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OSHA Regulations & Hearings

Cal/OSHA regulations (California Occupational Safety and Health or DOSH), enforcement policies, and appeals board decisions are challenging California employers as never before to remain profitable while meeting the demands of regulations that are often conflicting, confusing, harsh, and counter-productive.  The Labor Law Group navigates this hazardous environment to find effective and economical solutions to Cal/OSHA regulations and related legal problems for our clients.

We specialize in the broad spectrum of labor and employment law compliance and representation. Our areas of specialty include:

  • Occupational Safety and Health [OSHA]

    • California

    • Other states

    • Federal OSHA

  • Crisis Response and Management

  • Risk Analysis

  • California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board

  • "Serious and Willful Misconduct" (Calif. Labor Code § 4553 and 4553.1)

  • Workers' Compensation Discrimination claims (Calif. Labor Code § 132a)

Citations, if not challenged and allowed to become final, will affect an employer's ability to continue doing business in several ways.  The first and most obvious hindrance is the effect that penalties - starting at a standard $18,000 for a serious accident-related violation - have on profitability.  Another citation for the same or a similar violation within three years can cause the second or third violation to be classified as Repeat, with the standard penalties multiplied by a factor of two or three.  Where Cal/OSHA believes that the citation should be classified as Willful, the standard penalty will be multiplied by a factor of five.

In the case of death or catastrophic incident, DOSH will either refer the matter to its in-house criminal investigation unit, the Bureau of Investigation, or alert local law enforcement.  Cross-referrals to the EPA, local air quality management agencies, the Department of Labor Standards Enforcement, and other agencies are now a routine part of DOSH's response to an accident or complaint.

Unchallenged citations can also hamper the employer's ability to secure new business: all final citations are publicly listed on Fed OSHA's website.  Many entities, especially public agencies and developers, now routinely review a company's OSHA experience during the bidding process.  To search for your company's history, click here.

A citation for a serious, accident-related violation can be offered as evidence of serious and willful misconduct (S&W) at the California Workers Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB).  The penalties for S&W can be severe, and they are uninsurable.

In a crisis, the myriad liabilities faced by employers in California - regulations, workers compensation, civil and criminal - all come into play.  When a disaster occurs, creating the basis for legal defense is as essential as returning to production.  We use the attorney-client communication and work product privileges to protect our clients from the beginning.  We also work with our clients' insurance carriers and brokers to guarantee that proper protections are in place as soon as possible.  

We also provide our clients with safety audits and risk management services, using the resources of well respected safety and health and consultants. 

For a FREE consultation with one of our professionals at The Labor Law Group, call (800) 850-3466, or use our Contact Us form today!

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