In this podcast, shareholders Kevin Bland (Orange County) and Karen Tynan (Sacramento) review the latest Cal/OSHA (or Division of Occupational Safety and Health) inspection tactics and provide practical pointers for employers that are subjected to an investigation. Karen, who is the West Coast chair of Ogletree’s Workplace Safety and Health Practice Group, and Kevin discuss inspection triggers, the timing and scope of inspections, walk-throughs, and document requests. Our speakers also review employers’ rights during an inspection, including the right to not disrupt operations, and offer takeaways on real-world scenarios, such as an inspector’s requests for reenactments and demonstrations.
This episode of our Safety Perspectives From Region 6 podcast is the final installment of a three-part series on fatality and catastrophe investigations conducted by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Frank Davis and John Surma, both of whom are members of Ogletree’s Workplace Safety and Health Practice Group, wrap up the series with a discussion of the importance of having a crisis management or disaster preparedness plan in place. John and Frank review the elements of such plans, including initial response to the incident, the OSHA investigation, internal and external communications, and follow-up actions.
This episode of our Safety Perspectives From Region 6 podcast is the second in a three-part series on fatality and catastrophe investigations conducted by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). John Surma and Frank Davis explore issues related to attorney-client and work product privilege in the aftermath of a workplace accident, in addition to best practices on written reports and witness statements produced regarding worksite accidents. Our speakers also discuss advantageous ways to prepare root cause reports to avoid difficulties from the perspective of OSH Act compliance, civil litigation, and public relations.
In this installment of Multistate Monday, our hosts, Dee Anna Hays and Susan Gorey are joined by Mike Mahoney, who chairs Ogletree’s Payroll Tax and Fringe Benefits subgroup, and Melissa Pesce to discuss key issues for employers with remote workers. Mike and Melissa explore the most significant remote workforce issues, including employers’ obligations to withhold income tax and unemployment insurance contributions for remote workers. Our speakers also consider the implications of workers who work remotely on a temporary basis for personal or business reasons and those who have started working remotely from a new jurisdiction without notifying their employers. In addition, Melissa and Mike also consider best practices for remote work policies, issues concerning remote work as a disability accommodation, and the tools employers can use to conduct audits of home offices.
In this episode of Dirty Steel-Toe Boots, host Phillip Russell is joined by Frank Davis to discuss the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) proposed rule on the worker walkaround representative designation process and whether the walkaround rule supports unionization. Our speakers specifically address whether OSHA has the legal authority to define what “authorized representative” means without referencing the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA)—or whether OSHA’s efforts are preempted by the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act. Phillip and Frank discuss potential challenges to the walkaround rule, what employers can do during the comment period, what employers can expect given the current political climate (including the upcoming elections and the Supreme Court’s impending Chevron deference case), and the effects of this proposal if the rule survives potential challenges and becomes final.
In part four of our Form I-9 podcast series, Jessica Cross and Jenny Cofer continue our conversation on the renewed requirements for I-9 document verification, given the policy and procedural shifts in the wake of the pandemic. Our speakers discuss the specific steps employers are required to follow if they qualify for the new alternative procedure outlined in U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’s (USCIS) new policies regarding inspection of documents. Jenny and Jessica also review employer E-Verify enrollment and training requirements to ensure they are in compliance with U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) guidance.
In part three of our multi-part series on changes to the Form I-9, Tiffany Coburn and Meagan Dziura provide insights into the alternative procedure for remote verification of employment in light of the recent changes in policies instituted by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Specifically, our speakers discuss the threshold requirements for employers to qualify to use this alternative procedure, which can help meet physical examination requirements for Forms I-9 completed remotely under the COVID-19 temporary flexibilities and also permits permanent virtual verification in lieu of physically examining Form I-9 documentation. Meagan and Tiffany also generally discuss E-Verify, what it means to be in good standing with E-Verify, and how to establish a general policy for using the alternative procedure consistently.
This episode of our Safety Perspectives From Region 6 podcast is the first in a three-part series on fatality and catastrophe investigations conducted by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Frank Davis and John Surma discuss the range of employer considerations regarding preserving and documenting the scene of fatalities and catastrophic events at a worksite. Our speakers specifically discuss preservation letters, the scope of the duty to preserve a scene, and consequences for the failure to preserve.
In the second episode of our podcast series covering the new Form I-9, Christina Kelley and Natalie McEwan review the timeline for transitioning to the new form, changes to the form and its instructions, and the grace period for using the new form. Christina and Natalie, both of whom are members of the firm’s Immigration Practice Group, discuss the benefits of the new form, including its compatibility with mobile devices and tablets, the more concise instructions for completing the form, and the form’s streamlined design. They also note what has not changed, such as the timeline for completing some sections of the form and the document review guidelines.
In this podcast, Dee Anna Hays and Susan Gorey are joined by John Merrell, who is a member of our Traditional Labor Relations Practice Group, to discuss the pros and cons of having a social media policy. Our speakers specifically focus on the considerations employers should keep in mind when updating and drafting their social media policies, such as protected concerted activity (PCA) under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). They also cover the importance of having and implementing policies that consider their company’s best interest, while being careful to avoid those that may have a “chilling effect” on employees’ right to engage in PCA on social media
In this episode of the Safety Perspectives From Region 6 podcast, Frank Davis and John Surma review the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) national emphasis programs (NEPs), as well as regional and local emphasis programs, which focus OSHA and state-plan resources on particular hazards and high-hazard industries. Frank and John discuss an array of emphasis programs—including a new national emphasis program that relates to warehousing and distribution center businesses—inspection protocols, and the importance of training. They also cover several emphasis programs specific to Region 6.
In this podcast, Tiffany Coburn and Natalie McEwan discuss Senate Bill (SB) 1718, Florida’s new immigration law, which took effect on July 1, 2023, and its mandate on Florida employers with more than 25 employees to use E-Verify for employees hired after the law’s effective date. Our speakers discuss employers’ obligations with regard to the knowing employment of unauthorized individuals and the employer defenses for hiring unauthorized individuals. The law also adds state civil and criminal penalties for violations of its provisions and is expected to increase state law enforcement’s capabilities in administering immigration rules and requirements.
In this podcast, shareholders Kevin Bland (Orange County) and Karen Tynan (Sacramento) provide an update on enforcement trends at Cal/OSHA, including the rise in citations for failure to adhere to an Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP). Karen and Kevin also give practical pointers for dealing with requests made during an investigation, from written requests to requests for demonstrations. They also discuss “late appeals” cases and the importance of responding to citations in a timely manner.
In this podcast, Amanda Mullane and Claudia Martorell provide an overview of the temporary COVID-19 policy permitting employers to inspect documents remotely for the Form I-9 and to complete the Form I-9 virtually until they returned to in-person operations or until the policy ended on July 31, 2023. Our speakers discuss the compliance expectations on employers, including details on the 30-day grace period (until August 30) to start verifying documents physically, and the exception permitting qualified employers to fulfill the inspection requirements remotely if they were enrolled in E-Verify at the time that the Form I-9 was completed. Our speakers focus on the significance of the shift from remote to in-person verification of documents, the rules on the use of authorized representatives, and the required notifications to employees.
In this podcast, Lauren Hicks and Chris Near discuss updates to the Voluntary Self-Identification of Disability Form, which federal contractors and subcontractors must implement by July 25, 2023. Lauren and Chris, who are both members of the firm’s Affirmative Action and OFCCP Compliance Practice Group, examine the threshold requirements for completing the form, review the changes to the form made by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), and provide practical tips for implementation and document retention.
In this podcast, Frank Davis and John Surma discuss the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) recently issued “Hurricane eMatrix,” a hazard and risk assessment tool that contains guidance for preparing and engaging in response efforts associated with hurricanes that make landfall. Frank and John review the eMatrix’s hazard-specific recommendations, heat illness guidance, and training expectations for employees working in hurricane recovery. They also discuss how the guidance found in the eMatrix may indicate that OSHA is shifting from a compliance-focused approach to an enforcement-focused approach.
In this podcast, shareholders Kevin Bland and Karen Tynan discuss how companies can achieve an effective safety culture to drive reduced injuries, near misses, and incidents as well as create a more holistic approach to safety in the workplace. Karen and Kevin are joined by safety professional Kelly Bernish to discuss what actions employers can take that would allow a safety culture to permeate the fabric of a company from top to bottom and how to train employees to appreciate the value of evaluating risk.
In this podcast, Kevin Bland, who is a member of Ogletree’s Workplace Safety and Health Practice Group, and Karen Tynan, who is chair of the firm’s West Coast OSHA practice, discuss the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board’s COVID-19 Prevention Non-Emergency Regulation. Kevin and Karen highlight the notable differences between this standard and the emergency temporary standards, including the end of exclusion pay, the “close contact” definition, contact tracing, and reduced directions for face coverings. Kevin and Karen also discuss enforcement activity and the push for a general industry aerosol transmissible diseases standard.
In this episode of Dirty Steel-Toe Boots, host Phillip Russell is joined by Dee Anna Hays for a close-up look at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) multi-employer citation policy, which applies when multiple employers are working at a single job site. Phillip and Dee Anna review the four categories of employers covered by the policy: creating employers, controlling employers, exposing employers, and correcting employers. They review the criteria for identifying the employer categories, as well as the standards of care that apply. Phillip and Dee Anna also discuss the closely-related topic of temporary employees and the duties of host employers.
In this podcast, Karen Tynan and Kevin Bland walk us through informal conferences and settlement conferences in the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (also known as Cal/OSHA) forum. Our speakers focus on the details of the settlement process, best practices for scheduling conferences and timing deadlines, the information to gather before a conference, how settlements are finalized, when citations and abatements are due, and how notices in lieu of citation operate in settlements.
In this podcast, Frank Davis and John Surma discuss the recordkeeping requirements under the federal Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act, including the difference between what is recordable and reportable. Frank and John also review the criteria for recordability and explain the recording criteria, including what constitutes medical treatment, days away from work, restricted work, and the timing of reporting.
In this podcast, Brian Bumgardner and Matt Groban walk us through a variety of critical immigration-related issues to consider when approaching mergers and acquisitions (M&A). Our speakers specifically focus on the impacts of corporate restructuring activity on the Form I-9 requirement, as well as common employment-based temporary work visas and the permanent residency (i.e., green card) process.
In this installment of Multistate Monday, Dee Anna Hays, who is chair of Ogletree Deakins’ Multistate Advice and Counseling Practice Group, is joined by Phillip Russell, who is a member of the firm’s Workplace Safety and Health Practice Group and the host of the Dirty Steel-Toe Boots podcast series. Dee Anna and Phillip discuss the multistate compliance issues arising from the existence of 22 OSHA-approved state workplace safety and health programs. Our speakers discuss heat illness standards, reporting requirements, drug testing, workers’ compensation, and guns in the workplace.
In this podcast recorded at Ogletree Deakins’ national Workplace Strategies seminar, our panel analyzes microaggressions in the workplace and how they can have detrimental effects on workplace morale and productivity and can even expose employers to negative publicity and liability. Austin Office Managing Shareholder Erika Leonard is joined by Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer Lia Dorsey and Morristown (NJ) Office Managing Shareholder Steve Luckner in a discussion that covers how casual workplace comments that may not seem to have malicious intent can be viewed as hurtful or, in some cases, discriminatory. Our speakers offer insights on the nuances of workplace communications and how best to ensure employees’ interoffice interactions can be productive, rather than reductive.
In this podcast, Frank Davis and John Surma, members of Ogletree Deakins’ Workplace Safety and Health Practice Group, discuss limitations on and best practices for employee drug testing policies throughout the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Region 6. Frank and John offer insights related to the timing of drug testing, including in post-accident situations. They also discuss the interaction of federal and state law and OSHA’s 2016 standard interpretation that broadly addressed post-accident drug testing.
This podcast takes a deep dive into the California outdoor heat illness standard with a focus on implementation and Cal/OSHA enforcement. Shareholders Kevin Bland and Karen Tynan discuss effective outdoor heat illness training practices for supervisors and employees, the benefits of onboarding training, and water and shade access requirements. Our speakers also offer best practices for employers implementing high heat procedures.
In this podcast, shareholders Kevin Bland and Karen Tynan discuss the California legislature’s and Cal/OSHA’s proposed regulations and laws regarding workplace violence. Our speakers discuss Cal-OSHA’s Title 8 Section 3343 draft regulations and Senate Bill (SB) 553, which would establish new workplace violence prevention standards in California. Karen and Kevin discuss the details of the robust requirement to implement workplace violence plans (including communication, reporting, training, recordkeeping, and response procedures) that employers may have to adopt if the regulations take effect.
In this episode of Multistate Monday, Dee Anna Hays, chair of Ogletree Deakins’ Multistate Advice and Counseling Practice Group, and Susan Gorey are joined by Trina Ricketts, who is co-chair of the firm’s RIF/WARN Practice Group. Our speakers discuss the best practices for parting ways with employees, and all of the multistate issues that can come into play, such as notices, release agreement requirements, and the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act and mini-WARN Acts. Trina discusses best practices when implementing a reduction in force, including analyzing the multitude of state specific issues and requirements.
In this podcast, shareholders John Surma and Frank Davis cover the workplace safety implications of the current Canadian wildfires and the resulting wildfire smoke that is entering air spaces in the United States. Frank and John discuss how the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) approaches wildfires, wildfire smoke, and the corresponding obligation employers have to their employees relative to each. Our speakers also review emergency action plans (EAPs), the conditions that activate an EAP, as well as the preparation and training associated with EAPs. Frank and John touch on a variety of issues raised by concerns over wildfire smoke and the threat of fire, including respiratory protection, shelter in place, and evacuation.
In this episode of Dirty Steel-Toe Boots, Phillip Russell is joined by fellow Tampa shareholder, Dee Anna Hays, to discuss the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) recent focus on heat illnesses and employers’ responsibilities towards employees as temperatures rise. Phillip and Dee Anna discuss OSHA’s 2022 issued national emphasis program in which it gave some guidance to area offices around the country about how to conduct heat-related inspections, what to focus on when the inspections might be triggered, and more. Dee Anna and Phillip also offer employers practical considerations on steps they can take when the heat index rises.