Occupational Safety & Health (OSHA)



From “A” (Cal/OSHA’s ATD standard) to “Z” (Fed/OSHA’s subpart Z), we help our clients with their many complex safety and health compliance obligations and defend them when citations are issued or litigation arises.

Our approach

We know OSHA law inside and out, and we have helped define how that law is interpreted and applied.

With literally thousands of safety and health regulations to follow, compliance can be very difficult for employers. From the hazards of each specific job, to responding to natural disasters, workplace emergencies and pandemic response, we help you find effective solutions.

We provide management training on all occupational safety and health issues and help you develop robust, yet practical safety programs and stay on top of regulatory developments. We help you audit and identify what you need to do to be in compliance today—and tomorrow—and then help you with implementation.

We guide employers through the crucial hours during an agency inspection and through emergency response. If and when citations, litigation or criminal charges follow, we provide our clients with early case analysis, efficient case management and a tenacious defense.

Where compliance just is not feasible, we also assist in obtaining relief through variances and the rulemaking process.

Who we work with

  • All employers, with an emphasis on high-hazard industries subject to the strictest occupational safety and health regulations

Whistleblower attorneys are looking beyond safety law boundaries

Bloomberg Law | May 12, 2022

This article discussing alternatives to OSHA enforcement and OSHA’s whistleblower provision quotes San Francisco Labor & Employment partner Rachel Conn, who mentions that employers need to be wary of workers who become aware of standards outside their normal duties that could turn up in a whistleblower complaint.

Inside 'contract hell': Esports players say predatory contracts run rampant

The Washington Post | March 03, 2022

This article discussing contract-related issues in the esports industry, including contracts with players who are minors, restrictive time pressures to review contracts, and language barriers, quotes Los Angeles partner Benjamin Kim, Labor & Employment deputy practice group leader and OSHA practice chair, on why it’s important for companies to establish clear policies and comply with applicable laws.

The OSHA mandate rule is gone. Here's how businesses are proceeding.

The Business Journals | February 11, 2022

San Francisco Labor & Employment partner Rachel Conn is quoted extensively in this article covering how businesses are proceeding since the US Supreme Court blocked the OSHA vaccine mandate, including comments related to communication and customization being key best practices for employers since there is no one-size-fits-all approach.

Some Rochester companies are following the Supreme Court ruling against vaccine mandates

WROC-TV | January 14, 2022

This TV news segment, focusing on the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to block the OSHA rule mandating COVID-19 vaccination for large companies, features Rochester Labor & Employment partner Kim Harding for her thoughts on the ruling and how companies are breathing a sigh of relief for no longer having potential OSHA penalties lingering over them.

Labor and employment attorney on Supreme Court halting COVID-19 vaccine rule for businesses

WHEC-TV | January 13, 2022

Rochester partner Kim Harding is quoted in this broadcast segment regarding how some large companies will be relived in the wake of the SCOTUS decision, as it lifts the administrative burden of collecting tests and vaccination cards. Kim is also quoted on how the decision does not include the reinstatement of employees who were terminated for not getting vaccinated.

Omicron's surge gives bosses a reason to order shots Biden can't

Bloomberg | January 13, 2022

San Francisco partner Rachel Conn is quoted on how the new Omicron variant may influence employers’ decisions to implement a mandate to help mitigate interruption of business operations.

Is COVID a "grave danger"? If not Biden rule may fall flat

Law360 | November 19, 2021

This article, focusing on the possible challenges to the “grave danger” argument in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s emergency temporary standard, quotes Labor & Employment deputy practice group leader, OSHA practice chair and Los Angeles partner Benjamin Kim on what constitutes a grave danger, while he notes there will likely be continued legal scrutiny and discussion.

OSHA regulations likely to be challenged

The Daily Record | November 05, 2021

The following coverage of OSHA’s federal COVID vaccination and testing guidelines for large private employers includes outlook from Boston partner Jeff Gilbreth and Rochester partner Kim Harding, both of the Labor & Employment group. They discuss what companies need to know and how they can prepare, and—with several states filing related lawsuits—both Jeff and Kim emphasize that employers should still proceed as though the regulations will be implemented.

Baystate Business

Bloomberg Radio | November 05, 2021

The following coverage of OSHA’s federal COVID vaccination and testing guidelines for large private employers includes outlook from Boston partner Jeff Gilbreth and Rochester partner Kim Harding, both of the Labor & Employment group. They discuss what companies need to know and how they can prepare, and—with several states filing related lawsuits—both Jeff and Kim emphasize that employers should still proceed as though the regulations will be implemented.

How the OSHA vaccine and testing mandate might play out for local businesses

The Boston Globe | November 05, 2021

The following coverage of OSHA’s federal COVID vaccination and testing guidelines for large private employers includes outlook from Boston partner Jeff Gilbreth and Rochester partner Kim Harding, both of the Labor & Employment group. They discuss what companies need to know and how they can prepare, and—with several states filing related lawsuits—both Jeff and Kim emphasize that employers should still proceed as though the regulations will be implemented

Employment attorney on COVID-19 vaccine or test mandate

WHEC-TV | November 04, 2021

This broadcast segment on OSHA’s emergency temporary standard, which was announced yesterday, features Rochester Labor & Employment partner Kim Harding on what the rule requires of large companies and their employees, whether religious or medical exemptions apply, and the timeline of the rule, among other insights.

Biden's vaccine rule is here and half of employers aren't ready

Bloomberg | November 04, 2021

In this article discussing OSHA’s federal COVID vaccination and testing guidelines for large private employers, which were announced on Thursday, San Francisco Labor & Employment partner Rachel Conn is quoted on the potential burden and obstacles posed by weekly testing.

Businesses are stuck waiting for federal vaccine mandate rules

The Boston Globe | October 05, 2021

This article on OSHA’s impending vaccine requirement for larger employers quotes Boston Labor & Employment partner Jeff Gilbreth on some of the key questions facing employers. He also notes that the long lead time could enable groups to prepare lawsuits challenging whether OSHA has the authority to issue a private employer mandate.

Vaccine mandate lacks detail

The Daily Record | September 15, 2021

This article on President Biden’s recent vaccine mandate for employees of larger companies quotes Rochester Labor & Employment partner Kim Harding on legal questions and nuances employers have regarding the mandate’s implementation and her outlook on OSHA’s upcoming emergency temporary standard.

Employers face new risks as business travel returns

Law360 | March 16, 2021

This article on the risks employers face as business travel returns quotes Labor & Employment deputy practice group leader and OSHA practice chair Ben Kim, of Los Angeles, and San Francisco Labor & Employment partner Rachel Conn on the realities of a shifting office environment.

CDC vaccine guidance offers ‘road map’ for employers

Law360 | March 10, 2021

Labor & Employment deputy practice group leader and OSHA practice chair Ben Kim, of Los Angeles, and San Francisco Labor & Employment partner Rachel Conn provide commentary in this article analyzing the CDC’s new post-vaccination guidance, discussing implications for employers.

Attorneys predict employment litigation cases will gain traction post-pandemic

Rochester Business Journal | March 05, 2021

Rochester Labor & Employment partner Stephanie Caffera is quoted in this article, as part of the publication’s “Litigation“ special report, for her outlook on the relationship between employment litigation and an economic downturn, areas that could pose challenges for employers, and possible federal OSHA guidance specifically for COVID-19.

Former OSHA Head's Transition Role Suggests Quick Emergency Rule

Bloomberg Law | December 08, 2020

In this article covering former OSHA head David Michaels being named to President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team Covid-19 task force, San Francisco Labor & Employment associate Rachel Conn is quoted on employers’ trepidation over possible new regulation.

Liability immunity proposals raise concerns for lawyers

Daily Record | July 31, 2020

In this article on the proposed legislation to provide businesses with immunity from COVID-19 liability lawsuits, Rochester Labor & Employment partner Kim Harding is quoted for her outlook on the legislation and the importance of businesses to continually abide by state and federal laws.

Employer Object To Cal/OSHA Virus Reporting Split From Federal OSHA

Inside OSHA | July 28, 2020

This article, discussing employer objections to the differences between Cal/OSHA and the federal OSHA requirements to record and report COVID-19 cases, quotes an NP alert providing guidance for California employers on the differences. The alert was authored by Occupational Safety & Health (OSHA) practice co-chair and Los Angeles Labor & Employment partner Ben Kim and San Francisco Labor & Employment associate Maritza Martin.

Are employers obligated to accommodate requests to work from home?

WHEC-TV News 10NBC | July 22, 2020

Rochester Labor & Employment partner Kim Harding was featured in this broadcast segment on what obligations employers have to work with their employees as schools start again in September.

DOL Must Hand Over Amazon Safety Data to Journalism Outlet

Bloomberg Law | July 07, 2020

In this article on a recent decision requiring the U.S. Labor Department to provide unredacted safety records to an investigative journalism organization, San Francisco Labor & Employment associate Rachel Conn is quoted on how the decision could make it easier for media outlets and labor unions to request injury and illness data from the government. The decision could also lead to adverse publicity for companies.

Employers with skeleton crews are on the hook for their safety

Bloomberg Law | March 26, 2020

San Francisco Labor and Employment associate Rachel Conn discusses some of the methods employers are using to keep essential employees safe during the coronavirus outbreak—from staggered shifts to reconfigured work spaces.

Are you an essential worker? Says who? And what if you don’t think your job is worth the coronavirus risk?

Chicago Tribune | March 25, 2020

Labor and Employment deputy practice group leader Brian Alcala in Chicago talks about the advice he is giving employers whose employees feel unsafe reporting for work during the coronavirus outbreak.

Rochester Business Report

WHAM-AM (Rochester) | March 13, 2020

This story highlights Rochester Labor and Employment partner Kim Harding’s guidance on what is required of employers during the coronavirus outbreak.

One of your employees is diagnosed with coronavirus What now

CNN Business | March 13, 2020

San Francisco Labor and Employment associate Rachel Conn discusses the steps employers should take if they learn that an employee has contracted coronavirus, including reaching out to local health authorities and notifying employees, customers, and vendors.

In addition to health concerns, coronavirus a legal and employment issue

The Daily Record | March 12, 2020

This coverage features the insights of Rochester Labor and Employment partner Kim Harding on how companies should address the growing coronavirus outbreak—including developing remote work guidelines and protecting the confidential health information of employees.

Rochester-area employers preparing for spread of coronavirus

Spectrum News | March 11, 2020

This coverage features the insights of Rochester Labor and Employment partner Kim Harding on how companies should address the growing coronavirus outbreak—including developing remote work guidelines and protecting the confidential health information of employees.

The Coronavirus checklist: Nine steps to protect your company

Bloomberg Businessweek | March 03, 2020

In this article, San Francisco Labor and Employment associate Rachel Conn suggests that employers coping with coronavirus impacts create a communicable illness policy that outlines what illnesses are covered, employees’ obligation to report them, and employers’ communications practices during an outbreak.

News 8 at Five

WROC-TV | March 02, 2020

Rochester Labor and Employment partner Kim Harding talks about how employers can effectively address the coronavirus outbreak, including weighing short-term staffing needs, analyzing sick leave policies, and limiting employee travel to severely impacted areas.

Coronavirus has employers examining policies around employee illness

WHEC-TV | March 02, 2020

Rochester Labor and Employment partner Kim Harding talks about how employers can effectively address the coronavirus outbreak, including weighing short-term staffing needs, analyzing sick leave policies, and limiting employee travel to severely impacted areas.

Businesses need to start preparing now for virus outbreak

Boston Globe | February 26, 2020

This article on local businesses’ preparation for a possible coronavirus pandemic reaching the U.S. quotes Labor and Employment practice group leader David Rosenthal, who encourages employers to be flexible with their workforces and demonstrate to employees that they are prepared.

The new coronavirus prompts businesses to rethink global travel

WXXI News | February 25, 2020

This radio interview (also available in print) features Rochester Labor and Employment partner Kim Harding discussing the steps Nixon Peabody and other businesses are taking to modify employees’ travel routines as the coronavirus spreads. Kim also explains employers’ right to tell workers to stay home if there is a possibility of infection.

California Employers Should Start Working on Violence-Prevention Plans

Society for HR Management | December 09, 2019

In this article, San Francisco labor and employment associate Rachel Conn provides her insights related to the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health’s draft regulation on workplace-violence prevention programs.

INSIGHT: California overhaul of injury recordkeeping rules just a start

Bloomberg Law | June 04, 2019

San Francisco Labor and Employment associate Rachel Conn wrote this contributed article outlining California’s recent actions to strengthen its occupational safety record-keeping rules in response to weakened protections at the federal level.

Contacts

Benjamin J. Kim

Partner
Deputy Practice Group Leader, Labor & Employment
Chair, Occupational Safety & Health (OSHA)

bkim@nixonpeabody.com

Phone: 213-629-6090

  • U.S. News/Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” 2020 ranked as National Tier One in: Appellate Practice, Commercial Litigation, Corporate Law, Employment Law—Management, Energy Law, Franchise Law, Health Care Law, Labor Law—Management, Litigation—Construction, Litigation—Labor & Employment, Litigation—Real Estate, Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions—Defendants, Patent Law, Public Finance Law, Real Estate Law, Securities Regulation, Tax Law
  • In addition, many Nixon Peabody practices received U.S. News/Best Lawyers Tier 1 rankings at the regional level in the following geographies: Albany, NY; Boston; Buffalo; Chicago; Long Island; Los Angeles; Manchester, NH; New York City; Providence, RI; Rochester, NY; San Francisco; and Washington, DC.
  • Employment attorneys ranked as leading lawyers in their fields by Chambers USA/Global
  • Ranked by Law360 as an Employment 100 firm
  • National and metropolitan honors from publications like Best Lawyers in America, Super Lawyers, Martindale-Hubbell, and other directories and publications
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