Employer Law Report

Tag Archives: swine flu

How Should the Ohio BWC and Industrial Commission Treat Claims for H1N1?

As concerns about the potential scope of the H1N1 flu continue to grow, one question we keep hearing from clients is whether employees who believe they have contracted H1N1 in the workplace may have compensable workers’ compensation claims. In the vast majority of cases, we believe the answer will be a resounding "No."

Ohio defines an occupational disease as:

"a disease contracted in the course of employment, which by its causes and the characteristics of its manifestation or the condition of the employment results in a hazard which distinguishes the employment in character from employment generally, and the employment creates a …

Homeland Security Says Small Business Should Develop Written Plan to Prepare for H1N1

"The most important thing you can do to prepare your business is to have a written plan."

The federal Department of Homeland Security, in conjunction with the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Small Business Administration (SBA), provides this advice to small businesses in its recently released, Planning for H1N1 Influenza: A Preparedness Guide for Small Business. The Guide suggests a seven step process for developing your written plan:

  1. Identify a workplace coordinator
  2. Examine policies for leave, telework, and employee compensation
  3. Determine who will be responsible for assisting workers who become sick at the workplace
  4. Identify essential employees,

Updated Guidance for Businesses and Employers for the Fall Flu Season

Concerns about H1N1 Influenza are beginning to creep back into everyone’s consciousness as summer is drawing to a close. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has issued updated guidance for businesses and employers, which can be found at:

CDC Guidance for Businesses, Employers, and Workplaces to Plan and Respond to 2009 H1N1 Influenza

Preparing for the Flu: A Communication Toolkit for Businesses and Employers

Employers should be ready to implement strategies to protect their workforces while ensuring continuity of operations. Most of the recommendations boil down to simple common sense:


  1. Encourage workers who are sick to stay

EEOC Issues Technical Guidance on ADA-Compliant Employer Preparedness for the H1N1 Flu Virus

We have been receiving more and more questions from human resources professionals asking how the ADA might impact their preparation for a potential pandemic flu. Now the EEOC has issued technical guidance on the topic, focused primarily on employers’ rights to make medical inquiries and require medical examinations of applicants and employees.  With respect to applicants, the EEOC notes that the ADA operates normally to preclude all disability-related questions and medical exams until after a conditional offer has been made.  With respect to current employees, who can be required to respond to medical inquiries or undergo medical exams only if they are …

It’s Not Too Soon to Prepare for Swine Flu Pandemic

Now that we have the first confirmed case of swine flu here in Ohio, it makes sense to dust off the guidance we received from the U.S. Department of Labor and the Center for Disease Control when the avian flu was prompting concerns about a pandemic flu in the United States. Thus far, the confirmed cases of swine flu in the United States appear to have been relatively mild, but employers nevertheless should prepare to do their part to reduce the threat of pandemic flu and to respond should their workplaces be hard hit.

Those employers who want to be ahead …