Today’s post comes to us from our colleague Jon Gelman of New Jersey.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is proposing to restrict the use of hand-held mobile telephones, including hand-held cell phones, by drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) while operating in interstate commerce. Cell phones have become a major cause of distracted driving accidents resulting in an increase of workers’ compensation claims by employees as well as liability lawsuits against employers directly. This federal rule would be in addition to the many states which already ban hand-held cell phone use.
The following is a summary of the proposed rule: “FMCSA and PHMSA are amending Continue reading →
In this guest post our colleague Jon L. Gelman of New Jersey highlights a worrisome recent ruling. In the state of Missouri, if an employee does not follow their employers’ safety rules and is injured, their award may be significantly reduced. He points out that this logic works in opposition of what the workers’ compensation act was originally supposed to do, which is to protect workers. With that as its goal, “It would be far more logical to… prevent the unsafe work in the first place.”
An employee’s workers’ compensation award maybe be reduced for failing to follow an employer’s safety rules.
An employee’s workers’ compensation award maybe be reduced for failing to follow an employer’s safety rules. A Missouri Court ruled that reducing an injured employee’s award by 25% to 50% for failing to follow an employer’s safety rules was not unconstitutional. Continue reading →
This post is the first of (hopefully) many you’ll be seeing on our blog by guest writer Tom Domer of Wisconsin. In this post, Tom notes that over 18-million people work from home today. He smartly questions the traditional criteria for whether work done from home can be applied to a workers’ compensation claim.
After all, we’re living in a digital age. Increased use of things like cell phones and laptops challenges standard ideas of what a work-related injury is.
A whole host of “Course of Employment” issues accompanies the increased prevalence of work done at home, enhanced significantly by computer technology. Many employees contract with their employers to work frequently or exclusively from their homes. Does an accident in the employee’s kitchen or bathroom fit into the course of employment under the “Personal Comfort” doctrine that routinely applies to employer premises? The Court’s time-honored criteria for whether work performed at home is considered to be in the course of employment may require alteration for “telecommuters” in the post-computer era. The Continue reading →