The Well Workplace

Mitigating compliance risk with Physical Abilities Testing

Posted by Deborah Lechner
Nov 23, 2016 10:19:38 AM

Employers who are hiring for physically demanding jobs can mitigate the risks associated with hiring candidates that don’t have the physical abilities to do the job, through the use of pre-hire Physical Abilities Tests (PAT). The improper use of PAT, however, can lead to another type of risk: compliance. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) specifically spell out the laws relating to these tools so that employers can be sure not to violate federal anti-discrimination laws. Some of the EEOC’s best practices include:

Read More

All Pre-Hire Physical Abilities Tests Shouldn’t Be Painted with the Same Brush

Posted by Deborah Lechner
Jun 17, 2016 10:40:06 AM

When 926 qualified women apply for entry-level warehouse laborer jobs and only six are hired, suspicion will develop. In the case of Gordon Food Service, Inc., a federal food service contractor located in Michigan, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) took notice and action.

Read More

First Aid and OSHA Recordables, a Follow-up: Can Workplace Exercise Qualify as Recordable Medical Treatment?

Posted by Deborah Lechner
Apr 20, 2016 8:00:00 AM

Some time ago we presented a post on first aid and OSHA recordable injuries in the workplace, and since we've received a great deal of feedback on that post, we thought some follow-up would be in order. One particular issue mentioned in that piece that sparked a fair bit of feedback was workplace exercise, which, in some circumstances, can be considered physical therapy under OSHA regulations. Here we'll clarify that issue, helping employers understand when, according to OSHA, workplace stretching or other exercises can cross the line from first aid to OSHA recordable medical treatment.OSHA classifies any on-the-job injury or illness as a recordable event if it requires medical treatment beyond first aid. Under OSHA guidelines, exercises tailored to address specific employee complaints are considered medical treatment that goes beyond first aid. So does that mean that workplace stretching and/or exercise programs designed to aid in preventing such complaints are off-limits? Not at all – provided you take care to keep your program on the right side of that first aid/recordables line.

Read More

OSHA to Up the Enforcement Ante in 2016

Posted by Deborah Lechner
Mar 1, 2016 8:00:00 AM

In case you missed this in your news feed late last year, OSHA is making big changes as the agency steps up its campaign for preventing workplace injuries in 2016. The implementation of a number of new measures will mean an even greater impact on companies failing to live up to workplace safety standards. The following are a few of the most noteworthy measures that you can expect OSHA to take.

Read More

Top 3 Workplace Injuries That Result in Lawsuits

Posted by Deborah Lechner
Feb 25, 2016 8:00:00 AM

Under most circumstances, if your employees are covered by workers' comp, they are not allowed to sue for workplace injuries. However, there are exceptions to that rule. For example, in many states, employers can be sued if they can be shown negligent in addressing hazards in the workplace that have lead to injuries, and litigation can become an issue if an employee's workers' comp claim is contested. Of course, if you do not provide workers' comp coverage to your employees, there is no prohibition against their filing suit regarding workplace injuries.

Here we'll go over the top 3 workplace injuries that result in lawsuits, issues that can lead to legal action, and workplace injury prevention tips that can help your company avoid these problems altogether.

Read More

What's the OSHA Difference?: First Aid Incidents vs. Recordable Incidents

Posted by Deborah Lechner
Dec 23, 2015 8:00:00 AM

OSHA regulations require employers to prepare and maintain records of serious occupational injuries and illnesses. If you're a covered employer, you should be familiar with the OSHA 300 Log in which those records must be kept. However, deciding which on-the-job incidents are recordable and which are not can be confusing – and getting it wrong can cost businesses dearly in penalties and frustration.

How, then, should employers make accurate determinations as to what constitutes a first-aid injury and what is a recordable incident?

Read More

5 Ways for You to Produce Consistently Consistent PAT Results

Posted by Deborah Lechner
Nov 18, 2015 9:00:00 AM

To be effective and accurate in matching the abilities of current or potential employees to jobs, Physical Abilities Testing (PAT) must produce consistent results. Consistency is essential for making objective and reliable employment decisions, maximizing the benefits of testing, and ensuring a legally defensible PAT program.

Read More

Fitting the Pieces Together: Return to Work, ADA, and Reasonable Accommodations

Posted by Deborah Lechner
Nov 9, 2015 8:00:00 AM

As any employer knows, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) creates an obligation for covered employers to provide eligible employees with disabilities reasonable accommodations to enable them to perform the essential functions of their jobs. The difficulty with this obligation for many employers lies in understanding exactly what their responsibilities are in terms of accommodation.

Read More

Going the Distance for ADA Accommodations: How Far is Too Far?

Posted by Deborah Lechner
Nov 7, 2015 8:00:00 AM

Does the term "reasonable accommodation" give you pause? If so, you aren't alone. Many employers, uncertain of their obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), hesitate to use pre-hire testing, forgoing its benefits in reducing bad hires and workplace injuries in an effort to reduce risk of becoming entangled in the accommodation process. After all, "reasonable" means different things to different people, and getting it wrong in terms of what it means to the EEOC can cause a lot of trouble for your company.

Read More

Laying Down the Law: EEOC and ADA Expectations for Return to Work

Posted by Deborah Lechner
Oct 28, 2015 8:00:00 AM

No employer wants to get on the wrong side of the EEOC and ADA, given the potential legal and financial consequences of running afoul of employment regulations. However, compliance is not always easy to define given the ambiguity present in some areas of these regulations.

Read More