Brain injury is caused by trauma, and it causes lifelong problems to which victims and their loved ones must adapt.
Our firm and our senior member, Rod Rehm, has represented victims of traumatic brain injury (TBI) since the early ’80s. Obtaining recognized evidence concerning most TBIs has been made much easier by associations such as the Brain Injury Association of Nebraska (BIA-NE).
This group of victims and their families have worked tirelessly to inform and educate the public and our lawmakers about TBI. BIA-NE has been a strong and effective advocate for victims and their families. There are a lot of really interesting and helpful resources on the website. In addition, the group hosts events that offer information and support, including an upcoming conference in Kearney from March 31 through April 1. The registration deadline is Friday, March 25, so please register for the conference through this link.
Organizers suggest the following people should consider attending this conference, according to the website:
“People with Brain Injuries
Health Care Professionals (See For Professionals)
State Agency Personnel
Educators who work with brain injury or special needs children.
Law Enforcement Personnel
Anyone interested in issues and trends in brain injury”
In addition to the upcoming conference, BIA-NE also holds events that focus on supporting veterans and their caregivers.
TBI victims now face more accepting judges, juries and insurance companies as they seek proper treatment and compensation thanks to this inspiring advocacy.
Rehm, Bennett & Moore, P.C., L.L.O., is proud to announce that Jon Rehm has become a shareholder in the firm. He has specialized in the areas of workers’ compensation, employment and personal injury law since 2005. Rehm represents employees and individuals in state and federal court as well as in front of administrative agencies.
He frequently speaks at continuing education events and has presented on workers’ compensation and employment law topics for the American Bar Association, the American Association of Justice (AAJ), the Nebraska Association of Trial Attorneys, and at the University Of Nebraska College Of Law. Rehm is active in many lawyers’ groups and was recently named to the Board of Governors for AAJ. He is also vice chair of the AAJ Workplace Injury section and serves on the Workers’ Injury Law & Advocacy Group’s Board of Directors.
Rehm currently serves as a commissioner for the Lincoln Commission on Human Rights. In the recent past, he also volunteered on the board for Houses of Hope, Inc. and as 2nd Associate Chair of the Lancaster County Democratic Party.
He is married to Abby Rehm, who teaches eighth grade English at Culler Middle School in Lincoln. They have a 6-month-old son, Russel, who makes them very happy.
Rehm, Bennett & Moore, P.C., L.L.O., represents plaintiffs in workers’ compensation, personal injury claims, Social Security disability claims, and employment law claims from offices in Omaha and Lincoln. The firm’s five lawyers have more than 90 years of combined experience, and serve clients in Nebraska, Iowa and other states with Nebraska and Iowa jurisdiction.
Today’s post is an article that was shared by Tomasz Stasiuk, a Colorado lawyer, and comes from www.wisebread.com
Every once in a while, this blog gives a person a chance to take a step back and think about both personal priorities and philosophies and what is happening in the larger society and how those trends affect workers and their loved ones in the big picture. This blog post is one of those moments.
Were we, as persons, or we as a society better off “way back when”? As can be seen in the article below, I think it depends on whose “way back when” we’re focusing on.
There were definitely some positives from the article for many: buying power comes to mind. But it is possible that the negatives for others, such as society-sanctioned racial discrimination and limiting women to certain roles, outweigh the perceived positives. In fact, entire books, such as “The Way We Never Were: American Families and the Nostalgia Trap” are devoted to these issues.
I wish the article below explored worker safety in the decade of the 1950s, too, as I hope, being an idealist, that it has improved overall, both for society and individuals, since then. However, I was very glad to see salary information, as that definitely affects workers and their families or loved ones.
Though at first glance an “average yearly income” of “$3,210 in 1950” and $5,010 in 1959” seems small for a household, it was a different era regarding buying power.
I really do appreciate that prices from the 1950s are translated to today’s dollars, so you can see how both buying power was different and the evolution of consumer culture happened. This includes focusing on housing, autos, televisions, spare time, and discretionary spending.
The biggest takeaway I got from this article was both how much things have changed and also how they sometimes stay the same (and how for some, remembering the good is the only part of an experience they recall).
Society and individuals have a ways to go in eliminating discrimination, focusing on women workers, and improving worker safety. But it is fascinating that a consumer today would mostly understand “how Americans spent their money in the post-war 1950s.”
“That’s because the spending habits we consider normal were born in the post-war 1950s. Prior to that decade, few households could boast discretionary spending, and before television, there were not as many large-scale outlets that allowed advertisers to tempt consumers into unnecessary spending.
“We may no longer consider a 983 square foot house or a car with a rusted-through hole in the floor to be normal, but our expectations for spending discretionary income remain mostly the same.”
So is your household or family unit better off than you would have been “way back when”? And what will productivity, progress and success look like for a worker and family unit or loved ones in 50 years?
Only time will tell.
Americans tend to think of the 1950s as an idyllic time when the babies were booming, the jobs were plentiful, and the country was flourishing.
Our parents and grandparents had good reason to feel prosperous. The average yearly income rose from $3,210 in 1950 to $5,010 in 1959, and post-war Americans were enjoying access to products and services that were scarce during World War II. Finding good uses for disposable income in the 1950s began the American love affair with consumerism. That love affair that continues to this day — although our spending priorities may have changed somewhat over the years.
Here’s how Americans spent their money in the post-war 1950s, and how their spending habits compare to ours in the 2010s.
White Picket Fences
The American dream of owning a home has deep roots the 1950s. Not only were many of the 16 million returning WWII veterans looking to buy homes, but the GI Bill offered them liberal home loans, and the end of the war saw the beginning of the baby boom, all of which drove demand for affordable houses.
Large homebuilders met that demand. They began applying assembly-line methodology to home building — by using panelized construction and drywall rather than wet plaster — which allowed them to create “cookie cutter” tract housing, giving birth to the modern suburb. An amazing “three out of five families became homeowners, and suburban living became a national phenomenon.”
What are your plans later in the week? Will you gather with family, friends, and loved ones? And do you plan to go shopping? Or do you have to work and just hope, like many truck drivers, that you’ll get a warm meal that may or may not involve turkey on Thursday?
I want to thank everyone who doesn’t have a choice in the matter and who will be working on Thursday, including first responders, health care workers, truckers and retail workers. I also want to provide a few links to online articles I found that list stores that have chosen to be closed on Thanksgiving so these employees can be with their loved ones, whether friends or family. Each list is slightly different, and I realize that there are different stores in Iowa and Nebraska, too, so that’s why there are three links.
In addition, if you plan to do some shopping on Black Friday, please take note of this OSHA FactSheet resource regarding crowd management safety guidelines from the U.S. Labor Department’s Twitter feed.
Also note that the offices of Rehm, Bennett & Moore and Trucker Lawyers will close at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 25. The offices will be closed on Thursday, Nov. 26, and Friday, Nov. 27, for the Thanksgiving holiday. We will be open again at 8:30 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 30.
We are thankful for so much. At this time of reflection, we are especially thankful for family, friends, and the opportunity to advocate for clients who make our work worthwhile. Happy Thanksgiving!
I spend a lot of time on social media for the firm as the research and marketing director. So when a post goes viral, it gives me an opportunity for numerous views on numerous social-media platforms.
Here’s some commentary I’ve been seeing the last few years around this Halloween time.
“With Halloween upon us, please keep in mind, a lot of little people will be visiting your home. Be accepting. The child who is grabbing more than one piece of candy may have fine motor skills. The child who takes forever to pick out one piece of candy may have motor planning issues. The child who does not say trick or treat or thank you may be non-verbal. The child who looks disappointed when they see your bowl might have an allergy. The child who isn’t wearing a costume at all may have Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) or autism. Be nice. Be patient. It’s everyone’s Halloween.”
As a generous soul who is kind enough to want to interact with children on this holiday, I thank you in advance for doing whatever you wish and think is appropriate for Halloween. And if you have your Halloween traditions, feel free … my elementary P.E. teacher would scare the stuffing out of every group of children who rang his doorbell, so we had to decide if we really wanted to or not, for the sake of getting a coveted piece of candy.
But please remember that the world is changing, whether we like it or not.
A fairly recent movement for Halloween has to do with providing non-food treats for those who can’t eat the traditional candy given out. The Teal Pumpkin Project helps those with whose families deal with food allergies, those who have Type 1 Diabetes, and those who have a gastronomy tube (G-tube). By providing non-food treats, these children can be encouraged to enjoy the holiday, too.
Although your contribution toward kindness to trick-or-treaters might seem small to you, for a family who is affected by any of the challenges listed above, it can truly be the bright spot in celebrating Halloween this year by taking their little ones (or not-so-little ones) trick-or-treating.
As the firm’s research and marketing director, I spend quite a bit of time finding topics for social-media discussions and generally researching on the Internet. One of the sources I’ve listened to for years on my personal time is the Marketplace suite of shows, first on the radio, now with the convenience of podcasts.
They bill themselves as “business and economic news” and frequently cover what I would consider workers’ issues like safety, employment trends, and benefits, usually resulting in very balanced, informative reporting.
As the end-of-summer activities put a focus on children returning to school, many people are wrapping up their vacations for the year. But others don’t take summer vacations, as they are either saving up their time for something else, don’t have the luxury of those kinds of benefits, or just don’t take advantage of the benefits offered.
In today’s blog post, I challenge you to think about how you use any benefits that are available. If you have the luxury of vacation days and sick leave, or just blanket paid-time-off days, do you take those days or not?
There were three recent stories from Marketplace that offered perspective about the specific workplace benefits of vacation and parental leave (parental leave is when a child is born or adopted).
Please consider taking a few minutes to read and/or listen to them:
Although some may say these are idealistic or even untenable situations from a business perspective, I wonder about what workers at these businesses think. Is the reality as rosy as the policy? What kind of a workplace culture can support an idea like unlimited vacation? Is there resentment among the workers about who is gone when? And with great benefits, can workers increase or stand up to the scrutiny of expected productivity and actually get to enjoy those benefits?
I think this quote from the unlimited-vacation story is the most helpful and boils down to folks working hard while they are at work and then recharging while they are away. It also is a results-oriented argument for offering good benefits for workers.
“‘Team members can take time off whenever they need it or whenever they want to,’ says Netta Samroengraja, CFO and chief people officer. ‘We feel like we have a much more motivated work force and they’re absolutely much more productive as well while they’re here.’”
Amid the debate about flu and immunizations and preventable diseases lurks a societal problem that’s getting more attention lately and directly affects the spread of those medical crises: paid sick leave for employees.
Although discussing the consequences of Ebola may be interesting, many people in the United States, including Nebraska and Iowa, are living with the consequences of pertussis (whooping cough), a rampant flu season, and measles outbreaks.
This blog has featured this subject in the past, almost exactly two years ago, when there was a flu epidemic. It was argued then, in one of the firm’s more popular blog posts, that sick people should not be forced to work and spread their germs to their co-workers and customers, in addition that working while sick tends to make people even more ill. Not having sick leave available to take becomes a public health and societal risk. In addition, not being able to provide care for sick children or loved ones results in family struggles and workers worrying, rightfully so, while they should be focused on work at work.
A recent Marketplace Morning Report article highlighted the need for policy change through the Healthy Families Act “that would guarantee workers could earn up to seven days of paid sick leave per year.” For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics is quoted in the story that “24 percent” of those in the restaurant industry and “47 percent of retail workers get paid sick leave.” It also shares the economic burden of the results of people who don’t get paid sick leave coming to work sick. “Underperforming at work, or even damaging equipment or products because of diminished capacity or the effects of medication is known as ‘presenteeism.’” Sickness and presenteeism costs more than $375 billion a year, according to the article.
Esther Cepeda also recently addressed both paid sick leave and presenteeism in a column: “Working while sick even when you can have the time off is a thing. Many workers take great pride in coming to work ill, and there are a fair number of their colleagues who wish they’d stop.”
Although it may be a pretty big challenge in some industries to provide paid sick time, Ms. Cepeda argues that those are the most important industries to have it, as was also argued in the firm’s flu blog post from 2013.
“Food service aside, there are any number of jobs – most of them low-wage, part-time service jobs – where you don’t want the worker to be miserably sick or mentally checked out, worried about their sick loved one, because they can’t afford to call off work and lose the pay or possibly the job.”
Also important to note, being “checked out” can lead to safety incidents and workers’ compensation claims, and having employees mired in presenteeism just isn’t good for anyone.
So as the article in this link mentions, I think it’s very important for both workers and employers to consider the importance of quality of life considerations: keeping healthy people from being exposed to sickness and supporting sick people (or people with sick loved ones) by giving them the chance to stay home and still get paid so they can focus on becoming healthy people again.
Because as Ms. Cepeda argues, it benefits all for people to be as healthy as possible.
“Those of us who have the choice or flexibility to take an available sick day must speak up for those who are penalized for life’s inevitable speed bumps. It’s ultimately in our own best interest.”
Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at the offices of Rehm, Bennett & Moore and www.truckerlawyers.com. Below is a reflection that I wrote a while back but that I think still applies to the holiday, season, and busy, but fulfilling, lives.
Please note that the offices will close at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 26. The firm will be closed on Thursday, Nov. 27, and Friday, Nov. 28, for the Thanksgiving holiday. We will be open on Monday, Dec. 1, at 8:30 a.m.
At this time of reflection, there is much for which to be thankful. We are especially thankful for family, friends, and the opportunity to advocate for clients who make our work worthwhile. Happy Thanksgiving!
Do you have, take, or make the time to think about what is going well and what could be better in your life? As they say, ’tis the season. But it’s not the Christmas season … yet … no matter what the retailers want! To me, from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day and beyond is a chance to think about the big picture; be thankful for blessings; and be in the moment to participate in relationships (the buzzword for this idea is “being present”). Is it during a certain time of the year that you have the luxury of stopping and thinking about life, or can you do it weekly or even daily?
I know I get very caught up in the day-to-day, hour-to-hour concerns and forget to think about and be thankful for the most-important things that are too-often called the little things: looking at the stars with my family when we’re out in the country and can really see the sky; hearing my 4-year-old son tell his great-grandma he loves her without us reminding him to; remembering to thank my spouse for unloading the dishwasher, even though he does it all the time (let’s face it – his tolerance of clean dishes not being put away quickly is lower than mine); having good health; enjoying a roof over our heads; and being productive at work. And I am glad for relationships that are good in my family; among the friends I choose to call family (my son thinks many of our friends’ children are his cousins because he sees them so often and we don’t correct him because he’s growing up with them); and at work with colleagues, whether in person or via social media.
Most of us have time to count our blessings, living in one of the most fortunate nations in the world, whether we choose to make and take the time or not. But the reality is that there are people who are not as fortunate, even in our own nation. And often that is because challenges with health or work mean a person doesn’t have as many choices as others might due to poverty, mental illness, or getting hurt. A smaller, but still emotional, challenge may include having to work on a holiday, for example. And though some folks would rather work than be with family, many people, like truckers on the roads and health-care workers taking care of the elderly, don’t have a choice, but have a great attitude and make others’ holidays really special through their actions and words.
So if you are working on Thanksgiving (or any upcoming holiday), thank you for your work and be safe! And I hope you have, take, and make the time to think about what is going well and what could be better in your life. Blessings to you and yours this Thanksgiving!