There have been many changes to long-established employment laws in the past year or so. In addition to the ‘big ones,’ like amendments to the ADA and FMLA, employers should be mindful of the lesser-known added protections afforded to employees. Here are a few:
Health Care Reform to Create New Employment Law
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act(PPACA), which amends the Fair Labor Standards Act, requires employers with more than 50 employees to furnish a private space, other than a restroom, for mothers to express breast milk. The space must be shielded from view and free from intrusion from co-workers and the public.
Severe Violators Enforcement Program
In June, OSHA’s ‘Severe Violators Enforcement Program’ directive became effective. With the program, OSHA aims at employers it believes willfully and repeatedly expose workers to serious hazards, thereby endangering them. Increased inspections of workplaces can be expected as part of the directive. Violating companies can expect inspections to include locations other than the cited worksites, where similar hazards may be present.
And, of course, employers should be mindful of the many health insurance reforms which affect employer-provided health and benefit plans. Several components of the reforms become effective in 2011, and employers are wise to review existing plans for compliance.
Allen & Gooch is providing this legal update for informational purposes only. This article should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion as to any specific facts or circumstances. You should consult your own attorney concerning your particular situation and any specific legal questions you may have.