On March 22, 2022, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced that it had partially reopened the comment period for its permanent standard to protect health care and health care support workers from exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace.
As explained in greater detail by our colleague Stuart M. Gerson, the Supreme Court of the United States handed down two major, and quickly decided, rulings on January 13, 2022. After hearing oral arguments only six days earlier, the Court issued two unsigned decisions per curiam. A 5-4 decision in Biden v. Missouri dissolved a preliminary injunction against enforcement of an interim final rule (“Rule”) promulgated by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), requiring recipients of federal Medicare and Medicaid funding to ensure that their employees are vaccinated against COVID-19.
On the evening of Wednesday, December 22, 2021, the Supreme Court of the United States announced that it will hold a special session on January 7, 2022, to hear oral argument in cases concerning whether two Biden administration vaccine mandates should be stayed. One is an interim final rule promulgated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”); the other is an Emergency Temporary Standard (“ETS”) issued by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”). The CMS interim final rule, presently stayed in 24 states, would require COVID-19 vaccination for staff employed at Medicare and Medicaid certified providers and suppliers. The OSHA ETS, which requires businesses with 100 or more employees to ensure that workers are vaccinated against the coronavirus or otherwise to undergo weekly COVID-19 testing, was allowed to take effect when a divided panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, to which the consolidated challenges had been assigned by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation issued a ruling, on December 17, 2021, lifting a stay that had been previously entered by the Fifth Circuit. Multiple private sector litigants and states immediately challenged the decision.
Important guidance regarding COVID-19 testing in the workplace was recently issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) in the form of Frequently Asked Questions regarding Over the Counter (“OTC”) Home Testing and CLIA Applicability.
CMS regulates clinical laboratory testing pursuant to the federal Clinical Laboratory Improvement Act (“CLIA”). Generally, a laboratory or clinical setting (such as a physician’s office) must obtain CLIA certification to perform laboratory testing. Some OTC tests, however, are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) for home use and the new FAQs address the use of OTC home tests in the workplace.
Our colleague Robert O'Hara of Epstein Becker Green has a new post on the Workforce Bulletin blog that will be of interest to our readers: "OSHA Launches New COVID-19 Initiatives: With More to Come".
The following is an excerpt:
President Biden’s January 21, 2021 Executive Order (EO) on COVID-19 tasked the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to: launch a national enforcement program, review and correct any shortcomings in their prior enforcement strategies and to determine whether any Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) were necessary and, if so, to issue an ...
Our colleague Nathaniel M. Glasser and Jennifer Barna of Epstein Becker Green have co-authored an article in Bloomberg Law that will be of interest to our readers: "COVID-19 Vaccines and Workplace Challenges."
The following is an excerpt:
As COVID-19 vaccines become widely available, employers will face a critical set of challenges, ranging from whether they can—or will want to—mandate all or some employees get vaccinated, to what liability may attach to mandating vaccination, and even whether the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) could require a ...
Health care providers and custodial agencies operating in Illinois are now subject to new obligations under the Health Care Violence Prevention Act (210 ILCS 160/1 et seq.)(“HCVPA”), which went into effect on January 1, 2019. The HCVPA, which was enacted in response to two 2017 incidents involving inmates who assaulted hospital nurses, seeks to reduce the growing rates of violence against health care workers.
The HCVPA establishes both preventive and curative measures to protect health care workers. Health care providers are required to create an OSHA-compliant workplace ...
Featured on Employment Law This Week: OSHA plans to roll back a controversial reporting rule initiated at the end of the Obama administration.
OSHA has proposed rescinding parts of a 2017 rule that requires companies with 250 or more employees to submit detailed reports on workplace injuries. OSHA says this move would protect employee privacy and reduce the burden for employers. Three organizations have filed suit over the proposed changes, saying that the data from the detailed reports helps improve workplace safety procedures. .
Watch this week’s Employment Law This Week ...
On April 17, the Joint Commission—a nonprofit organization that provides accreditations to health care organizations—issued a list of seven steps hospitals should take to improve safety and reduce the risk of workplace violence perpetrated by employees, patients, and visitors. While the seven steps are advisory rather than mandatory, health care organizations risk jeopardizing their accreditation status if they fail to take appropriate action in response to episodes of workplace violence.
The Joint Commission’s alert seeks to address what it characterizes as the ...
With the passage of A.B. 30, California became the first state to require all acute-care hospitals and skilled-nursing facilities to develop and implement comprehensive workplace violence prevention plans. After years of wrangling with California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (“Cal OSHA”), the law became effective on April 1, 2018.
This statute was conceived by Cal OSHA, in conjunction with unions such as the California Nurses Association to address the high risk of workplace injuries faced by health care workers daily. Overall, health care workers ...
Our colleague Steven M. Swirsky, a Member of the Firm at Epstein Becker Green, has a post on the Management Memo blog that will be of interest to many of our readers in the health care industry: “OSHA Withdraws 'Fairfax Memo' – Union Representatives May No Longer Participate in Work Place Safety Walkarounds at Non-Union Facilities.”
Following is an excerpt:
On April 25, 2017, Dorothy Dougherty, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) and Thomas Galassi, Director of OSHA’s Directorate of Enforcement Programs, issued a ...
How will the Trump administration handle discrimination cases involving transgender employees? The EEOC’s pursuit of a sex discrimination claim on behalf of Aimee Stephens, a transgender woman who was terminated by a Michigan funeral home for expressing her intention to dress in conformance with her gender identity, will be an early indicator.
In a brief filed with the Sixth Circuit on January 26, 2017, Stephens argues that the interests of transgender individuals will not be adequately represented under the new administration. Under the Obama administration, the EEOC sued ...
[caption id="attachment_2401" align="alignright" width="113"] Denise Dadika[/caption]
In a matter highlighting the importance of workplace violence prevention programs, Epic Health Services, a national home health care provider, was recently issued a citation and fine by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) for failing to protect its employees from the dangers of workplace violence. The fine and citation stemmed from a complaint by one of Epic’s nurses, who alleged she was sexually assaulted by a client while providing services in the ...
The District of Columbia Office of Human Rights recently partnered with the National LGBTQ Task Force to publish a resource guide, “Valuing Transgender Applicants & Employees: A Best Practices Guide for Employers” (the “Guide”), designed to support employers in creating workplace and hiring policies that prevent discrimination against transgender and gender-nonconforming individuals. The guide is meant to lay the framework for building a culture of inclusion in the workplace that goes beyond legal obligations.
The suggested best practices include ensuring ...
[caption id="attachment_2421" align="alignright" width="113"] Valerie N. Butera[/caption]
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) recognizes that the health care industry is among the most dangerous in the United States (see related story). Health care employees are more likely to be exposed to various infectious respiratory illnesses spread through airborne and droplet routes, such as tuberculosis, influenza, and pandemics. Employees who work in or near areas where there are patients suspected of having a disease that can be spread by airborne ...
Our colleague Valerie Butera recently authored Epstein Becker Green’s March issue of Take 5 in which she outlines actionable steps that employers can take to improve safety in the workplaceand avoid costly OSHA citations.
Following is an excerpt:
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) was created by Congress to ensure safe and healthful working conditions for employees. OSHA establishes standards and provides training and compliance assistance. It also enforces its standards with investigations and citations.
Although it’s impossible for ...
Epstein Becker Green is pleased to announce that Valerie Butera, an accomplished Occupational Safety & Health (OSHA) lawyer, has joined as a Member of the Firm based in the firm's Washington, D.C., office. Valerie is OSHA 30 certified and has substantial training and experience in process safety management (PSM). Valerie represents clients from numerous industries, including health care and life sciences and focuses on OSHA and other workplace safety and health issues. For more information, click here.
On Epstein Becker Green’s OSHA Law Update blog, Eric Conn reviews the agreement between the NLRB and OSHA, which allows employees to file out-of-date safety related whistleblower claims to be filed with the NLRB.
Following is an excerpt from the blog post:
On May 21, 2014, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) published a memorandum discussing a new agreement between NLRB and OSHA regarding a backdoor route for employees to file safety related whistleblower claims that are too stale to be filed with OSHA. The NLRB memo directs OSHA representatives to “notify all complainants ...
On Epstein Becker Green's OSHA Law Update blog, Eric Conn reviews an article about OSHA's web-based "Worker Safety in Hospitals" guidance. The article is entitled "Hospitals' Heavy Lifting: Understanding OSHA's New Hospital Worker and Patient Safety Guidance" and is co-authored by our colleagues Eric Conn, James Frank, and Serra Schlanger.
Following is an excerpt from the blog post:
The article, published in AHLA's Spring 2014 Labor & Employment publication, summarizes OSHA's new web-based "Worker Safety in Hospitals" guidance, explains how the guidance relates to ...
Our colleague Eric Conn, Chair of Epstein Becker Green's OSHA Practice Group, will present a complimentary webinar on April 8, at 1:00 p.m. EDT: OSHA's Temporary Worker Initiative. Topics include enforcement issues and data related to this work relationship, and recommendations and strategies for managing safety and health issues related to a temporary workforce.
Companies are expected to employ many more temporary workers as the Affordable Care Act is implemented, particularly when the "Employer Mandate" kicks in, which will require employers with 50 or more workers to ...
The OSHA Law Update blog has an update on the government shutdown: “OSHA Shutdown – Government Shutdown Strips OSHA to a Skeleton Crew,” by Casey Cosentino and Eric Conn of Epstein Becker Green.
Following is an excerpt:
The federal government shut down all but essential operations on October 1, 2013, after Congress failed to reach an agreement on a budget or a continuing resolution for funding government operations. As a result, OSHA (like most federal agencies) has furloughed more than 90% of its personnel and suspended most of its operations.
Our colleagues' OSHA Law Update blog has a post we think will be of interest: "OSHA Launches Ergonomics Campaign in Healthcare Industries," by Eric J. Conn, Head of Epstein Becker Green’s OSHA Practice Group.
Following is an excerpt:
OSHA recently announced a campaign to raise awareness about the hazards likely to cause musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) among health care workers responsible for patient care. Common MSDs suffered in the patient care industry include sprains, strains, soft tissue and back injuries. These injuries are due in large part to over exertion related to ...
This week, Washington Legal Foundation published an article regarding OSHA’s New Enterprise-Wide Approach to Enforcement, authored by EBG attorneys Eric J. Conn and Alexis M. Downs. The article expands on a February 2012 post entitled “Enterprise Enforcement: OSHA’s Attack on Employers with Multiple Locations” here on the OSHA Law Update Blog.
The gist of the article and the prior blog post is that companies that operate multiple facilities in different locations, such as national retail and grocery chains, grain ...
Join us Wednesday, June 20, 2012 at 9:00 am Eastern either by Webinar or in person for a complimentary briefing presented by Epstein Becker Green attorneys Eric J. Conn and Amanda R. Strainis-Walker of the Firm’s national OSHA Practice Group.
The briefing will cover actions that employers can take now to prepare their workplaces and workforce for unexpected visits from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), review employers’ and employees’ rights during an OSHA inspection, and discuss inspection strategies to ensure the best possible outcome from an ...
Sadly, workplace violence continues to be a topic that many organizations face, especially those in the health care industry. Indeed, as the news reports serve to remind us all, employees and non-employees often take out their aggression and violent acts within the workplace. As the recent attacks at hospitals in Pittsburgh and in Washington, D.C. demonstrate, there remains a high rate of fatal and nonfatal assaults and violent acts committed within the workplace. One of the struggles that employers face is trying to prevent violent conduct by third-party non employees that are ...
Last week, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) launched a new National Emphasis Program targeting Nursing Homes and Residential Care facilities (“Nursing Home NEP”). In an accompanying Press Release, OSHA announced that the Nursing Home NEP aims to protect workers from safety and health hazards “common in medical industries.” Effective upon its announcement and for a three-year period thereafter, the NEP focuses on ergonomic hazards (e.g., strains and sprains from patient ...
“Texting while driving” is an epidemic in America, which has prompted forty-two states and the District of Columbia to ban (completely or partially) this conduct for drivers. Here's a map of the U.S. states that have enacted some ban on texting while driving. Studies suggest that texting while driving distracts drivers’ cognitive focus and removes their eyes from the road and hands from the wheel. It is not surprising, therefore, that distracted driving is attributed with sixteen percent (16%) of all traffic fatalities in 2009.
A monthly breakfast law briefing and networking series specifically designed for health care and wellness company executives and human resources professionals. This informative series will address labor and employment issues during these challenging times and offer solutions.
For additional information and to register, contact Carla Llarena or by tel: (404) 869-5363.
February 8, 2012
Today's OSHA: What Healthcare Companies and Practices Need to Know
March 14, 2012
It Can Hurt to Ask: TMI in the Digital Age
(Focusing on Social Media & Background Checks)
April 11, 2012
- NJ Approves Cannabis Regulatory Amendment with Major Impacts on Class 5 Retail License Holders
- Unpacking Averages: Device Manufacturers Should Use the Newly Released Demographic Data in MDRs to Ensure Their Devices Are Not Disproportionately Hurting Minorities
- CMS Announces Comprehensive Plan to Ensure EMTALA Compliance
- Telehealth’s Roadblock: The Issue with State Licensure Requirements
- CMS Announces New Primary and Behavioral Health Care Integration Demonstration Model