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after weighing the circumstances.
For instance, while a company has
no legal duty to report a case of head
lice in the workplace, a prudent
employer would be well-advised to
inform employees (perhaps via an
all-facility email or poster) that an
incident of head lice has been reported, and that employees may wish
to consider treatment if they exhibit
symptoms. The announcement can
make clear that the incident has
nothing to do with the cleanliness of
the facility of the employees in question, and provide a resource for any
questions. Despite the “yuck” factor,
employees will appreciate you looking out for their best interests and
Multinational employers must
take a worldwide approach. While
this article focuses on the US regulatory scheme, multinational companies
should implement a pandemic and
epidemic response across their world-wide operations, which may require
an analysis of compliance with laws
in other countries. This approach is
especially important where employees
from other countries travel to and from
areas experiencing a local epidemic.
1 29 U.S.C. § 654(a)(1).
For instance, some countries — including the United Kingdom and Australia
Prevent and respond to acts
of discrimination and harassment. Some employees have acted
out against fellow employees from
certain countries during pandemics.
For example, given its start in Africa,
some employees avoided (or otherwise discriminated against) coworkers from African countries during
the peak of the Ebola scare. Such actions, even if founded in fear and not
discriminatory animus, could violate
state and federal national origin discrimination laws, particularly if not
immediately addressed and remedied
by an employer, and lead to claims of
a hostile work environment.
— have enacted “duty of care” laws
requiring employers to guarantee a safe
work environment, including situations involving foreign travel.8 In some
countries — including much of Latin
America and Europe — employers
must appoint health and safety representatives or committees, and confer
with them on health and safety policies
in the workplace.
5 The ADA applies outside the United
States to (1) US Citizens employed
outside the United States by a US firm
and (2) US Citizens employed outside
the United States by a non-US firm
“controlled” by a US firm. 42 U.S.C.
§§ 2000e(f), 12111(4). Four factors
are considered in determining whether
sufficient “control” exists: interrelation
of operations, common management,
centralized control of labor relations, and
common ownership or financial control.
US Dep’t of Health and Human
Servs., Business Pandemic Influenza
Planning Checklist: Item 1.1, www.
Keep calm and stay compliant.
The laws are somewhat complicated,
but the basic mission is simple. While
dealing with epidemics, pandemics,
and health crises can be frightening
for employers and employees alike, a
thoughtful, comprehensive, and legally
compliant approach can go a long
way to quelling and accommodating employees’ reasonable fears while
maintaining a healthy, high-function-ing workplace. ACC
8 The OSH Act, by its terms, does not
apply to US employees working abroad.
The statute’s application is expressly
limited to “employment performed
in a workplace in a state, the District
of Columbia, The Commonwealth
of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands,
American Samoa, Guam, the Trust
Territory of the Pacific Islands, Lake
Island, Outer Continental Shelf
lands . . . Johnston Island, and the
Canal Zone.” 29 U.S.C. § 653(a).
ACC EXTRAS ON… Health regulation
Chemical Regulation Enters the 21st Century: A New Day for the Toxic
Substances Control Act (Nov. 2016). www.accdocket.com/articles/
Cybersecurity and Medical Devices: Reality Bytes (Oct. 2014). www.
The Telehealth “Top Ten” for 2015 (July/Aug. 2015). www.acc.com/
Ten Things That Health Care Lawyers Should Be Thinking About
(Dec. 2014). www.acc.com/legalresources/publications/topten/
Personalized Medicine: A New Paradigm (July/Aug. 2016).
Brazil Garment Industry – Health and Safety Issues Overview
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ACC DOCKET APRIL 2017
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3/22/17 10:11 AM