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OSHA’s Fact Sheet Providing Guidance to Employers To Protect Workers from Exposure to the Zika Virus

Posted in Labor Law, New Legislation and Regulations

OSHA’s Fact Sheet providing guidance for protecting workers from occupational exposure to the Zika virus explains that the Zika virus is primarily spread through the bites of infected mosquitoes and that mosquitoes can become infected when they bite infected persons and then spread the Zika virus to other persons they subsequently bite. According to OSHA, current science-based evidence suggests that approximately one out of five infected people develops symptoms of the Zika virus, usually beginning 2-7 days after the bite of an infected mosquito.  The most common symptoms of the Zika virus infection are fever, rash, joint pain, and red or pink eyes. Other symptoms can include myalgia (muscle pain) and headache.  More serous neurological and autoimmune complications are possible but have not been seen in the U.S.

There is no vaccine to prevent the Zika virus and there is no specific treatment for individuals who become infected. Although the Zika virus is generally spread by the bites of infected mosquitoes, exposure to an infected person’s blood or other body fluids (e.g. through sexual transmission) may also result in transmission. Employers should train workers about their risks of exposure to the Zika virus through various modes of transmission.Beth-West-15_web

OSHA points out that employees who work outside may be at the greatest risk of exposure to the Zika virus. Some workers, including those working with insecticides to control mosquitoes and healthcare workers who may be exposed to contaminated blood or other potentially infectious materials from individuals infected with the Zika virus, may require additional protections (e.g., certain types of personal protective equipment, PPE).

OSHA provides the following recommendations to employers who have employees that work outside:

  • Check the CDC Zika website to find Zika-affected areas.
  • Inform employees about their risks of exposure to Zika virus through mosquito bites and train them how to protect themselves.
  • Provide insect repellents and encourage their use.
  • Provide employees with, and encourage them to wear, clothing that covers their hands, arms, legs, and other exposed skin. Consider providing employees with hats with mosquito netting to protect the face and neck.
  • In warm weather, encourage employees to wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing. This type of clothing protects employees against the sun’s harmful rays and provides a barrier to mosquitoes.
  • Always provide employees with adequate water, rest and shade, and monitor them for signs and symptoms of heat illness.
  • Get rid of sources of standing water (e.g., tires, buckets, cans, bottles, barrels) whenever

possible to reduce or eliminate mosquito breeding areas. Train employees about the importance of eliminating areas where mosquitos can breed at the worksite.

  • If requested by an employee, consider reassigning anyone who indicates she is or may become pregnant, or who is male and has a sexual partner who is or may become pregnant, to indoor tasks to reduce their risk of mosquito bites.

OSHA explains that its guidance is not a standard or regulation, and it creates no new legal obligations. It contains recommendations as well as descriptions of mandatory safety and health standards. The recommendations are advisory in nature, informational in content, and are intended to assist employers in providing a safe and healthful workplace. To obtain a copy of the Fact Sheet, go to https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3855.pdf.

 

The EEOC’s Final Rules On Employer Wellness Programs

Posted in Employee Privacy Rights, Employment Contracts and Agreements

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) recently issued two final rules confirming that employers can offer limited incentives (in the form of a reward or avoidance of a penalty) to encourage employees and their spouses to participate in workplace wellness programs.  Under these new rules, employers who offer wellness programs will be allowed to provide such limited incentives to employees or their spouses to induce them to provide information about their current or past health status.  The new rules modify regulations that pertain to Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (“GINA”) while creating new regulations that pertain to the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”).

To read the rest of the blog, click here: http://blog.hrusa.com/blog/eeocs-final-rules-employer-wellness-programs/

The Life Span of the Employment Relationship: Hiring, Disciplining and Firing

Posted in Employment Contracts and Agreements, Labor Law, Retaliation and Wrongful Termination

Summary of Program
The Labor and Employment Group at Weintraub Tobin is pleased to offer this informative seminar that will discuss recent cases to help business owners, human resource professionals, and managers avoid liability and effectively hire employees as well as carry out disciplines and terminations. This seminar will cover:

• Lawful and effective job postings and interview questions.L&E2015
• Tips for an effective and meaningful discipline process.
• Effective policies, training and documentation to reduce liability.
• “Progressive Discipline” – Beware!
• Conduct that may constitute “retaliation” and the laws that apply.
• Properly responding to “whistleblowers”.
• Voluntary quits versus “constructive” termination.
• What constitutes “wrongful termination” and what that means for at-will employment.

Date:  September 15, 2016
Time:  9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Seminar
9:00 am – 9:30 am – Registration & Breakfast
9:30 am – 11:30am – Seminar

Webinar: This seminar is also available via webinar. Please indicate in your RSVP if you will be attending via webinar.

Location
Weintraub Tobin Office
400 Capitol Mall, 11th Floor | Sacramento, CA 95814

Parking Validation provided. Please park in the Wells Fargo parking garage, entrances on 4th and 5th Street. Please bring your parking ticket with you to the 11th floor.

Approved for two (2) hours MCLE. This program will be submitted to the HR Certification Institute for review. Certificates will be provided upon verification of attendance for the entirety of the webcast.

There is cost for this seminar.

*This seminar will be limited to 75 in-person attendees.

DOL Issued Updated Employment Law Posters – Be Sure You Post Them In Your Workplace

Posted in Employee Privacy Rights, FMLA and Other Leaves of Absence, Labor Law, New Legislation and Regulations

In July 2016, the federal Department of Labor (DOL) updated two posters that employers are required to post in the workplace.

  1. The “Employee Rights under the Fair Labor Standards Act” poster; andBeth-West-15_web
  1. The “Employee Rights – Employee Polygraph Protection Act” poster.

According to the DOL, every employer subject to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA) must post and keep posted on its premises the amended posters after August 1, 2016.  The posters must be posted in a prominent and conspicuous place in every establishment of the employer where it can readily be observed by employees and applicants for employment.

Copies of the posters can be obtained on the DOL website at: https://www.dol.gov/whd/resources/posters.htm.

Restaurant’s Fee Deduction Program Violates FLSA

Posted in Employment Contracts and Agreements, Wage & Hour

Employers whose workers earn most of their compensation through tips, such as restaurant employees, know that they walk a fine line to ensure compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and numerous other laws.  Last month the Fifth Circuit rejected a program instituted by a restaurant operator in Texas that deducted certain fees before paying tips to its restaurant workers that were earned by customers using credit cards. While the ruling does not close the door on such arrangements, employers who utilize such programs will be under scrutiny to ensure strict compliance with the FLSA.

Read more on it here: http://blog.hrusa.com/blog/restaurants-fee-deduction-program-violates-flsa/

Window Closes Today! Employer Should Provide Notice Before this Opportunity is Gone!

Posted in Labor Law, New Legislation and Regulations, Wage & Hour

WINDOW CLOSES TODAY!

Employers who wish to take advantage of the safe harbor provision of California’s new piece rate legislation, must provide notice to the Director of Industrial Relations by July 28, 2016.  The deadline for employers to provide notice was temporarily suspended while a Fresno Superior Court considered a petition by Nisei Farmers League requesting a preliminary injunction to prevent the implementation of the safe harbor provisions of Labor Code section 226.2 created by AB 1513.  The temporary restraining order was issued in the case of Nisei Farmers League v. California Labor and Workforce Development Agency, et al., (Case No. 16 CECG 02107).  The original deadline for employers to provide notice to the Director of Industrial Relations was July 1, 2016.

On July 18, 2016, the court heard arguments from the parties on whether a preliminary injunction should be ordered pending formal trial on the question of whether a permanent injunction will be issued.  On July 25, 2016, the court denied the Nisei Farmers League’s motion for preliminary injunction.  Per the court’s Order to show cause, the deadline for employers to provide notice of their election to take advantage of the safe harbor provisions of Labor Code section 226.2(b)(3) is July 28, 2016.

The Director of Industrial Relations will accept notice through 11:59 p.m. on July 28, 2016, but will not accept noticed received after that date.  Employers should provide notice by the end of today by mailing notice to the Director of Industrial Relations, Attn: Piece-Rate Section, 226.2 Election Notice, 1515 Clay Street, 17th Floor, Oakland, CA 94612 or by filling out the online form available on the Department of Industrial Relations website.

Oh Sh–! The Government is Knocking at Your Door

Posted in Discrimination, Employee Privacy Rights, Employment Contracts and Agreements, FMLA and Other Leaves of Absence, Harassment, Labor Law, New Legislation and Regulations, Retaliation and Wrongful Termination, Wage & Hour

Summary of Program

There is no universal way to prepare for a governmental audit, investigation or inspection. The employment laws governing your workplace have different compliance requirements and governmental agencies have different agendas and degrees of power. This seminar will include tips on whether, and how to, conduct a self audit; understanding the do’s and don’ts of compliance; and best practices.L&E2015

Program Highlights

  • Labor Commissioner Claims and Audits – Conduct Regular Self Audits to Avoid and/or Be Prepared for Claims and Agency Audits
  • EEOC/DFEH Investigations-Responding to Claims
  • EDD Audits  – Misclassification Issues
  • USCIS/ICE Investigations-Complying with I-9 Requirements
  • CalOSHA- Steps to Take to Be Prepared for an Audit
  • Tips re: Government Audits and Physical Site Inspections
  • Policy Compliance Audit
  • HR Legal Compliance Audit

Date:   August 18, 2016

Time:   9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. (Registration and breakfast begins at 9:00 a.m.)

Location:  400 Capitol Mall, 11th Floor, Sacramento, CA

Parking validation provided.  Please park in the Wells Fargo parking garage, entrances on 4th and 5th Street (bring your parking ticket with you for validation).

To register for this seminar, please RSVP to Ramona Carrillo at rcarrillo@weintraub.com.

Fee Limits Ruled Unlawful in Florida Workers’ Comp Cases

Posted in Disability Discrimination, Discrimination, Employment Contracts and Agreements, FMLA and Other Leaves of Absence, Labor Law, New Legislation and Regulations, Wage & Hour

In a long-awaited decision, the Florida Supreme Court ruled in Marvin Castellanos v. Next Door Company, et al. that the limitations on attorneys’ fees awarded under Florida’s workers’ Compensation statute violates the due process clause of both the Florida and United States Constitutions. As a result of this holding, attorneys are no longer limited to fees based exclusively on a percentage of the benefits actually secured.  They may now be awarded an hourly fee for time and effort reasonably expended on litigating workers’ compensation benefits.

To read the full blog, please visit:  http://blog.hrusa.com/blog/fee-limits-ruled-unlawful-in-florida-workers-comp-cases/ 

Our Neutral Solutions Team Specializes In Trainings, Mediation, and Workplace Investigations

Posted in Employee Privacy Rights, Employment Contracts and Agreements, FMLA and Other Leaves of Absence, Labor Law, Wage & Hour

 

Neutral Zone for L&E Final_Page_1

The Neutral Solutions Team at Weintraub Tobin can help you avoid expensive and protracted litigation. We specialize in:

  • Training supervisors on various workplace issues, including preventing harassment, discrimination, and retaliation; workplace health and safety; and managing leave laws.
  • Conducting independent investigations into complaints of misconduct in the workplace.
  • Mediating employment disputes both pre and post litigation

For more information please contact:

Lizbeth “Beth” West 916.558.6082 or lwest@weintraub.com

Vida L. Thomas 916.558.6058 or vthomas@weintraub.com

Meagan D. Bainbridge 916.558.6038 or mbainbridge@weintraub.com

33 Weintraub Tobin Attorneys Named Among 2016 Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

Posted in Uncategorized

Super Lawyers has released its Northern California, Southern California, and San Diego lists of outstanding attorneys for 2016, on which 33 Weintraub Tobin attorneys have been included. Three Weintraub Tobin attorneys received special honors in their respective regions. To learn more, click here: http://bit.ly/29Wsut4

Star award against curtain background