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This week’s stories include ...

1. OSHA Proposes Rolling Back Reporting Rule

Our top story: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) plans to roll back a controversial reporting rule initiated at the end of the Obama administration. OSHA has proposed rescinding parts of a 2017 rule that requires companies with 250 or more employees to submit detailed reports on workplace injuries. OSHA says this move would protect employee privacy and reduce the burden for employers. Three organizations have filed suit over the proposed changes, saying that the data from the detailed reports helps improve workplace safety procedures. Corey Argust, from Epstein Becker Green, has more:

“On July 25, 2018, Public Citizen, which is a progressive consumer rights advocacy organization, which was originally founded by Ralph Nader, was joined by two other public health organizations and sued OSHA to try and seek to actually enforce the electronic reporting rule requirements. OSHA had announced that it was suspending the deadline of July 1, 2018, for submitting the required forms and had actually stopped accepting these forms. So, OSHA is now being sued by Public Citizen, who's arguing they violated the law by suspending the deadline and is now seeking to enforce the requirement that employers actually submit these forms to OSHA.”

2. California Clarifies Salary History Ban

Governor Jerry Brown has signed a law that gives employers new clarity on California's salary history ban, which went into effect in January of this year. The new legislation defines such terms as “pay scale,” “applicant," and “reasonable request.” The law also clarifies that employers are allowed to ask applicants about salary expectations.

3. NYC Employers Required to Grant Temporary Schedule Changes

New York City employers are now required to accommodate some employee schedule changes. As of July 18, employees in New York City can request temporary schedule changes, or permission to take unpaid time off for personal events like a caregiving emergency. Employees may request up to two separate schedule changes of up to one business day each, or one schedule change for up to two business days each year. However, employees must be on the job for a minimum of 120 days to be eligible. A new poster has also been issued by the City.

For more, click here: https://bit.ly/2vcmd4b

4. Model FMLA Forms Have Expired

Employers take note—the current Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) forms have gotten a short reprieve. The Department of Labor’s model FMLA notices and medical certification forms were set to expire July 31, but that date was pushed back to the end of August. Once the Federal Office of Management and Budget approves new model FMLA forms, they will be valid through 2021.

For more, click here: https://bit.ly/2vvWrY1

5. Tip of the Week

Christopher Bona, a Partner at Finn Partners, is here with some advice on issue management programs:

“Issues management is a communications leadership function within a company that allows a company to spot emerging trends that can crystallize over time into issues . . . issues that may compel the company to communicate to a variety of its key audiences. How can organizations be prepared and have some sort of a framework for identifying and responding to issues that might affect the business? The first thing that they should do is identify all of the issues that could possibly happen that would come up in the business, that would compel the business to communicate in some fashion. Analyze those issues and prioritize them. Then, take that list and create responses that are ready to go or can be adapted so that when the issue emerges and occurs, the organization is ready to respond. And then lastly, make sure to evaluate the impact of the execution of those responses to the issue.”