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Designing for a rise in sea level

As sea levels rise, design firms need to be aware of the relatively new concept of “resilient” buildings. While many firms will incorporate the principles of resilient design into their practices in the coming decade, doing so is not part of today’s standard of care. Resilient design recommendations are in response to studies that address … Continue reading

Employers beware: EEOC weighs in on transgender issue

Transgender employees have the right to work in an environment that is free of discrimination and harassment, the same as any other employee. The discomfort, prejudice, and anxiety of employees, supervisors, or customers do not justify discriminatory treatment of transgender employees. The EEOC recently announced the first resolution of a lawsuit challenging discrimination based upon … Continue reading

OSHA penalties are about to soar

As a result of Congressional action last year, the Department of Labor announced that it will raise by 78% the maximum penalties it can impose for violations of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rules. The changes affect penalties assessed after Aug. 1, 2016 for violations that occurred after Nov. 2, 2015. The Labor Department … Continue reading

Arbitration vs. litigation: the endless debate

The Schinnerer professional liability program strongly supports alternative forms of dispute resolution. One method that aims to reduce the cost and time of a dispute is the use of arbitration. The arbitration of claims, however, is not always in the best interest of design professionals. In litigation, judges’ decisions are constrained by statutory and case … Continue reading