OSHA fines to spike by 80%; first increase since 1990

For the first time in 25 years, employers hit by federal workplace safety violations will see an increase in financial penalties, thanks to a little-noticed provision tucked into a budget bill signed by President Obama on Nov. 2.

Download a new guide explaining OSHA training standards

OSHA has released a new guide spelling out the occupational safety and health training employers must provide to workers.

Sometimes you're justified to order mental exam

As long as you can show a business necessity for asking an employee to undergo a mental examination, there’s no ADA or Fair Employment and Housing Act liability. Erratic, insubordinate behavior that continues after a request to stop is a good business reason.

Encourage employees to get flu shots early

Forty-five percent of employees who get sick with the flu believe they caught it from someone at work, according to the medical journal “Clinical Infectious Diseases.” It’s a timely reminder that influenza season will soon be upon us, and that it’s not too early to urge employees to get flu shots.

Fired for gun in trunk: Can employee sue?

A court is about to tackle a tricky issue: Does a state law authorizing employees who park in company lots to keep guns locked in their trunks also create a right to sue if the employee is fired for gun possession?

Prepare for more whistle-blower retaliation complaints

Heed OSHA's memo stressing that it only needs “reasonable cause” to find merit in one.

10 steps to lessen the threat of workplace violence

To reduce the chance of workplace violence—or your liability if it does happen—establish a program that covers the following.

Worker denied request for harness falls through roof

A construction worker who had previously requested a safety harness while working on a ladder, fell 12 feet through a roof after the employer denied his request.

How should we respond to the Texas open-carry law that goes into effect next year?

Q. I keep hearing about the new Texas open-carry law. Does this law apply to all offices? What steps should I take if the new legislation has a negative impact on my business?

California's 'Yes Means Yes' law takes effect on campuses

As of July 1, California colleges, universities and post-secondary schools are required to bolster their compliance with new state laws regarding policies concerning sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking. This new law requires schools to enter into agreements with local law enforcement and report crime statistics.

What the new Texas 'open carry' law means for employers

In March, the Texas Senate passed legislation allowing holders of concealed handgun licenses to carry holstered handguns in plain view. In April, the Texas House of Representatives passed H.B. 910, its version of the “open carry” law.

Many employees unsure what to do in an emergency

Almost all workers—94%—say they feel safe at work, but 23% aren’t sure they would know what to do if they faced a physically dangerous emergency. That’s what the Harris Poll found this spring when it surveyed more than 3,000 workers from a cross-section of industries.

$38.5M in punitive damages to Philly shooting victims

A Philadelphia jury has awarded $38.5 million in punitive damages to the families of two Kraft Food employees who were shot to death by a co-worker in 2010.

The heat is on! As temperatures rise, OSHA offers safety advice, resources

OSHA urges employers to establish a complete heat illness prevention program, which includes these tips.

Felony OSHA violations for Bumble Bee worker's death

Bumble Bee Tuna and two employees face felony OSHA violations after a maintenance worker was cooked alive inside a 35-foot oven at the company’s Santa Fe Springs facility.
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