Overview: Not only are healthy employees more productive and absent less, and have lower health care costs, but having a successful employee health program means that employers are less likely to be fined for OSHA violations. When it comes to employee health concerns, there are many different considerations to take, including day to day concerns, widespread epidemics, mental health, smoking in and out of the workplace, and medical emergencies.
Having an employee health program that takes care of all the different health concerns will mean that the workplace is prepared for any different contingency. Plans might include training workers in CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver, installing an AED, teaching proper employee hygiene having flexible work schedules, establishing Employee Assistance Programs and Wellness Programs and creating no-smoking environments, among many others.
Whenever health issues are involved, though, it is important to take into account the Americans with Disabilities Act and what it will, or will not, allow you to do. This is especially pertinent when dealing with mental health concerns.
Trends: While many states have banned smoking in the workplace for years, it's not common knowledge that smoking outside the workplace is often a protected activity. Unless there is a valid reason for doing so, such as if the employer's main purpose is to teach the importance of smoking cessation, use caution before implementing policies regarding off-work smoking as it may be considered discriminatory.
Author: Ashley Shaw, JD, Legal Editor
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As mandated by the Oregon Department of Human Services, Oregon Health Authority, every employer covered by Oregon's Smokefree Workplace Law must post the Oregon No Smoking Within 10 Feet poster.
As mandated by the Oklahoma State Department of Health, every employer covered by the Smoking in Public Places and Indoor Workplaces Act must post the Oklahoma Breathe Easy decals.
As mandated by the Pennsylvania Department of Health, every employer subject to the Clean Indoor Air Act of 2008 must post the Pennsylvania No Smoking Sign poster.
A quick reference chart has been added to reflect the states with laws protecting employees and job applicants who smoke from employment discrimination.
While more and more state laws are restricting smoking in public places, employers should be aware that 29 states plus the District of Columbia have laws on the books that ban employment discrimination for off-duty conduct, including smoking.
A flu outbreak has the potential to wipe out large portions of the workforce for multiple days. XpertHR has many valuable resources on this topic to help employers stop the spread of germs in the workplace.
In-depth review of the spectrum of Oklaholma employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to employee health.
In-depth review of the spectrum of California employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to workers' compensation.
HR and legal considerations for employers regarding employee health programs. Support on keeping employees healthy and productive while at work.