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Occupational Safety and Health and Work Place

By louispatin11 Sep 01, 2010 1083 Words

University of Phoenix
Employment Law
Lamija Basic
February 1, 2010

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) are laws that allow protection of employees. The arguments from both sides (Employee and Employer) about these two laws are important and carry a huge impact to both parties. The two laws offer a great deal of protection for the employee but have a large finical impact to the employer. FMLA and OSHA was enacted to aid employees in balancing work and personal obligations, without having to choose between the two in times of crisis. FMLA was created in 1993 to insure the employees’ stability for his/hers family and work responsibilities by allowing the employee to take medical paid leave for certain medical and family reasons. An employee can take up to twelve (12) week of unpaid leave during any twelve (12) months period. The request for leave can be for any of the following reasons: pregnancy, prenatal complications, or the adoption/fostering of a child, chronic conditions -- diabetes, epilepsy, etc, Long-term conditions -- Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, hospitalization and conditions that requires ongoing treatment -- chemotherapy, dialysis, carpal tunnel, etc. An employee becomes eligible by working at their company for more than 12 months and must have worked at least 1,250 hours during the previous year. The FMLA act applies to all public agencies, public and private elementary school and secondary schools. Other requirements on the employer side are the company has to employ more the 50 people and all employees must live within 75 miles of the work place. Companies with fewer than 50 people within 75 miles of the employee’s worksite do not qualify for FMLA leave. There are three different types of FMLA leaves an employee can take and they are, Reduced FMLA leave: An employee needs to reduce the amount of hours they work per day or per week, often to care for a family member or to reduce stress. Continuous FMLA leave: An employee is absent for more than three consecutive business days and has been treated by a doctor. Intermittent FMLA leave: An employee is taking time off in separate blocks due to a serious health condition that qualifies for FMLA. Intermittent leave can be in hourly, daily, or weekly increments. Intermittent FMLA is often taken when an employee needs ongoing treatment for their condition. Some critics, mainly conservatives/Republicans and business owners, argue that, by mandating various forms of leave that are used more often by female than male employees, the Act, like the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, makes women more expensive to employ than men. Whether you agree or disagree the employer should and has the responsibility to notify all employees of their right to the Family and Medical Leave Act. Many can argue that there are too many laws in the work place but most laws were put in place to protect the employee and keep them safe. Some laws are there to insure that the employee have the proper time to care for a sick love one or grieve for a family member that has passed on. Then there are laws that allow the employee to continue to pay their bills if they injured at the work place. OSHA was put into effect in 1970 by former President Richard Nixon OSHA provide the guidelines for what is considered a safe work place and it also cover the benefits in which an employee is entitled to if injured in the work place. The purpose of the OSHA act was to encourage employers and employees to reduce the amount of accidents at the work place as well as establish new and improve safety and health standards. Training programs, reporting and recordkeeping system are also part of the OSHA Act to monitor job site injuries and illnesses for each company. Based on the records of each individual company they are given a rating on safety, which can increase or decrease that particular company’s insurance cost. Depending on the industry you work in, the employer has a responsibility to protect the health and safety of it employees. Many companies have different types of responsibility in regards to their employees. If you are working for Target your risks as an employee may be different than if you are working for UPS or some construction company. Under the guidance of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, an employer must provide a workplace free from recognized hazards that are causing, or are likely to cause, death or serious physical harm to their employees regardless of the size of your business. With this standard enforced it can mean different thing for different companies, when comparing a construction company to a retail store the hazards can be extremely different. If we were to compare three large companies like Target, Lowes and UPS the health and safety may be very different. Target is a large retail store that has a lot of merchandise spread over a large floor space. The employees that work there are responsible for unloading the large trucks and placing this merchandise in its proper location, which means there is a lot of lifting and carrying of goods. If you were to look at a Lowes warehouse which carries a lot of building material, chemicals, tools, lawn care products all with heavy machine moving about the risk for these employee may be greater than those of the Target employees. Another company we can look at is UPS although they are not a retailer the risk of their employees may or may not be the same as the Target Employees. The UPS employee handles many packages in a day’s time which entails lifting, carrying and driving. “OSHA's mission is to ensure that every working man and woman in the nation is employed under safe and healthful working conditions.”(Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA, 2007) OSHA regulates the workplace, materials and chemical used in the workplace and works to train employees on how to monitor these areas. Some of the items that are monitored are toxic chemicals such as asbestos, lead and pesticides. All these materials are monitored and documented for government inspections. References

CA.Gov Department of Industrial Relations (2009). Public safety program. Retrieved March 4, 2010, from Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). (2007).Retrieved on March 4, 2010 from

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