WEBINAR RECORDINGS

Presented by Eric J. Conn, Kara M. Maciel, Amanda R. Strainis-Walker and Lindsay A. DiSalvo

There have been a number of significant developments related to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus – now officially called “COVID-19.”  Today, the world health organization declared a global pandemic and there are over 1000 confirmed cases in the United States.  Participants in this webinar learned about recent developments and federal legal guidance including:

  • ​Strategies for employers to prevent workplace exposures while complying with Federal and State level labor employment laws

  • OSHA's guidance about preventing workers from exposure to COVID-19 and related regulatory risks

  • FAQs for employers with guidance from the CDC

Presented by Aaron R.Gelb and Amanda R. Strainis-Walker

You just received a set of OSHA citations in the mail. Now what? Should we accept the citations and pay the penalty? Should we participate in an Informal Settlement Conference with the OSHA Area Office? Should we contest the citations? If we contest, does that mean we’re heading to a trial? What does a good settlement look like and how can we achieve our settlement goals?

This webinar will explain the post-citation process and provide tips and strategies for resolving OSHA citations in a manner that prevents future “Repeat” violations, reduces the penalty, mitigates the impact of the citations on potential criminal prosecutions and/or personal injury or wrongful death suits, and helps you avoid the Severe Violator Enforcement Program.


Participants in this webinar learned:

 

  • Post-Citation options and processes

  • How to assess the potential future impact of OSHA citations

  • Settlement goals

  • Tips and strategies to achieve settlement goals

Presented by Eric J. Conn, Kate M. McMahon and Beeta B. Lashkari

The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (the CSB) has, for the first time, established a chemical release reporting rule that creates broad new requirements for employers to report accidental releases to the CSB within 8 hours if certain thresholds are met. The CSB promulgated this new Accidental Release Reporting Rule because of a 2018 federal district court decision mandating that the CSB issue the rule pursuant to the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments. The court had set an expedited schedule, giving the CSB only 12 months to develop and finalize the rule.

Conn Maciel Carey’s national OSHA • Workplace Safety Practice Group coordinated an ad hoc Coalition of employers and trade associations to prepare rulemaking comments about the proposed rule. While CSB revised the final rule in a few important ways to address the concerns our Coalition raised in our comments, the final rule still includes several problematic requirements that will create major compliance headaches for employers across the country. The rule will take effect in March, 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.


Participants in this webinar learned:

 

  • History of the CSB’s efforts to promulgate a reporting rule

  • What was in the Proposed Rule

  • Comments about the proposed rule submitted by Conn Maciel Carey and our Coalition

  • Details of the Final Rule, including coverage, contents of the reports, reporting deadlines, etc.

  • What employers must do now to comply

  • Potential legal challenges to the rule

Presented by Aaron R. Gelb and Dan C. Deacon

The New Year brings a host of changes and challenges for Illinois employers as the legislature passed and Governor Pritzker signed, in 2019, a variety of new labor and employment laws that go into effect in 2020. These new laws promise to keep employers busy as they revise and update employee handbooks, develop new training programs, reevaluate their arbitration agreements and deal with the decriminalization of marijuana. Beginning in January 2020, employers will be faced with an expanded Illinois Human Rights Act that applies beyond the physical workplace, covers non-employee contractors and protects against discrimination based on perceived (in addition to actual) protected status. There are also special new rules that apply to restaurants, bars and coffee shops as well as disclosure requirements that will necessitate notifying the Department of Human Rights of adverse judgments in employment discrimination or harassment matters. The Victims’ Economic Security and Safety Act has also been amended and a recently signed “trailer bill” has clarified what employers should do if they wish to prohibit the use of marijuana as part of their workplace drug and alcohol policy.

 

Likewise, the District of Columbia has enacted or is considering a host of changes that employers need to keep track of in 2020.  D.C.’s Tipped Wage Workers Fairness Amendment Act of 2018 imposes certain training and notice requirements on all employers of tipped employees.  The deadline to implement that training and to provide the requisite notice, however, has not yet been determined, as a majority of the Act’s requirements have not been approved through budget funding, including those related to mandatory sexual harassment training. The only provisions of the Act that are currently in effect, besides the repeal of the Minimum Wage Amendment Act of 2018 / Ballot Initiative 77, are related to employee and manager training on D.C.’s Minimum Wage Act Revision Act and third-party payroll and wage reporting requirements.  Furthermore, under D.C.’s Paid Leave Act, private sector employers began paying a .62% tax on July 1, 2019 to fund paid-leave benefits.  Beginning on July 1, 2020, eligible employees will be eligible for paid leave benefits under the law, which provides up to eight weeks of paid parental leave to bond with a new child, six weeks of paid family leave to care for an ill family member with a serious health condition, and two weeks of paid medical leave to care for one's own serious health condition.  July 1, 2020 also marks the date that the D.C. Minimum Wage will increase to $15.00 per hour.  Finally, the D.C. City Council is considering two bills that would eliminate marijuana testing of employees at work.

Participants in this webinar learned:

 

  • What type of harassment training must be provided to employees and when;

  • Which policies and procedures should be reviewed and/or revised;

  • What steps Illinois employers should take if they wish to continue drug testing for cannabis;

  • What they can and cannot do with respect salary inquiries and employee discussions about wages;

  • Potential changes to D.C. drug testing laws

  • Tips to comply with D.C.’s Tipped Wage Workers Fairness Amendment Act of 2018, the Paid Leave Act, and the increased minimum wage

Presented by Nicholas W. Scala

As we move into 2020, the last year of the Trump Administration’s first term, a new MSHA is taking form. The Agency has undergone, and continues to undergo, significant changes with its personnel, structure, and priorities. In this webinar, we will examine MSHA’s 2019 with respect to enforcement, rulemaking, and the One MSHA “blurring” of the Coal and Metal/Nonmetal divisions. We will also explore the potential areas of emphasis for the upcoming year and outline several items mine operators and independent contractors should monitor during 2020.

 

During this webinar, participants learned about:

  • 2019 MSHA enforcement trends and statistics;

  • The status of existing and new MSAH enforcement initiatives;

  • Review of One MSHA Blurring of the Coal and Metal/Nonmetal enforcement divisions; and

  • Status of M/NM Workplace Exam, Powered Haulage, and Respirable Quartz rulemaking.

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