OSHA Assistant Secretary David Michaels, Deputy Assistant Jordan Barab, and other political appointees at OSHA have consistently voiced the opinion that employer “cheating” with regard to recordkeeping is rampant. OSHA is once again asserting that half of all workplaces being inspected for recordkeeping violations are underreporting injuries and illnesses. In a way this is surprising and in a way it is not. It is surprising because OSHA had temporarily suspended its National Emphasis Program (NEP) on recordkeeping after 2010 data failed to establish that employers were underreporting as the agency suspected when the emphasis program was announced in 2009. In another way, it is not surprising, since OSHA refused to accept the idea that the negative findings by compliance officers could be accurate. Following its temporary suspension of the auditing program and under the assertion that it routinely revises its NEPs, OSHA expanded the criteria for the NEP by including manufacturing and a broader time period. Not surprisingly, the new data from the revised NEP shows a higher non-compliance rate.
Shock and awe! When Congress passed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act on January 29, 2009, during the first week of the 111th Congress (without any committee action, little floor debate, and no amendments), and President Barack Obama quickly signed the bill into law (P.L. 111-2), it became shockingly clear to the business community how fast “change” could come to workplace law.
As we previously reported, the New York State Paid Family Leave Law (PFL) will go into effect on January 1, 2018, and will require virtually all private employers in New York to provide paid family leave benefits to eligible employees. (Public employers are not required to participate, but may opt in to the program.)
In this case the plaintiff alleged, among other things, that his supervisor directed offensive comments at him thereby creating a hostile work environment in violation of the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination. The district court rejected the plaintiff’s hostile work environment claim because the complained-of incidents were not sufficiently “severe” or “pervasive.” Specifically, the court noted that the supervisor’s comment that the plaintiff was “an ‘Irish c**ksucker’ occurred only once.”