[Webinar] OSHA and the ADA: How Two Labor Laws Align and Diverge

On Tuesday, December 4, 2018 at 1 PM Eastern, join Jordan B. Schwartz and Lindsay A. DiSalvo of the law firm Conn Maciel Carey for a complimentary webinar: “OSHA and the ADA: How Two Labor Laws Align and Diverge.”

OSHA guidance states that “if an employee can perform their job functions in a manner which does not pose a safety hazard to themselves or others, the fact they have a disability is irrelevant.”  But under the Americans with Disabilities Act, it can be difficult to determine when and how to accommodate a disability while also protecting safety of disabled employees and their co-workers.  This assessment is further complicated when employers are unaware a disability may cause or contribute to a workplace hazard.  It is important to understand the law in this context, especially due to America’s aging workforce.

The ADA also requires medical information related to a disability be kept confidential, yet OSHA mandates certain information be provided on OSHA injuries and illness recordkeeping Logs.  A disability may also impact whether and how an injury is recorded.  Likewise, both the ADA and OSHA rules impact employee drug testing and handling drug test information.  Therefore, it is critical for employers to understand the intersection between the ADA and OSHA.

​During this webinar, participants will learn: Continue reading

Employment and OSHA Issues related to Multi- and Joint-Employers, Contractors, and Temps [Webinar Recording]

On August 16, 2016, Jordan B. SchwartzEric J. Conn, and Lindsay A. Smith, of Conn Maciel Carey’s national Labor and Employment Practice and OSHA Practice, presented a webinar regarding Joint Employer, Multi-Employer, Contractor and Temp Employment Law and OSHA issues.

Employers’ perceptions about their legal responsibilities for certain workers is not always reality.  Although an employer may classify a worker as a temporary worker or independent contractor, that does not mean the Department of Labor takes the same view.  Recently, DOL has been vocal about its belief that most workers should be treated as employees, insinuating that in a majority of cases, it would hold employers accountable for the specific obligations of an employer-employee relationship.  Additionally, employers may have certain employment law and OSHA related obligations and potential liability depending on their role at multi-employer worksites or in joint employer situations.

Overall, DOL has been cracking down on employee misclassification and division of responsibility among multiple employers; thus, it is essential for employers to carefully evaluate the employment relationship and their own individual function at in the multi-employer context.

Participants in the webinar learned: Continue reading

OSHA, EEOC and the Dept. of Justice Weigh In On Transgender Rights in the Workplace

In the last few months, hardly a day has gone by without some news regarding transgender bathroom access.  Perhaps the catalyst for the increased attention on this issue was North Carolina’s passage of its controversial H.B. 2 law which, among other things, restricts transgender people’s access to public restrooms and blocks local governments from passing NC Bathroom Lawanti-discrimination laws to protect LGBT individuals.

Notably, the American Civil Liberties Union (“ACLU”) has since filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging that law, and seeking an injunction preventing the State from enforcing it.  On May 4, 2016, the U.S. Department of Justice sent a letter to North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory saying the state’s controversial law restricting bathroom access for transgender persons is in violation of federal civil rights laws prohibiting employment discrimination.

The ACLU has also successfully challenged other entities that it believed were infringing on transgender rights.  For example, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit recently sided with the ACLU and ruled that a transgender high school student who was born as a female but was barred from using the boys’ bathroom can sue his school board for discrimination.  In that case, the Fourth Circuit accepted the federal government’s interpretation of discrimination as including discrimination against transgender individuals and thus deferred to the U.S. Education Department’s position that transgender students should have access to the bathrooms that match their gender identities, rather than being forced to use bathrooms that match their biological sex.OSHA Bathroom Image

As a byproduct of the increasing visibility of this issue, both the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) have strongly supported transgender rights.  Indeed, last year, OSHA promulgated its “Transgender Restroom Access Guide” with the core Principle that all employees, including transgender employees, should have access to restrooms that correspond to their gender identity.  OSHA linked this to safety and health by reasoning that:

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