Archive for the ‘Workers Compensation’ Category

What Workers Should Know About Workers’ Compensation Coverage

work injury hazardDespite so many working in the workforce, few understand the intricacies that come with Workers’ Compensation coverage for workers. To begin with, these benefits are on a no-fault basis. That means if the actions of an employee led to their injury, they can still be covered. This is one of the most common misconceptions as many believe it has to be the fault of the employer in order to be covered.

This is not the case. Instead, the benefits are meant to help workers recover and return to the workforce to help both the worker and the employer. There are also many other misconceptions when it comes to these benefits, as listed below.

Health Insurance

The employer is not required to continue to pay for health insurance for the insured worker. However, Workers’ Compensation does include medical coverage. That being said, the medical coverage is only for medical conditions that come as a result of the injury. It is also important to note that there are rights under the FMLA and COBRA that offer protection to workers, but it is not explicitly under Workers’ Compensation.

Hearing Loss

There are cases where hearing loss would be compensable under the Act. If there is long-term exposure to noise that could lead to hearing loss, the worker could be entitled to collect benefits. Also, being retired does not necessarily exclude workers from benefits for the hearing loss. However, the claim for benefits does have to be filed for within three years of the last exposure. If damage is extensive, there are other ways compensation can be pursued.

Scars

Of course, a typical scar is not compensable such as a paper cut scar on a finger. However, a worker may be entitled to benefits if a work injury led to facial scarring and disfigurement. This could also include surgical scars from neck surgery or other surgery from a work injury.

Benefits Cannot Stop Without Notice

In order for Workers’ Compensation benefits to end, there has to be a Notice of Modification/Suspension or the worker must return to work. There is also the possibility of the worker signing a Supplemental Agreement. However, unless one of those circumstances is true, benefits must be paid by the insurance company until a Judge determines the worker is no longer entitled to them.

If you do receive a Petition to Terminate, Modify or Suspend benefits, it’s prudent to speak to a lawyer as soon as possible. Contact our team today if you are concerned about the continuation of the benefits you deserve for your work injury. We will fight for your rights to help aid your recovery.

Can You Be Fired for Calling Your Boss a Profane Name on Social Media?

While we have the right to freedom of speech, most people recognize it has its limits. However, those limits might be further out there than many realize. Whether a worker can insult their boss and their boss’s family on social media has come into the limelight recently and has given both a yes and a no answer to the question.

In a recent decision by the Second Circuit, which covers Connecticut, a ruling answered if an employer can fire an employee during a union organizing drive if they use profanity, specifically when the profanity is aimed at the boss and their family. In the case, a particularly disgruntled employee communicated how upset he was at the treatment of employees at a catering company during a union organizing drive. On his work break, he posted the following on social media:

“Bob [supervisor] is such a NASTY MOTHER F****R don’t know how to talk to people!!!! F*** his mother and his entire f***ing family!!!! What a LOSER!!!! Vote YES for the UNION!!!!”

Management learned about the offensive post and, after investigation, fired the employee. The employee only had around 10 coworkers added but the post was public. However, an administrative law judge found the termination was in violation of the law as the comments were made under protected activities. The National Labor Relations Board upheld the decision and it was then taken to the Second Circuit.

The Second Circuit found they were in violation of the law under specific reasoning. The Court found that the company did not give discipline to workers that used profanity in the workplace, that the language was not used at any event or in front of customers, that the content was meant to urge readers to vote for the union and was protected, and that the termination came right before the election.

Even though the Court upheld the decision, it emphasized that these protections were on the outer limits of union-related comments and felt the Labor Board needed to be sensitive to employer’s legitimate concerns over these types of issues. It was also emphasized that there needs to be a balance between the interests of employers, employees, and the unions. Had the message not been in support of the union, had the employee been discharged at another time, or if the company did not allow profanity at work, the outcome may have been vastly different.

If you feel your rights as a worker are being violated, contact the Connecticut employment lawyers at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers today. We will put our years of employment experience in Connecticut to work for you.

Pay Equity Bill Passes House in Connecticut, April 2017

In April of this year, the Connecticut House of Representatives voted in favor of legislation that is slated to improve pay equity between men and women. However, the bill is missing a key component that bars potential employers from asking about salary history, which many say is still a huge hindrance for women.

The drawback is said to come from the fact that until now, there has not been much pay equity between the genders. By knowing the salary history of an applicant, they can low ball the new offer based on those numbers. Since women have so far been underpaid compared to their counterparts, this unwittingly puts them at a huge disadvantage. However, the bill does include provisions for other important aspects of employment law for women. For instance, women in the workforce would have their same seniority and job titles when returning from pregnancy leave.

The provisions to bar employers from asking about pay history were taken out to make the bill more palatable for lawmakers. The legislation had gone under extensive redrafting prior to being voted in, which includes complaints that are based on gender to be reported with the state Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities. The bill was ultimately approved in a 139-9 vote following a two-hour debate. It will now move onto the Senate.

As the bill is now written, it would:

  • Protect workers from having their previously earned wages against them as a defense against charges regarding inequity of pay.
  • Give clarity to how the state Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities can both investigate and act on complaints of discrimination.
  • Reinforce the current requirements for those performing similar duties to have comparable wages.
  • Protect women and men from losing seniority after taking maternity, paternity, or other family or medical leave that is protected by the law.

If you or someone you love has been discriminated against and are receiving less in wages due to your sex or gender, contact us today. At Jonathan Perkins Personal Injury Lawyers, our attorneys understand the law and will use our experience to protect your right to comparable wages.

Recovering Lost Wages After an Injury

Los Angeles, California–September 5, 2016. Homeless woman arrested by police officers and handcuffed. Confrontations between transients and police on the rise as homeless population increases.

Whether you have been in a car accident or had a slip and fall accident, receiving medical treatment can take you out of work for some time. Even less severe accidents can subject a person to lost  wages and absence from work, both of which can have a huge impact on an individual’s ability to pay their bills. In more extreme circumstances, this can lead to falling behind in bills or even evictions and repossessions.

Following an accident, not everyone is eligible to recover their lost wages. Before filing for lost wages, understand you may be denied and even if you are awarded damages, the process is often a very long process. Because of this, it is a good rule of thumb not to rely on getting your award to pay off debts.

Submit a Claim for Loss of Income

In the event of a car accident, a victim can submit a car accident claim immediately. However, you will want to wait until you receive medical treatment to submit the form if you intend to file for lost wages. Simply put, you must incur a loss before you can claim the loss, even when it is easily foreseen.

It is also important to know that adjusters will need adequate time to investigate a claim before making an offer. When being investigated, you are not necessarily being accused of faking your losses. Instead, an insurance company needs time to assess what they believe the losses are. During this time, your insurance company may offer to pay some of your bills and will pressure the other insurance company to pay out the remainder of the claim.

At this point, it serves to have legal representation. By giving a lawyer all relevant information, they can put together the best evidence in an organized fashion that can help expedite a claim, or find you can claim more than you realize.

It Takes a Long Time

Be prepared for the investigation to take a long time. Depending on the accident, an investigation can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months. This means it will take even longer to receive lost wages.

Don’t leave it to the insurance companies to compensate your lost wages. Have a Connecticut personal injury lawyer at your side from the beginning stages. At Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers, we help our clients receive the compensation they deserve and put the pressure on the insurance companies to pay the costs.

Top