On March 12, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) launched a National Emphasis Program (NEP) that brought forward a new enforcement agenda, focusing on establishments in industries that have an increased potential for employee exposure to the COVID-19, including healthcare institutions. NEPs are temporary programs that target OSHA’s resources on particular hazards.
Employers should particularly take heed of the increased funding to OSHA for enforcement actions, which could indicate a potential increase in the number of audits and inspections, as well as additional scrutiny of whistleblower claims. The ARP also extends voluntary COVID-related paid leave benefits, so eligible employers need to consider whether they will continue to offer these benefits on a voluntary basis.
Finally, employers should note that the ARP extends unemployment benefits, provides for COBRA subsidies, and delivers a new round of direct payments to Americans. Absent from the final law is a hike in the minimum wage, a paid leave mandate, and the elimination of the tip credit, which was part of the original bill.
Why You Should Attend It
The National Emphasis Program (NEP) provides a formalized structure for OSHA to implement inspections, including programmed, unprogrammed, and follow-up inspections, in workplaces where employees have a high frequency of potential COVID-19 risks and exposures.
Since the start of the pandemic, OSHA has handled most enforcement work remotely, without in-person inspections. Under the NEP, more inspections will involve on-site visits.
All employers, especially those in what OSHA considers to be high-risk industries, should prepare for the heightened OSHA enforcement activity related to COVID-19 exposures to avoid penalties, fines, and criminal sanctions.
The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has adopted an Updated Interim Enforcement Response Plan for Coronavirus Disease (ERP). Now, as states begin reopening their economies, the revised ERP will “ensure employers are taking action to protect their employees.”
Areas Covered in the Session
-The previous goal of OSHA regarding COVID-19 enforcement in the workplace
-How the new OSHA affects employers for COVID-19 vaccine programs
-What is the NEP and how it impacts how employers mitigate COVID-19 safety in the workplace
-How is the Whistleblower Protection impacted by the new guidance?
-How the new guidance compares to the OSHA Workplace Guidance for COVID-19
-What industries are affected by the New Enforcement Guidance
-How employers should ensure safety in the workplace while complying with the new guidance
-Is there a different recording process in the new guidance?
-The most important enforcement penalties that need to be addressed
-Other necessary workplace inspections that need to be addressed
Who Will Benefit
-Employers in all industries
-Small Business Owners
-Large Business Owners
You may ask your Question directly to our expert during the Q&A session.
Margie Faulk is a senior level human resources professional with over 15 years of HR management and compliance experience. A current Compliance Advisor for HR Compliance Solutions, LLC, Margie, has worked as an HR Compliance advisor for major corporations and small businesses in the small, large, private, public, Non-profit sectors and International compliance.
Margie has provided small to large businesses with risk management strategies that protect companies and reduces potential workplace fines and penalties from violation of employment regulations. Margie is bilingual (Spanish) fluent and Bi-cultural.
Margie’s area of expertise includes Criminal Background Screening Policies and auditing, I-9 document correction and storage compliance, Immigration compliance, employee handbook development, policy development, sexual harassment investigations/certified training, SOX regulations, payroll compliance, compliance consulting, monitoring US-based federal, state and local regulations, employee relations issues, internal investigations, HR management, compliance consulting, internal/external audits, and performance management.
Margie’s unique training philosophy includes providing free customized tools for all attendees. These tools are customized and have been proven to be part an effective risk management strategy. Some of the customized tools include the I-9 Self Audit. Correction and Storage program, Ban the Box Decision Matrix Policy that Employers can provide in a dispute for allegations, Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Compliance Guide, Drug-Free Workplace Volatile Termination E-Book and other compliance program tools when attendees register and attend Margie’s trainings.
Margie holds professional human resources certification (PHR) from the HR Certification Institution (HRCI) and SHRM-CP certification from the Society for Human Resources Management. Margie is a member of the Society of Corporate Compliance & Ethics (SCCE).
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