NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – Bed bugs are making a comeback in the Tri-State area and it’s not just in homes and stores.

WCBS 880’s Paul Murnane Bites Into The Story

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The Staten Island Advance reports bed bugs forced the NYPD to shut down a holding cell in the 120th Precinct and make sure the problem hasn’t spread to the Stapleton Criminal Court.

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Meanwhile, offices are taking precautions as the pesky bugs could become a liability in regard to policy issues.

Long after bed bugs are driven from the office, staff can blame a co-worker and so, for companies, it’s not just about keeping the workplace bug-free. It’s about avoiding issues of blame.

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“We advise our employers to make sure that no employee is blamed or defamed for bringing bed bugs into the workplace. It’s really an exposure issue, not a cleanliness issue,” says attorney David Cassidy of Norris McLaughlin & Marcus in Bridgewater, New Jersey.

Cassidy said there have been several cases and it’s just a matter of time before the problem presents itself in the workplace.

It could even rise to the level of a disability claim if someone says they have been psychologically traumatized by the fear of an infestation – even if there was just one bed bug, though he says he hasn’t seen or heard of that just yet.

One exterminator tells The Star-Ledger there’s a mass paranoia out there.

Cassidy says bed bugs as a work issue could rise in future union negotiations.

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YouTube’s Bed Bug TV channel advises sealing your purse in a plastic bag.