Trouble in the air: The legal ailments of sick-building syndrome

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in Employee Benefits Program,Employment Law,Human Resources

BY SUSAN K. LESSACK  and LAWREN H. BRISCOE, Pepper Hamilton LLP

Although it may seem like the far-fetched excuse of an employee hoping to take a few days off from work, a condition known as “sick building syndrome” (SBS) is real.

The World Health Organization recognized SBS in 1982. The syndrome describes situations in which building occupants experience adverse health effects that appear to be linked to time spent in a particular building, but are not linked to a specific cause. SBS can occur in both residential and commercial buildings and comprises a variety of symptoms that can affect people to different degrees. Although specific causes of SBS are unknown, inadequate ventilation, chemical contaminants from outdoor and indoor sources and biological contaminants have all been cited as causes or factors contributing to SBS.

Symptoms can vary among persons and across time, but the aggregate experience of affected people ca...(register to read more)

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