Category Archives: Legislative News

How much paid leave can employees take?

How much paid leave can employees take?

Many Americans affected by the coronavirus outbreak will benefit from new workplace protections and relief offered by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. If you work for a private employer with fewer than 500 employees and are in one of the situations described below, you may be eligible for paid sick leave and/or paid family […]

Replacement WOTUS rule takes effect June 22nd

Replacement WOTUS rule takes effect June 22nd

The new Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule, issued by the U.S. EPA and Army Corps of Engineers in January as a replacement for the 2015 rule, was published in the Federal Register April 21st which makes it effective on June 22nd. The 2015 rule was strongly opposed by the IAAP and other industry groups […]

“The sound of silence” – What mine operators should expect from MSHA during pandemic

“The sound of silence” – What mine operators should expect from MSHA during pandemic

On the front lines with Fisher Phillips by Christopher G Peterson Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, most mine operators have been waiting for MSHA to release some health and safety guidance regarding the outbreak and how to safeguard the safety and health of their miners. After a protracted period of silence, on its […]

U.S. DOL announces OSHA interim enforcement response plan during coronavirus pandemic

U.S. DOL announces OSHA interim enforcement response plan during coronavirus pandemic

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently announced an interim enforcement response plan for the coronavirus pandemic. The response plan provides instructions and guidance to OSHA Area Offices and compliance safety and health officers (CSHOs) for handling coronavirus-related complaints, referrals, and severe illness reports. During the coronavirus […]

Interim guidance on Executive Order 202.16

Interim guidance on Executive Order 202.16

Essential businesses, as well as state and local government agencies and authorities, must procure, fashion or otherwise obtain face coverings and provide such coverings to employees who directly interact with the public during the course of their work at no-cost to the employee. Businesses are deemed essential by the Empire State Development Corporation (ESD), pursuant […]

New OSHA COVID-19 recordability guidance provides necessary clarification for contractors, says ABC

New OSHA COVID-19 recordability guidance provides necessary clarification for contractors, says ABC

WASHINGTON, DC — Associated Builders and Contractors Vice President of Health, Safety, Environment and Workforce Development Greg Sizemore recently issued the following statement on the release of Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s April 10 guidance on recording cases of COVID-19: “ABC is pleased OSHA has clarified its position regarding the recordability of COVID-19 cases under […]

To keep OSHA logs, or not to keep OSHA logs … that’s the question

To keep OSHA logs, or not to keep OSHA logs … that’s the question

On the front lines with Fisher Phillips by Kristin White and Chantell Foley The Occupational Safety and Health Act (“OSH Act”) requires covered employers to meet several reporting requirements to prove compliance. At this time of the year, many covered employers have posted (or should have posted) OSHA Form 300A for injuries and illnesses that […]

Daily update from AGC of America – April 1

Daily update from AGC of America – April 1

The U.S. Department of Labor released a temporary rule guiding how American workers and employers can use the new Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act, which were included in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. The department’s Wage and Hour Division posted the temporary rule issuing regulations pursuant […]

EPA ends enforcement during Novel Coronavirus outbreak

EPA ends enforcement during Novel Coronavirus outbreak

Source: EHS Today Temporary policy addresses enforcement discretion for companies Stefanie Valentic Mar 27, 2020 Companies encountering civil violations during the COVID-19 outbreak should not expect penalties for noncompliance, according to new temporary guidance the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released. The agency is suspending its enforcement policies for civil violations indefinitely, citing lack […]

Gov’t agencies announce plan to implement Coronavirus-related paid leave / tax credits

Gov’t agencies announce plan to implement Coronavirus-related paid leave / tax credits

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Treasury Department, Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Department of Labor recently announced small and midsize employers can begin taking advantage of two new refundable payroll tax credits, designed to immediately and fully reimburse them, dollar-for-dollar, for the cost of providing Coronavirus-related leave to their employees. This relief to employees […]

What’s inside MSHA’s (relatively) new unified inspection handbook?

Source: Safety Law Matters By Avi Meyerstein on March 25, 2020 Posted in Enforcement updates, MSHA Now for a story that has nothing to do with viruses… In last month’s Rock Products magazine, our colleague Charles Fleischmann analyzed MSHA’s revisions to its inspection procedures. To find out what’s new and different in MSHA inspection policies, […]

U.S. SBA fact sheet – Economic injury disaster loans

U.S. SBA fact sheet – Economic injury disaster loans

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses in your state that are suffering substantial economic loss as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The attached press release will outline the details on the governor certification that makes SBA assistance available for the entire state. […]

DOL releases model FFCRA poster

DOL releases model FFCRA poster

Below please find a model notice poster released by the United States Department of Labor notifying employees of their rights under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). All employers covered by the FFCRA are required to give employees notice. This poster will satisfy the FFCRA notice requirements. For a copy of the poster, click here.

For Immediate Release: 3/20/2020 Governor Andrew M. Cuomo Guidance on essential services under the “New York State on Pause” executive order    On Friday, 3-20, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced he was signing the “New York State on PAUSE” executive order, a 10-point policy to assure uniform safety for everyone. It includes a new directive that all […]

COVID-19 “pause” executive order

COVID-19 “pause” executive order

Governor Cuomo has issued guidance on essential services and businesses under his “New York State on PAUSE” Executive Order, which requires non-essential businesses to close in-office functions effective 8pm Sunday. The Governor’s order declares construction as “essential” and updated guidance posted by Empire State Development further states that “essential businesses or entities, including any for […]

Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs issues National Interest Exemption

Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs issues National Interest Exemption

WASHINGTON, DC – Following President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) today issued a National Interest Exemption memorandum to facilitate response efforts for COVID-19, also known as novel coronavirus. In view of the special circumstances in the national interest presented by the novel […]

Small Business Administration Coronavirus COVID-19 guidance and loan resources

Health and government officials are working together to maintain the safety, security, and health of the American people. Small businesses are encouraged to do their part to keep their employees, customers, and themselves healthy. Click here for link.

U.S. Department of Labor announces effective date for final rule revising mining explosive safety standards

U.S. Department of Labor announces effective date for final rule revising mining explosive safety standards

WASHINGTON, DC – A direct final rule revising safety standards for mining explosives has gone into effect, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) announced. Published Jan. 14, 2020, the rule updates existing standards to incorporate technological advancements involving electronic detonators at metal and nonmetal mines. Learn more about MSHA rulemaking […]

Tools for employers on COVID-19 from OSHA and our team

Tools for employers on COVID-19 from OSHA and our team

Source: safetylawmatters by Avi Meyerstein on March 13, 2020 Posted in MSHA, OSHA All of us are being inundated by rapidly changing news and tons of advice about COVID-19, the novel coronavirus. For those whose job it is to keep workplaces safe and healthy, here are two key resources to cut through the clutter. New […]

U.S. Department of Labor announces reforms to ensure mine operators meet benefits obligations

U.S. Department of Labor announces reforms to ensure mine operators meet benefits obligations

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP) has taken steps to reform the self-insurance process for coal mine operators to better support the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund. The Black Lung Benefits Act requires each coal mine operator to secure the payment of its potential benefits liability by […]

OSHA sets focus on silica enforcement

OSHA sets focus on silica enforcement

Agency revises National Emphasis Program to further target high-risk industries. Stefanie Valentic Feb 07, 2020 With OSHA’s respirable crystalline silica (RCS) standards now in full effect for the general, maritime and construction industries, the agency has announced a revision to its National Emphasis Program (NEP). The adjustments to the directive were enacted in an effort to […]

EPA looks at 3D printing emissions

EPA looks at 3D printing emissions

Source: EHS Today David Sparkman Jan 16, 2020 The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is increasing its scrutiny of 3D printing emissions just as recent predictions say the technology is just beginning to revolutionize manufacturing and the supply chain. Working in cooperation with the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), EPA is studying possible harmful emissions that […]

OSHA increases 2020 citation penalty amounts

OSHA increases 2020 citation penalty amounts

Source: EHS Today Stefanie Valentic Jan 17, 2020 Effective Jan. 15, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has increased the maximum allowable penalty amounts for OSHA violations in federally-mandated states. The new numbers are based on the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015, which former President Barack Obama signed in […]

U.S. Department of Labor revises National Emphasis Program to reduce or eliminate worker exposure to silica

U.S. Department of Labor Revises National Emphasis Program to Reduce or Eliminate Worker Exposure to Silica

WASHINGTON, DC — The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has established a revised National Emphasis Program (NEP) to identify and reduce or eliminate worker exposures to respirable crystalline silica (RCS) in general industry, maritime, and construction. The NEP targets specific industries expected to have the highest numbers of workers exposed […]

Healthcare workplace violence bill passes House and moves to Senate: What employers can expect

Healthcare workplace violence bill passes House and moves to Senate: What employers can expect

Felix Digilov Fisher & Phillips LLP On November 21, 2019, the House of Representatives passed The Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Services Workers Act (H.R. 1309) by a 251-159 vote. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT), seeks an enforceable federal standard that will require employers to establish comprehensive workplace violence […]