WorkComp Advisory
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Things you should know

New I-9 Form Delayed

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it has delayed by 60 days, until April 3, 2009, the effective date for using the revised Form I-9, originally scheduled to go into effect today (Feb. 2, 2009). Please note: Employers who use the new form prior to the April 3, 2009 effective date are subject to civil monetary penalties.

For more information, click here

14 Briefs on cost effective ways to treat employee substance abuse

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has issued a series of 14 briefs providing information on employee substance abuse problems and outlining cost-effective ways of treating them.

Topics covered in the briefs include:
• The effects of substance abuse in the workplace, including impact on morale, productivity, safety and finances
• How employee assistance programs can be cost-effective
• The effect of substance abuse on both older and younger employees
• How substance abuse screening works and how it can benefit workplaces
SAMHSA surveys have indicated that 76% of people with substance abuse problems are employed and that their addictions significantly impact productivity.

OSHA issues revised inspection-targeting program focused on certain industries

A revised Site-Specific Targeting Program (SST) issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration will direct OSHA's inspection resources at employers in high-hazard industries. Employers targeted under the revised SST face the prospects of a comprehensive safety inspection by OSHA. For a list of these industries click here.

Justice Department delays rule requiring Federal Contractors to use E-Verify

The effective date for the much-maligned executive order requiring federal contractors and subcontractors to use E-Verify, the electronic employment verification system operated by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has been delayed from January 15, 2009 to February 20, 2009.

Recession adds burdens to emergency departments

According to a report in the New York Times many emergency departments, already overburdened, face more difficulty handling increased caseloads because of the rising number of unemployed and uninsured people using emergency departments for basic care.

Study finds flu vaccine beneficial for older workers

Workers ages 50-64 can decrease their risk of contracting influenza by 45% if they get an annual flu shot, according to a new study. Further, the vaccine can increase worker productivity and reduce sick days and lost workdays by 60%, according to a press release.

Researchers from the Minneapolis Veteran's Affairs Medical Center and the University of Minnesota conducted the study. Overall, researchers estimated that each influenza vaccine prevented 37 workdays lost and 1.45 days of working while ill.