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Posts from March 2014.

You have probably heard lawyers grump that “bad facts make bad law.” This growl means that unusually egregious facts may cause a jury to rule for a plaintiff where the law does not actually favor them. Similarly, it only takes a few unusual workplace fatalities or a recalcitrant employer to bring an industry to the top of OSHA’s list. As an example, while I believe that OSHA’s focus on temporary employees was appropriate, this interest was triggered by several cases where a temporary employee was killed on the first day of work.

Should construction employers worry less about employee discrimination claims than employers in other industries?

Construction employees come and go, depending on the jobs and may not stay with the company long enough to develop an attachment. With such regular turnover, employees may not associate a termination with race, age, sex, national origin, etc. And with a predominantly male workforce, one would logically assume that there would be less opportunity for sex-related claims.

The ABA-OSHA annual Committee Meeting is always one of the best occasions to learn where Fed-OSHA and the State-OSHA Plans are heading. As I type, Jordan Barab, Deputy Assistant Secretary - OSHA is discussing and sort of defending the Fed-OSHA increasing authority over State-Plans, including the recent CASPA against Indiana OSHA. Good stuff comes out of our annual meetings and various articles will be published by publications. If you want brief play-by-play updates as they occur, follow me on Twitter, @howardmavity.

NAWIC observes Women in Construction Week March 2-8

The focus of WIC Week is to highlight women as a visible component of the construction industry. It is also a time for local chapters to give back to their communities. WIC Week provides an occasion for NAWIC’s thousands of members across the country to raise awareness of the opportunities available for women in the construction industry and to emphasize the growing role of women in the industry.

Leadership lessons from the military do not necessarily translate to the private sector. I am uncomfortable with business books which continually analogize the workplace to the battlefield. It’s not the same thing. However, there is an enormous amount of wisdom to be gleaned from those who have served. As an example, Forbes ran a piece by Kevin Kruse discussing the need to be open and authentic with employees, "How One former Navy SEAL Modulates Authentic Leadership. "

Laura Stack posted an excellent INC. article, “You Can’t Stop A Polar Vortex, But You Can Be Ready For The Next One.” While I travel constantly, I live in Atlanta, so this is a visceral subject to me both as a “Catastrophe Manager” and as an Atlanta employer. When Atlanta businesses, government, and schools all decided to release everybody at the same time, I had a first hand seat to witness poor planning and decisions. My secretary got home at 2:00 a.m., my best friend at 5:00 a.m., and others slept in their cars or at Publix, Kroger and CVS stores who graciously let people sleep in the store. I was out to the wee hours rescuing people because I had a good vehicle and outdoor skills, which does not alter the fact that all of us were caught with our proverbial pants down. For a fascinating hour by hour description of Atlanta’s misfortune, complete with images of weather forecasts and communications, read “How To Prevent the Next Atlanta Snow Apocalypse” by the seasoned weather hands of Minnesota Public Radio.

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