014 EBOLA UPDATE

October 24, 2014 08:53
by Howard Mavity
  Almost one thousand people attended Thursday’s webinar on Ebola in the workplace.  Our platform presented technical challenges, and we appreciated the patience of our listeners.  About 700 are scheduled for Friday. I tend to agree with our President’s statement that he is “cautiously more optimistic” that we may be turning the corner in the fight against Ebola.  Both of the Dallas nurses’ conditions have been upgraded, and it appears that t...
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Wednesday Workplace Ebola Update

October 22, 2014 08:18
by Howard Mavity
The addition of monitoring efforts of West African travelers entering the U.S. after they leave the airport may relieve some people but concern others.  From a labor lawyer's perspective, this approach continues the CDC's releuctance to isolate individuals.  If the CDC continues this approach, it becomes more legally risky for an employer to refuse to let such a person return to work absent strong objective concern.  See the excellent Reuter's piece below: UPDATE 4-U.S. tightens ...
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Today's Workplace Ebola Update

October 20, 2014 14:40
by Howard Mavity
Fact Sheet - New CDC Guidance For Healthcare Workers - No Skin! For Immediate Release: Monday, October 20, 2014Contact: Media Relations (404) 639-3286 Content embargoed until 1:00 p.m. ET, July 24, 2014 --> Tightened Guidance for U.S. Healthcare Workers on Personal Protective Equipment for Ebola http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2014/fs1020-ebola-personal-protective-equipment.html Download PDF The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is tightening previous infection co...
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Test Your Recordkeeping Skills

October 20, 2014 04:53
by Tiffani Casey
There has been significant focus on recordkeeping since OSHA announced changes to the list of industries that are exempt from the requirement to routinely keep OSHA injury and illness records in September. In light of this focus and the new changes, now is a good time to check your recordkeeping prowess (whether you are new to the list or not) before the new requirements go into effect on January 1, 2015. Deciding what injuries or illnesses get recorded on the OSHA 300 log, and then properly r...
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Weekend Workplace Ebola Update - October 19

October 19, 2014 10:16
by Howard Mavity
In addition to my own blogging and interviews, Fisher & Phillips is developing more resources to continually update and assist employers in responding to challenges in the workplace caused by Ebola or the fears that  the disease engenders.  Today, however, we'll again use the F & P Workplace Safety Blog. First, for backgound, please review my two blogs this weekend; the first which provides an overview(http://www.workplacesafetyandhealthlaw.com/post/2014/10/17/Ebola-in-the-Wor...
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Ebola in the Workplace Update

October 17, 2014 00:44
by Howard Mavity
I’ve been dealing with the employment aspects of infectious disease scares since 1984 when AIDS first reared its evil head.  Every permutation of the flu, be it avian or swine, has had the same effect on the public, the government, and business.  We get to a stage where we realize that there is a lot that we don’t know and it scares us.  This is the legally dangerous stage where organizations make knee-jerk decisions that are not based on objective individualized analy...
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Staying Calm and Prepared for Ebola Issues

October 13, 2014 07:21
by Howard Mavity
I remember the near hysteria and the lack of clear workplace and public health guidance when I began receiving questions about responding to AIDS in the workplace in 1984.  If you have forgotten how people reacted, watch the excellent Dallas Buyers Club.We’re in a similar situation with Ebola.  We don’t yet know enough about the transmission and prevention of Ebola to develop the detailed black-and-white procedures that give us a real or imagined sense of security.  An...
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The FMLA’s Confidentiality Provisions Trump OSHA’s Recordkeeping Requirements

October 8, 2014 05:37
by Mark Gomsak
In a recent and somewhat surprising decision, the Occupational Safety & Health Review Commission held that the confidentiality provisions of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) supersede OSHA’s recordkeeping requirements.  In Sec’y of Labor v. USPS, OSHRC, No. 08-1547 (9/29/14), OSHA cited the United States Postal Service (USPS) for failing to report employee injuries disclosed in FMLA papers.  In this case, an employee submitted to her employer an FMLA leave appl...
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My Real Worries about OSHA’s Proposed Final Recordkeeping Rule

September 20, 2014 09:42
by Howard Mavity
Let’s be honest.  Many of us object to any expansion of OSHA workplace injury recordkeeping because it’s burdensome, doesn’t help develop a safety culture, and we expect the Administration to misuse the data.  That said, there are some good aspects of OSHA’s proposed Final Rule, and some of the worry is unfounded. Auto Dealers Should Relax. Our first client back in the 1940s was an auto dealer, so we at Fisher & Phillips are fond of and track the...

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