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OSHA Issues Updated Guidelines for Preventing Workplace Violence in Healthcare and Social Service Settings

On April 2, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) updated its 1996 and 2004 guidelines for protecting healthcare and social service workers from workplace violence. According to a press release from the U.S. Department of Labor, more than 70 percent of the 23,000 significant injuries due to assault at work occurred in the healthcare and social service industries.  The revised guidelines seek to reduce that number by identifying the best ways to reduce the risk of violence for workers in a variety of healthcare and social service settings, including hospitals,...

Hawaii Supreme Court Considers Medical Center's Decision to Reject Job Applicant with Felony Drug Conviction

In April 2012, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued its updated enforcement guidance concerning how, in its view, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII)  restricts an employer's discretion to consider criminal records relative to employment decisions.  Even before April 2012, and since that time, the EEOC has filed lawsuits against a handful of employers challenging employer screening policies that the EEOC maintains disproportionately affect protected class members (known as "disparate impact" discrimination claims). While many...

New Mexico Supreme Court Creates Additional Protections for Physicians Participating in Peer Review

In a singular decision that may became a model around the country, the New Mexico Supreme Court has ruled that a hospital violated the law by using confidential information about a physician’s peer review conduct to terminate his employment.  The court affirmed a verdict in favor of the physician and upheld the jury’s award of compensatory and punitive damages.In Yedidag v. Roswell Clinic Corp., a physician employed by a hospital was terminated for unprofessional conduct during a peer review meeting. The subject of the peer review session was another doctor's treatment of...

California Issues Draft of Proposed Regulations Implementing Hospital Violence Standards

California’s Senate Bill 1299, enacted in the fall of 2014, requires the State’s Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board to adopt standards requiring certain hospitals to implement a workplace violence prevention plan by July 1, 2016.  On February 5, 2015, the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (the “Division”) issued a draft regulatory proposal that would require healthcare employers (including hospitals, clinics, drug-treatment facilities, home health care, and other healthcare operations) to develop workplace violence prevention plans specific to...

Whether Florida Hospital Should Have Reassigned Disabled Nurse with a Cane is a Jury Issue, Court Holds

A recent decision by a Florida federal court, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. St. Joseph’s Hospital, Inc., serves as a reminder to employers of the need to fully explore reasonable accommodations requested by disabled employees, including reassignment. In St. Joseph’s Hospital, the district court found that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) might be able to demonstrate at trial that a hospital violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by failing to consider a disabled nurse who used a cane for two positions for which she applied. Plaintiff...

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Format: 2015-04-19
Format: 2015-04-19