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BP Argues Validity of Toxic Spill Workers’ Comp Claims

Texas Lawsuit Plaintiffs Allege BP Must Pay Workers' Comp Claims Due to Toxic Spill In February 2013, BP sold a Galveston, Texas-area refinery to Marathon Petroleum. However, some former employees at the plant filed a lawsuit two months later, claiming that injuries related to release of toxic chemicals at the plant led to serious chronic and potentially lethal health issues, and BP was responsible for the workers' comp claims to cover the long-term healthcare costs. "From November 10, 2011 through possibly early December 2011, BP … [Read more...]

No Health Care Benefits Could Increase Workers Comp Claims

Walmart Cuts Health Care Benefits to Part-Time Employees, But Move Could Increase Workers Comp Claims Retail giant Walmart recently announced that the company planned to raise health care costs for 1.3 million of its full-time staff, and health care benefits would be cut completely for the 30,000 part-time workers who work at Walmart stores less than 30 hours per week. However, studies in worker health care benefits suggest that Walmart could have increased its overall costs, because employees without health insurance often seek financial … [Read more...]

Independent Contractors Misclassified to Avoid Workers Comp

Employers Criticized for Misclassifying Independent Contractors to Avoid Workers Comp Premiums, Taxes Under traditional employment terms, employers pay for workers comp insurance coverage for their employees. However, with independent contractor status, the employee is not a direct employee of the company they receive paychecks from, which means the employer does not have to cover federally-regulated employee benefits like workers comp. Recently, numerous businesses, from construction companies to hospitals to strip clubs, have faced heavy … [Read more...]

Telecommuters and Workers Comp

How Should Employers Treat Workers Comp Claims from Telecommuters? With the rise of the internet, more and more people work from home, “telecommuting” into the office through email, Skype, chats, and shared storage like DropBox and Google Docs. Workers at a home office can still injure themselves while working for their employer, but because of the nebulous line between home and telecommuters, working in telecommuting jobs, workers comp claims become more complicated. A recent survey from WorldatWork showed that 88% of companies offer … [Read more...]

Tennessee Rules Undocumented Workers Can Sue for Workers Comp

Tennessee Court Says Undocumented Workers Can Sue for Workers Comp A Tennessee Court of Appeals ruled on Wednesday, August 5th, that undocumented workers have the right to sue a former employer in the event of retaliation against their workers comp claims. The decision was based on the case of Ricardo Torres, who worked as a converter builder for auto supplier Precision Industries in Whiteville, TN. After five months at his job, Mr. Torres injured his back in January 2011. Although he was not legally authorized to work in the US at the … [Read more...]

No Workers Comp Benefits for Paralyzed Car Crash Victim

Paralyzed Victim Not On Employer’s Time, Workers Comp Benefits Denied A state appeals court ruled that a North Carolina man cannot receive workers comp benefits for a car crash that occurred after he attended a lunch organized by his employer. In 2010, John Graven Jr. worked for the North Carolina Highway Patrol as a technical support analyst. He and co-worker Kathryn Wall attended a lunch that the Highway Patrol organized “to celebrate the department’s hard work.” However, the lunch gathering was not required by the department, and less … [Read more...]

SC Workers’ Compensation Claims: It’s Hot out There

Heat Related SC Workers' Compensation Claims It's no secret that the heat and humidity are a problem in South Carolina.  If you work outside, you are at risk of heatstroke and other related injuries, which leads to the discussion of SC Workers' Compensation Claims.  Not surprisingly, OSHA has launched a campaign to remind employers and employees about the dangers of heat and heatstroke that features three simple words: Water. Rest. Shade. Every year, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration launches a summer campaign targeted at … [Read more...]

Workplace Changes Can Lower Obesity Workers Comp Claims

As Obesity Problem Grows, Employers Can Make Changes to Help Lower Obesity Workers Comp Claims A speaker at the Risk & Insurance Management Society Inc. in Denver on Tuesday, April 29th, gave a talk titled "Obesity Weighs Down Workers' Compensation,” which discussed what employers can do to help lower workers comp claims from overweight employees. Kevin Glennon of One Call Care Management presented the talk, discussing problems with furniture and other office fixtures that could lead to workers comp claims. For example, most office … [Read more...]

Workplace Bullying Can Increase Workers Comp Costs

New Study Shows Bullying in the Workplace Can Increase Workers Comp Costs for Employers A new study suggests that bullying and mistreatment in the workplace can lead to increased costs for employers, including through raising workers comp costs, absenteeism, and disability claims. Researchers at the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, in 2010 bullying at work accounted for 5.5% of absences due to reported illness. Workplace bullying – which includes insults, intimidation, gossiping, and withholding information – can … [Read more...]