Bedbug Invasions in the Workplace: Are You at Risk?
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Dealing with bedbugs in the workplace can be difficult, draining, and distracting - find out prevention tips and avoid legal pitfalls.Bed bugs are back - big time. In recent years, the public went from never having seen a bed bug to now being a rather common occurrence. Bed bugs are most often thought to be associated with places where people sleep (hotels, homes, apartments, dormitories, etc.). Recently, however, they're increasingly showing up in less obvious places like schools, hospitals, movie theaters, retail stores ... and office buildings. Dealing with bed bugs in the workplace can be difficult, draining, distracting -- and sometimes nightmarish. This topic will show why they are such formidable foes, not to be taken lightly. Inspection, management, and prevention tips will be provided, along with tips for staying out of legal trouble.
AuthorsDr. Philip G. Koehler, University of Florida Susan Gross Sholinsky, Epstein Becker & Green, P.C.
Bed Bug History
• Why They Disappeared and Why They Are Currently Resurging World-Wide
• Chemicals That Used to Control Bed Bugs in the U.S.
Signs of a Bed Bug Infestation; What to Look for
• Fecal Spotting
• Live Bugs
Medical Implications With Bed Bugs
• Don't Transmit Disease but Can Cause Anemia, Allergic Reactions, Blisters, Psychological Distress, etc.
Bed Bug Control
• Chemical and Non-Chemical Measures
Employer Legal Obligations
• Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA)
• Building Codes
• Health Codes
• What Might Be Legally Required of an Employer?
• What Will OSHA Do If It Becomes Aware of a Bed Bug Problem in Your Workplace?
What to do if You Notice Bed Bugs
What Can an Employer Do About Bed Bugs?
• Becoming Familiar With What the Bugs Look Like and What to Look for
• Being Diligent When Staying in Hotels
• Reducing Office Clutter
• Put Procedures Into Place
• If Bed Bugs Are Found, Take Immediate Action
• Avoid Claims of Defamation
• Don't Hide the Problem
Should Employers Create and Publish a Bed Bug Policy?
Leaves of Absence
• Must/Should/Will a Leave of Absence Be Paid?
• How Long Should a Leave of Absence Last?
• Are Accommodations (Disability-Related or Otherwise) Required?
What Can an Employer Do to Determine the "Source" of the Bed Bugs?
What Should Employers Do If They Determine Which Employee Is the "Source" of the Bed Bugs?
Are Employers Permitted to Terminate Employees for Bed Bug Related Reasons?
What Types of Liability Might Result From Bed Bug Related Claims?
Aside From the "HR" Issues, There Could Also Be "PR" Issues
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