Safety Perspectives From Region 6: Fatality and Catastrophe Investigations, Part II—Reports, Privilege, and Witness Statements

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.

Multistate Monday: Tax Consequences of Fully Remote, Hybrid, and Temporarily Remote Workforces

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.

Dirty Steel-Toe Boots, Episode 19: The Worker Walkaround Representative Designation Process

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.

I-9 Compliance, Part IV: Additional Considerations for Using the Alternative Procedure

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.

I-9 Compliance, Part III: Using the Alternative Procedure for Remote Verification of Employment

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.

Safety Perspectives From Region 6: Fatality and Catastrophe Investigations, Part I—Preserving and Documenting the Scene

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.

I-9 Compliance, Part I: COVID-19 Flexibility—the Expected End and New Beginning

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.

Like, Comment, and Share: Social Media Policies for Multistate Employers

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.

Safety Perspectives From Region 6: National, Regional, and Local Emphasis Programs

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.

Florida’s SB 1718: An Update on What the New State Immigration Law Means for Employers

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.