Overview: An employer is required under the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act to provide a safe and healthful workplace for its employees. In doing so, an employer may benefit from having more productive employees, less absenteeism and lower health care costs, to name but a few.
When it comes to managing employee health matters, there are different concerns that must be considered, including those related to everyday health issues, emergency medical situations, mental health, substance abuse and the environment. Having an employee health program that addresses the various health concerns will mean that the workplace is prepared for any contingency. An employee health plan may 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.
When addressing the health concerns of employees, it is critical that an employer consider the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and its obligations and responsibilities under the law. In addition, it is also important that an employer takes steps to protect the employee and avoid discrimination and retaliation claims as a result of any perceived or actual health issue.
Trends: Many states and municipalities ban smoking in the workplace. In recent years, some states are expanding the ban to include electronic cigarettes, pipes, hookahs, and vaping devices. However, regardless of whether state law allows smoking in the workplace, an employer should consider prohibiting smoking and limiting it to the outside or in a designated smoking area.
Author: Melissa Gonzalez Boyce, JD, Legal Editor
This letter may be used to inform employees about a reduction in salary or hourly wage as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
This letter may be used to provide to employees who may need to travel to and from work when travel restrictions or other government-issued restrictions are in place.
Enhanced to address additional health and safety measures to take during an infectious disease outbreak or pandemic.
A new executive order prohibits Michigan employers from discharging, disciplining or otherwise retaliating against employees who stay home because they are at particular risk of infecting others with the COVID-19 coronavirus.
This letter may be used to provide to employees furloughed during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic .
This letter may be used to provide to employees who may have had exposure to the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.
A strategic approach to HR requires understanding how to use human capital metrics to drive business decisions. Expanding the focus to include key measures relevant to the COVID-19 pandemic provides HR with a unique opportunity to leverage lessons learned for future crisis planning and gain insights into the full impact of the pandemic on the organization, its employees and other stakeholders.
Enhanced with additional FAQs about downsizing.
Updated to include CARES Act information regarding health care benefits.
HR and legal considerations for employers regarding employee health programs. Support on keeping employees healthy and productive while at work.