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Employment Law Alert: OSHA Issues Emergency Temporary Standard for Managing COVID-19 in the Healthcare Employers and Roadmap for Other High Risk Workplaces

On June 10, 2021, the U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL) Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released the Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) for Healthcare Employers as well as Guidance for Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace. The ETS mandates specific legal obligations for employers in protecting healthcare workers from COVID-19 exposure, as well as providing non-mandatory “guidance” for other employers. This ETS has been anticipated since January 2021 when President Biden signed an executive order asking the DOL to release an ETS addressing COVID health concerns in the workplace. Healthcare employers must comply with the ETS within two weeks of the final rule being published in the Federal Register, or at minimum, show good faith efforts to come into compliance as soon as possible thereafter. Other private employers are encouraged to comply with the ETS as well, based on OSHA’s recommendations and the likelihood that employees will mount legal challenges to lesser standards.

  • Full service national law firm founded in 1997 with over 300 attorneys in 30 offices in 18 states across the U.S.
  • Tried over 1,000 cases to verdict; internationally recognized for exceptionally high rate of success
  • #3 ranking on The American Lawyer’s 2020 Diversity Scorecard, which records the average number of minority attorneys at Am Law 200 and NLJ 250 law firms
  • Recognized as one of the top 10 law firms in the nation for inclusiveness of women lawyers in the National Law Journal’s 2020 Women in Law Scorecard
  • Named a "Go-To Law Firm" in ALM's annual edition of In-House Law Departments at the Top 500 Companies
  • Top 150 ranking on the National Law Journal’s 2020 NLJ 500, an annual survey of the 500 largest law firms in the U.S.
  • Top 200 ranking on Law360's 400 2019 list of largest U.S. law firms

WSHB Achieves RING Certification in its Continued Commitment to DEI

WSHB is known internationally in the legal field and beyond for its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. Recently, the firm added another recognition to its long list of accolades when it obtained the RING Certification. The RING (Recognizing Inclusion for the Next Generation) Certification is awarded to organizations who demonstrate an ongoing commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. It is the new gold standard to distinguish organizations who actively invest in DEI as a core value and reflect those values in their daily business practices.

WSHB Expands to New Orleans

WSHB opens its doors in the great city of New Orleans! The addition of the NOLA office increases WSHB's ability to service clients and expands its reach in the Southeast as the firm continues its striking growth despite challenges posed by the pandemic. WSHB’s 30th office is led by partner, Lori Barker. Lori's broad based litigation practice includes products liability, premises liability, transportation and construction. She is well regarded for her savvy handling of complex civil litigation involving multiple parties and catastrophic injuries. Her profile throughout the State of Louisiana is underscored by her active involvement in the Louisiana Defense Counsel, of which she has been recently elected to serve on the Board of Directors. A legal thought leader, Lori gives back serving as an adjunct professor at Tulane School of Professional Advancement in their General Legal Studies program.

“A Double Dose of Power”

In celebration of the evolution of women's empowerment in the legal and medical professions, partner Constance Endelicato brings us her latest article "A Double Dose of Power," published in the Best Lawyers Sixth Annual "Women in the Law" Business Edition. This poised and insightful article details the historic struggle and rise of women in the legal and medical professions and encourages them to work together to dismantle gender inequality. A shining example of female leadership in the legal field, Ms. Endelicato encourages other women to reach their full potential in industries that only a few decades ago were dominated by men and difficult for women to access.

Texas Construction Law Takes a Step Forward in Eroding the Harsh Standard of Liability Imposed on Contractors as to Owner-Furnished Design Specifications, Plans and Contracts

There is hope on the horizon for Texas contractors who for decades have borne liability for construction defects in owner-furnished contracts. Texas is the only state where a contractor may be liable for the defects that result directly from construction plans and documents prepared or procured by the owner, owner's agent, or owner's design professional. Construction industry professionals have long bemoaned Texas' reliance on the Longeran doctrine, which imposes a harsh standard for liability on contractors in these instances. Senate Bill ("S.B.") 219 would bring Texas on board with the laws of other states by limiting a contractor's responsibility in regard to design defects and owner- furnished plans and specifications, finally providing the Texas contractor some amount of relief.

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