“Experts say labor lawyers have begun advising businesses on their liability and whether they should pay to treat not only their offices, but the homes of employees as well.
David Cassidy, a labor lawyer at Norris McLaughlin & Marcus in Bridgewater, expects to see the issue come up soon in new union contracts.
In rare cases, Cassidy said, bedbugs might warrant employee disability claims if someone is bitten at work. Even if no one is bitten, morale tends to drop after an infestation, he said. Some employees get labeled as “dirty” if their peers suspect they’re responsible for the bedbugs, Cassidy said.”
“”We’ve coined this harassment as giving someone the ‘Scarlet B,’” he said.
Despite increased concerns, experts say most people know little about bedbugs or infestation signs. Others try to remain ignorant, preventing the chances of catching the infestations at a small size.
“There are still people out there in New Jersey that are incredulous that it can happen in New Jersey, to them, said Peter Di Eduardo, an account manager at Bell Environmental exterminators. “They think it can only happen in New York.”
Americans once thought bedbugs were relegated to good-night wishes. Effective pesticides wiped out most U.S. bedbugs in the 1950s. But increased international travel to places like South America, Asia and Africa allowed bedbugs resistant to traditional pesticides to travel back to America, said Changlu Wang, a professor at Rutgers University’s Department of Entomology.”