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What Are the Bed Bugs at Work Legal Rights

If you've been paying attention to the news, you've probably heard about the resurgence of bedbug infestations across the country. If you travel for business, you may have visited the Bedbug Registry website to ensure that your hotel is clean. Unfortunately, bedbugs have spread beyond hotels and into theaters, retail stores, and workplaces. The main question is what kind of exposure employers may have and what they should do about it.


To date, most lawsuits have been filed against the landlord or business owner, and the plaintiff is usually a hotel guest or customer who has been bitten at the business and/or brought bedbugs home, resulting in additional bites and property damage. Employers who do not own their facilities may look to their landlords if an infestation occurs, but depending on the circumstances, they may not be immune from liability. What are the bed bugs at work legal rights?


Here are a few scenarios that might keep you awake at night:


Bed Bugs Policy and Procedures


Workers Compensation —

If an employee is bitten by bedbugs at work, he or she may be able to file a worker's compensation claim. Most bites are minor annoyances that do not necessitate immediate medical attention. Employees, on the other hand, may develop stress-related conditions such as the heebie-jeebies. In all seriousness, this is exactly what happened to a News company employee in New York who was bitten on the job. She has sued the owner of the building, the management company, and the maintenance company, but not her employer, because she has received full workers' compensation benefits for her psychological injuries.


Disability Discrimination —

As with Workers' Compensation, the primary issue is most likely not the bites themselves, though we wouldn't rule them out as a basis for a disability in some jurisdictions. Rather, it is the associated conditions, such as stress, that may serve as the basis for a disability claim. The fact that bedbugs are notoriously difficult to eradicate could lend credence to such claims, especially if the employee brings the infestation home and suffers additional damage.


OSHA Bed Bug Policy

OSHA

looked up "bedbugs" on the OSHA website but found no results. The one employee complained to OSHA, but the employer's response persuaded the agency that "our file on this matter can be closed, and no further action on this complaint is anticipated at this time." If the headlines continue, We believe OSHA's interest in this issue will grow. Other OSHA issues, such as air quality from pesticide use, may arise depending on how the employer handles infestations. You can contact bed bug exterminator Chicago to remove bedbugs from your workplace.


Concerns about privacy —

A colleague told about an employer's plan to confront an employee who was suspected of being the source of a bedbug infestation at work. We're not sure what they had in mind, but there was some talk about checking the employee's personal belongings for bedbugs. Subjecting employees to humiliating bedbug inspections is not a good idea. It is nearly impossible to pinpoint the source of an infestation in the absence of an admission, and an employee is likely to claim that if they do have bedbugs, they got them at work. Searching an employee's belongings or person may violate a reasonable expectation of privacy and result in liability. It may also lead to...


Discrimination in the Workplace —

An employee who is suspected of being the source of an infestation may believe that the suspicion is not based on objective evidence but is the result of bias against some protected status, such as race, national origin, etc. Similarly, workplace debates and accusations may result in harassment claims.


Third-party Claims —

Employees who bring bedbugs home from work may face severe consequences. Family members may be bitten, and there may be significant costs to eliminate the problem, such as hiring A-1 Pest Masters, replacing beds and bedding, and so on. While an employee's workplace injuries are likely to be covered by workers' compensation, family members may be able to file third-party claims for their losses. Such claims would most likely be evaluated based on the foreseeability of the harm.


Publicity —

While this is not a legal claim, being identified as having a bedbug infestation is not good for any business. To say the least, it was awkward.


What should a boss do if bedbugs are discovered in the workplace? Every situation is unique, but the focus should always be on eradicating the problem and protecting employees. Employers should be open and honest about the situation, and professionals should be hired to fix it. 


A1 Pestmasters Chicago is well-known for its services they rid of bed bugs from homes and offices. So now no need to worry about this or When Do Bed Bugs Lay Eggs. We're always here to assist anyone in need of pest control. Just call us at (312) 647-2630 or visit our site.


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