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On December 3, 2013, the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) issued a Request for Information (“RFI”) and announced that it was seeking comment from the public concerning changes to the Process Safety Management (“PSM”) standard (29 CFR § 1910.119) and other “policy options” to prevent “major chemical incidents.” This RFI was issued in response to Executive Order 13650, which was issued in response to the April 17, 2013, ammonium nitrate explosion in West, Texas, which killed 15 people.

12/5/2013
Beginning in 1970, OSHA issued standards for 29 different chemicals, including 13 carcinogens for which a Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) was not promulgated. According to Dr. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health:
11/12/2013
On October 30, 2013, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) released OCC Bulletin 2013-29, “Third-Party Relationships: Risk Management Guidance” (“Third-Party Guidance”). Whether your financial institution is regulated by the OCC or not, a detailed review of the Third Party Guidance is highly recommended to all financial institutions and third-party vendors.
11/7/2013
On August 23, 2013, OSHA released proposed new rules that will impact the way employers handle silica exposure in the workplace. These proposed changes carry a potential cost of compliance that may well run in the tens of thousands of dollars for even small to midsize companies. Indeed, most current PPE practices, e.g., respirators, will be deemed insufficient under these new rules and will require significant and expensive changes as set forth below.
10/31/2013
A Federal Appeals Court held that Mississippi’s Stop Notice Statute is Unconstitutional. Owners and general contractors are applauding a recent decision from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in Noatex Corp. v. King Construction, et al., Slip Op. 12-60385, Dkt. No. 00512403459 (5th Cir. Oct. 10, 2013). Subcontractors, on the other hand, lost one of their only options to ensure they get paid when an owner or general contractor does not pay (or pay on time).
10/29/2013
Owners and general contractors are applauding a recent decision from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in Noatex Corp. v. King Construction, et al., Slip Op. 12-60385, Dkt. No. 00512403459 (5th Cir. Oct. 10, 2013). Subcontractors, on the other hand, lost one of their only options to ensure they get paid when an owner or general contractor does not pay (or pay on time).
10/16/2013
All employers contracting or subcontracting with the federal government are required to gather applicant data, prepare spreadsheets and update written materials to reflect affirmative action goals and changes in recruiting sources. With regard to veterans and individuals with disabilities, employers have historically only had to update some information. This is about to change because of two new rules issued by the Department of Labor, Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), which become effective in March, 20141, making employer updates and benchmarks more stringent.
10/10/2013
In January, the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) published the final rules implementing the HITECH Act’s revisions to HIPAA. With a few exceptions, covered entities and business associates must adjust existing business practices in order to comply with these requirements by the September 23, 2013 compliance deadline. For most in the industry, maintaining the status quo will mean that compliance plans and policies will soon be outdated.
9/20/2013
Last month, Edith Ramirez, Chairperson of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), gave a speech (for full text of same click here) about “big data” and the risks that companies face when they fail to protect consumer privacy. The takeaway: Any company that collects or stores personally identifiable non-public information is at risk.
9/18/2013
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) launched various new regulations for employers regarding employee health insurance coverage. While the employer mandate to provide health coverage was postponed by one year, notice requirements still loom. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires employers to provide notice to employees of coverage options through the Health Insurance Marketplace that become available January 1, 2014.
9/12/2013
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