In May 2016, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (“OSHA”) announced its final rule to “improve tracking of workplace injuries and illnesses.” Effective December 1, 2016, the rule targets retaliation against employees for reporting workplace accidents, including disciplinary actions that are likely to impair or discourage future reporting efforts. In its recent guidance, the agency suggests that blanket, mandatory post-accident drug testing can itself be a form of unlawful discipline where the employer lacks what OSHA terms a “reasonable basis” for suspecting drug or alcohol impairment. The “reasonable basis” language, which has so far received no further clarification, introduces ample uncertainty as to what conduct may be subject to an agency citation and how citations for drug testing fit within the agency’s existing penalty framework. READ MORE
Alex Mitchell is a member of Orrick's Employment Law Group.
Alex graduated with honors from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, where he was awarded the Thomas M. Cooley Legal Writing Award in two consecutive years. He graduated concurrently from Carnegie Mellon's Heinz School, where he was awarded a degree with distinction in public policy and management. While in law school, Alex was an honors legal intern at the Department of Defense, where he participated in a wide variety of legal matters ranging from employment litigation to federal acquisitions.
Alex’s practice focuses on litigation and counseling across a wide range of employment issues claims, including discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wrongful discharge, and wage and hour issues. Alex’s practice also includes investigating internal employee relations matters, preparing employee handbooks and policies, and drafting employment contracts and other employee agreements.