Archives: Health & Safety

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Is the UK’s Fit for Work scheme fit for purpose?

Time for a quick look at the Guidance issued by the Department of Work & Pensions on the new Fit for Work (FfW) Scheme https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/fit-for-work-guidance. There are two ways of looking at this.  First, that the Guidance is a gallant attempt to explain in simple terms how this Scheme may (I use the word advisedly) … Continue Reading

Private lives v saving lives: privacy intrusions of little consequence when drug testing

There has been a long running battle in Australia about whether an employer, when testing for drug use, can ask employees to provide a urine sample. Many unions have resisted the introduction of urine testing, arguing that saliva testing is sufficient and, as such, the process of sampling urine is an unjustified invasion of privacy. … Continue Reading

UK High Court gives useful recap on liability for stress-induced psychiatric illness in the workplace (Part 3)

In the first two parts of this series (part 1, part 2) we looked at how the Courts still regard the 2002 judgment in Hatton –v- Sutherland as the definitive statement on the law for liability for stress-induced psychiatric injury in the workplace.  However, although still commanding respect in relation to breach of duty and … Continue Reading

UK High Court gives useful recap on liability for stress-induced psychiatric illness in the workplace (Part 2)

In Part 1 of this piece https://www.employmentlawworldview.com/uk-high-court-gives-useful-recap-on-liability-for-stress-induced-psychiatric-illness-in-the-workplace-part-1/ we considered the requirement of foreseeability as a condition of establishing an employer’s liability for stress-related psychiatric harm.  Here we look at the other main ingredient, a breach of duty by the employer. It is not enough that an employee’s illness is as a matter of medical fact … Continue Reading

Federal Appeals Court says No ADA Violation In Denying Worker’s Request to Telecommute

From Lauren Kuley via Squire Patton Boggs’ Sixth Circuit Appellate Blog: On April 10, the Sixth Circuit issued a significant decision on telecommuting accommodations for disabled employees.  In EEOC v. Ford Motor Co., a divided en banc Sixth Circuit affirmed summary judgment for Ford on claims brought under the Americans with Disabilities Act by the Equal Employment Opportunity … Continue Reading

Finally the plight of pregnant workers across Australia is acknowledged – morning sickness is a recognised disability!

In the aftermath of International Womens’ Day, the history books were once again re-written when the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal classified a pregnant worker’s severe morning sickness as a disability under the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 (Vic). Ms Bevilacqua was a full time Sales Consultant at a Telstra store up until October 2013 when … Continue Reading

UK High Court gives useful recap on liability for stress-induced psychiatric illness in the workplace (Part 1)

Every so often, there comes along a case which becomes the new baseline by which decisions in a particular field are made.  In relation to employer liability for psychiatric illness caused by workplace stress, that case is Hatton -v- Sutherland in 2002, still going strong after 13 years and most recently upheld by the High … Continue Reading

UK employers broadly unmoved by advent of Shared Parental Leave

Last month the Squire Patton Boggs Labour & Employment team issued a survey to over 3,000 UK clients and contacts of different sizes and industry sectors in relation to the arrival of the SPL Regulations next month.  By way of context, the Regulations have been widely criticised among employers and legal commentators as grossly over-engineered … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Revises Test For Pregnancy-Based Discrimination

Court Revives 2008 Pregnancy Bias Suit by Former UPS Employee Who Was Denied Light Duty Work Accommodation On March 25th, the United States Supreme Court vacated a lower court’s ruling in favor of United Parcel Service, Inc. (UPS) against a former delivery truck driver, Peggy Young, who claimed, among other things, that she was discriminated … Continue Reading

Sick Leave: Tacoma and Philly Jump On The Bandwagon; Chicago Voters Join In

Maybe we should start calling it ‘chic’ leave, since it’s all the rage right now. Tacoma and Philadelphia are the latest municipalities to require private employers to provide employees with sick leave. They join three states (California, Connecticut and Massachusetts) and fifteen other municipalities (D.C.; Oakland and San Francisco, CA; East Orange, Irvington, Jersey City, … Continue Reading

Arizona Lawmakers Propose Paid Sick Leave, Meal & Rest Breaks, and Discrimination Law Changes

Earlier this month, Democrats in the Arizona legislature introduced three measures that would significantly change the legal landscape for Arizona employers.  While none of the bills are likely to be passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature or be signed by newly-elected Republican Governor Doug Ducey, the proposed laws nonetheless have gotten Arizona employers’ attention. Most recently, … Continue Reading

Federally-Required Paid Sick Leave – President Obama Pushes Passage of Healthy Families Act

Although a few states – most notably California – as well as a handful of cities have passed legislation requiring that employers provide paid sick leave benefits to employees, federal law presently does not mandate that employers offer this benefit.  (The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires that certain employers provide time off … Continue Reading

Carry On up the Consulate – UK Court of Appeal bottoms out foreseeability rules

If an employee is unfairly treated in the course of an internal investigation, grievance or disciplinary procedure and suffers depression as a result, will the employer be liable?  Only if the depression were a foreseeable result of the unfair treatment, said the Court of Appeal last month in Yapp -v- Foreign & Commonwealth Office.  That … Continue Reading

Not unreasonable, not perfect – UK Court of Appeal guidance on disciplinary process

Some generally reassuring guidance for employers from the Court of Appeal this month concerning the level of certainty required to legitimise the starting of formal disciplinary proceedings.   Dr Mian worked at Coventry University when accused of complicity in the provision of falsely favourable references for a former colleague.  A preliminary investigation was carried out by … Continue Reading

Paid Sick Leave Comes to California Next Year….Get Your Policies Ready Now

California Governor Brown signed the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 (the “Act”) which will provide qualifying California employees with paid sick leave beginning July 1, 2015. Modeled on a Connecticut law and the San Francisco Paid Sick Leave ordinance, this Act will generally provide employees who work at least 30 days per year … Continue Reading

US President Signs Executive Order Requiring Federal Contractors to Disclose Labor Violations

On July 31, 2014, US President Barack Obama signed an executive order which will require federal contractors to disclose prior labor violations. Specifically, contractors will be required to disclose violations which occurred in the prior three years involving federal and state wage and hour laws, safety and health, collective bargaining, family and medical leave and … Continue Reading

The Social Action, Responsibility and Heroism Bill – a new low in UK Legislative proposals

Anything designed to reduce the burden of regulation on employers must be a good idea, right?  Well, not necessarily, no, and certainly not the proposed Social Action, Responsibility and Heroism Bill, a legislative proposal defective from conception to execution in almost every way it is possible to imagine.   The Bill is designed, says proud sponsor … Continue Reading

New UK Flexible Working regime – the word on the street

Depending on what you read and who you believe, today’s opening-up of eligibility to request flexible working to all employees with six months’ service or more will be:    (i)         the unleashing of an unstoppable tide of cost, inconvenience and Tribunal claims; or   (ii)        no big deal.   Perhaps by the time you read this, there will … Continue Reading

Practical Implications for French Employers of Recent Changes to SYNTEC National Collective Bargaining Agreement

On 11 April 2014, we published an Alert concerning a new addendum to the SYNTEC National Collective Bargaining Agreement in France.  This change generated extensive worldwide media coverage, including reports that the agreement “involved a million French employees”, that working after 6pm “had become illegal” and that French employees were now “forced to switch off … Continue Reading
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