Tag archives: safety

US: Why a Mandatory Vaccination Policy May Not Restore Business as Usual for Companies

Throughout the United States, employers are weighing whether to have a mandatory vaccination policy for COVID-19. The objective is to bring employees back to work safely and the understandable desire to return to our pre-pandemic status quo.

Mandatory vaccination policy

This post does not advocate in favor or against a mandatory vaccination policy—except to note there may be good reasons not to require it; the law requires accommodation from such a requirement in some circumstances; and there is no clear legal authority to compel employees as a condition of employment to receive a vaccine which has only FDA Emergency Use Authorization. Rather, it’s … Continue Reading

US: Virginia becomes first state to adopt COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard

On July 27, 2020, the first state “Emergency Temporary Standard” (ETS) for COVID-19 went into effect. The ETS requires employers in the state to develop and implement COVID-19 prevention and control measures in the workplace. The ETS is in effect for six months, although this period could be shortened if the Virginia State of Emergency expires, a permanent standard is enacted or the Virginia Safety and Health Codes Board repeals it.

Employers covered by the Emergency Temporary Standard

The ETS applies to all public and private employers and places of employment in Virginia, with the exception of federal employers, private … Continue Reading

The employer’s refusal to adapt the employee’s workstation may constitute moral harassment

The legal context

Under French employment law, employers are under a strict duty of care which requires them to ensure the protection of their employees’ health and safety (duty of care), the mere breach of such obligation will trigger their liability even if there is no fault on their part. Such duty of care is interpreted very extensively by case law. In this context, employers should comply strictly with the opinions and recommendations of the occupational health physician, particularly in the framework of medical visitation following an employee’s sick leave.

In addition, French employment law also strictly prohibits moral harassment. … Continue Reading

Dismissal Upheld for Dishonesty and Cover Up of Safety Risks

In a recent arbitration decision involving a utility company, an Ontario arbitrator reiterated the importance of trust in the employment relationship and upheld the dismissal of a seven-and-a-half-year employee with no disciplinary history for covering up a safety violation.

Facts

On October 9, 2012 the grievor, a supervisor, was working with his team to remove gaskets from an old generator.  It was known that gaskets could be made of asbestos. The workplace policy was to assume that gaskets were made of asbestos and confirm with reference to documents in the workplace computer system. The grievor visually concluded that the gasket … Continue Reading

LexBlog