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May 2014 Archives

How to prevent worker injuries before they happen

For as much as we discuss the phenomenon of workers’ compensation, we must also remind our readers of the importance of taking diligent steps to prevent worker injuries. As the saying in the Allstate Insurance commercials goes “there’s mayhem waiting around every corner.” Because of this, employers must be mindful of several things to prevent injuries.  

Important elements for any return to work plan

Every employer who deals with employee injuries should have detailed protocols dealing with how employees may return to work after suffering a work-related injury. Whether it is a progressive reinstatement or a light duty plan, a return-to-work program should have three important elements. This post will identify them and highlight their relative importance. 

Could an ADA ruling on obesity affect future work comp claims?

Employment law appears to be evolving once again. In an Americans with Disabilities Act claim in Missouri, an employee is challenging his termination as being illegal because it was purportedly based on his obesity, instead of his performance in the business arena. Specifically, a federal judge denied the employer’s motion to dismiss, which cleared the way for the terminated employee to bring his claim.

The price is "wrong." Injured employee seen on game show

The workers compensation system in California is designed to help injured workers maintain a certain semblance of living while they are recovering from their injuries and are unable to work. A number of workers every year take advantage of the benefits available for the right reasons (i.e. they were injured on the job). However, there are a chosen few who break the law.

NFLPA voices concern over La. workers' compensation bill

As many NFL hopefuls who were not drafted in last week’s draft sign with teams as free agents, NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith wrote a letter to agents warning their clients about entering into contracts with the New Orleans Saints. According to a recent USA Today report, players who sign with the team may be jeopardizing their rights to favorable workers’ compensation claims in the event they are injured. 

Blast at La Habra plant could leave employer liable

As workers’ compensation defense attorneys, we deal with a number of situations involving fraud involving workers who are not genuine about their injuries. However, there are instances where an employer may be liable for the injuries workers may suffer. In those instances, claims are to be handled through the California workers’ comp system.

Having long term temp employees may lead to work comp issues

California’s economy may seem to be on the mend, but it may come at a cost. According to a recent LA Times.com report, the use of so-called “perma-temp” employees may create untenable problems when it comes to California workers’ compensation rules. Under state law, employers are required to purchase and maintain workers’ comp insurance commensurate with the number of permanent employees they have. However, as we have highlighted in prior posts, some employers attempt to evade this requirement by hiring temporary employees or independent contractors on a long term basis. 

Postal worker arrested for work comp fraud

Recently, a 53-year-old former U.S. Postal Service worker was arrested on suspicion of workers’ comp fraud. Detectives from the California Department of Insurance and agents from the USPS Office of the Inspector General conducted an investigation into the worker’s activities and learned that he was working as a massage therapist despite his claims that he was unable to work due to a shoulder injury he ostensibly suffered while working for the postal service.

Man videotaped working on a car charged with work comp fraud

Back injuries can be serious, unpredictable ailments that can leave workers hobbled for months and even years. Because it can be difficult to assess the injury and provide a diagnosis and regimen for recovery, some employees may exploit the system for their own personal gain, since workers’ compensation is designed to provide medical coverage and benefits to employees who are actually injured while on the job. When fraud occurs, it can cost the system more money and leave employees who are genuinely injured in difficult positions.

Bay Area construction firms charged with work comp fraud

Despite the economic uptick in California, workers’ compensation fraud appears to be a persistent problem. A number of our posts have highlighted this issue, including the federal indictment of a state senator who took bribes in exchange for his influence in thwarting a bill that would have closed a loophole.

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