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Safety/Health

NLRB, OSHA pact gives longer life to whistle-blower claims

05/28/2014
Employers can expect more whistle-blower cases to be heard as unfair labor practices charges now that the National Labor Relations Board and OSHA have agreed to cooperate when employees file late safety-related complaints.

Worker acting strangely? Request evaluation

05/15/2014
If you think a worker could benefit from psychological help and fear that he may pose a danger to himself or others, you can require an evaluation.

Disability leave: Best intentions may backfire

04/23/2014

Here’s something to consider before you place an employee on disability leave following an em­­ployer-ordered medical exam. That employee may end up being considered disabled—even if the exam revealed no real medical problems. Essentially, by examining him and placing him on leave, you are regarding him as disabled. He can then sue for disability discrimination.

Lancaster nurse fired after refusing influenza vaccine

03/06/2014

Lancaster-based Horizons Healthcare fired a nurse after she refused to have a flu vaccine. The company requires its employees to get flu shots to limit potential epidemics. The nurse offered to wear a mask while on duty, instead. It’s a case that has yet to result in a lawsuit—but it could.

Does workers’ comp cover injuries an employee suffers at a work-related social event?

01/24/2014
Q. Is an employee who injures himself at a ­company-sponsored picnic eligible for workers’ ­compensation?

Be alert for health, safety whistle-blowing

01/24/2014
Here’s a warning for federal government employers: Just about any internal complaint about agency wrongdoing may be protected activity under the Whistleblower Pro­­tec­­tion Act (WPA).

OSHA launches online whistle-blower complaint form

01/22/2014
OSHA now offers whistle-blowers an online complaint form. Until now, whistle-blowers had to either write or call OSHA. The online form is designed to provide workers who have been retaliated against an additional way to reach out for OSHA assistance.

Gaines’ loss: Over $1 million for whistle-blower violations

01/03/2014
OSHA has ordered Gaines Motor Lines, a Hickory-based freight hauling company, to reinstate three workers and pay $1,070,123 in back pay wages, interest, compensatory and punitive damages to four former employees who warned about safety problems.

Minnesota’s workplace injury rates remain low

12/23/2013
The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry’s Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses for 2012 contains good news. The results showed just a slight uptick in injuries from the all-time low posted in 2011.

Whoa! Never saw that one coming! You’re not responsible for aberrant crime

12/10/2013
Unless it’s obvious that an em­­ployer acted maliciously by purposely setting out to harm an employee, chances are it won’t be held responsible for the consequences of a co-worker’s crime.