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Safety/Health

Want healthy employees? Offer a flexible workplace

02/01/2008

The advantages of a healthier work force are many—fewer sick days, higher productivity and less-painful health insurance costs. But how can employers encourage a healthier lifestyle without nagging? One surprising way: allow flexible scheduling, such as job sharing, telecommuting and compressed workweeks …

Shots for unionized med workers subject to bargaining

02/01/2008

Lately, the Centers for Disease Control regularly warns about the danger of the next super bug or pandemic flu outbreak. That’s one reason it’s no surprise that health care facilities want to inoculate staff against contagious illnesses. But in a union environment, it may not be enough to simply order employees to get shots …

Specify some offenses as dischargeable, and follow through

02/01/2008

Employers have a legal obligation to provide a safe working environment, and that includes taking reasonable measures to ensure that violence stays outside the workplace gate. Your employee handbook should include “no violence” and “no threats” clauses, explaining that verified violence or threats mean immediate dismissal …

Take it easy: It’s just a couple of nuclear reactors

02/01/2008

Exelon Corp. has decided to make security at its 10 nuclear power plants an internal function after private security guards at its Peach Bottom plant in York County were videotaped sleeping on the job. Exelon terminated its security contract with Florida-based Wackenhut Corp. …

Responding to mold allergy illness complaints

02/01/2008
Q. We have an employee who claims she feels sick whenever she is at work. She attributes it to a mold allergy. What should I do?

If new employee clearly isn’t working out, fire and move on

01/01/2008

Sometimes it becomes painfully obvious you’ve made a hiring mistake shortly after the new employee clocks in on day one. If, during initial training or on the first assignment, you know the employee will not meet your legitimate expectations—and you can substantiate your impression—it may be best to admit the mistake and discharge the new employee …

OSHA fines tire recycler $219,800

01/01/2008

OSHA issued $219,800 in fines against Tires Into Recycled Energy & Supplies Inc. (TIRES), of Jackson, following a fire at its plant last May that resulted in an employee’s death …

Los Angeles grocery ordinance conflicts with state regulations

01/01/2008

In a tentative decision, a California state court ruled that a Los Angeles grocery ordinance is void. A complaint by the California Grocers Association challenged the Grocery Worker Retention Ordinance, which set limits on the termination of employees, including requiring grocers to retain employees for 90 days after a change in ownership.

Employee’s infection proves costly to Liz Claiborne store

01/01/2008

When an employee with an unidentified infection came to work at the Liz Claiborne Outlet Store at Lighthouse Place in Michigan City, management feared it might be MRSA and closed the store to disinfect it …

St. Vincent Hospital fires worker over threatening note

01/01/2008

A white environmental services attendant recently sued St. Vincent Carmel Hospital, claiming racial discrimination and retaliation. He was fired for violating the hospital’s anti-violence policy …