Protect yourself and right to workers compensation at your holiday job

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Nearly 13 million Americans work more than one job. Some people also take on temporary jobs in retail, warehousing and delivery during the holiday season. Here are some reminders about holiday work to protect yourself and your rights to benefits such as workers’ compensation.

Temporary jobs tend to have higher injury rates – Studies show that new employees are more likely to get injured on the job. If you are starting an unfamiliar job, you are more likely to get hurt. Don’t worry temporary and new employees can still claim workers’ compensation.

Fatigue and irregular shifts contribute to accidents – Many people will work a holiday job after their regularly scheduled job. Long hours make work accidents more likely to happen. Many retail employees are required to work overnights –particularly during Black Friday. Irregular shifts can contribute to fatigue which makes work accidents more likely.

Lost-time/temporary disability based on wages for job where you are injured – Workers compensation pays temporary disability when you miss work because of an injury. The problem with getting hurt at a part-time job is that if you are unable to work because of that injury, you are only paid temporary disability based on the part-time job wages. You can’t be compensated by workers’ compensation for lost income from full-time or other jobs unless you can argue that your job is seasonal. It is hard to prove season employment under Nebraska workers’ compensation law.

But employees can be creative in adding benefits to increase temporary disability. Permanent disability is paid assuming a 40-hour week under the Nebraska workers’ compensation act. (See Neb. Rev. Stat. 48-121(4))

How an injury at a part-time job can affect employment at your full-time job – Some employers are more willing to accommodate employees who were hurt on the job. If you get hurt at a holiday job, your full-time employer may not let you come back to work unless you have no restrictions. That is a questionable practice under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

But if you have to miss work because of an injury at a part-time job, you can still apply for FMLA. Also you may want to apply for short-term or long-term disability if it is offered by your employer. A workers’ compensation attorney can help you maximize your recovery when private disability benefits pay benefits related to a workers’ compensation case.

Are you an employee or independent contractor?– The answer to this question is that if you are working a holiday job, you are an employee. Package delivery is a growing job with the expansion of online shopping? Many delivery services try to classify their workers as contractors as a way to avoid paying workers’ compensation. If you get injured as a contractor working on a delivery job, it is very likely you can bring a case for benefits under the Nebraska workers’ compensation act. But it will likely require help from an attorney to get those benefits.

The offices of Rehm, Bennett, Moore & Rehm, which also sponsors the Trucker Lawyers website, are located in Lincoln and Omaha, Nebraska. Five attorneys represent plaintiffs in workers’ compensation, personal injury, employment and Social Security disability claims. The firm’s lawyers have combined experience of more than 95 years of practice representing injured workers and truck drivers in Nebraska, Iowa and other states with Nebraska and Iowa jurisdiction. The lawyers regularly represent hurt truck drivers and often sue Crete Carrier Corporation, K&B Trucking, Werner Enterprises, UPS, and FedEx. Lawyers in the firm hold licenses in Nebraska and Iowa and are active in groups such as the College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers, Workers' Injury Law & Advocacy Group (WILG), American Association for Justice (AAJ), the Nebraska Association of Trial Attorneys (NATA), and the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). We have the knowledge, experience and toughness to win rightful compensation for people who have been injured or mistreated.

This entry was posted in Nebraska, Workers' Compensation and tagged , , , , .

MSHA improves mine safety in Nebraska. (Yes we have mining in Nebraska)

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Sand mines are a common site along I-80 in Nebraska

When you think about mining and work injuries, you probably think about coal miners in West Virginia and Kentucky.

But sand mines line the Platte River valley in Nebraska. Workers in these mines are vulnerable to silicosis, a lung disease, which would be covered under workers’ compensation as an occupational disease in Nebraska. (See Neb. Rev. Stat. 48-151(3))

So what lead me to post about sand mining in Nebraska?

Last month I was staying in Lexington, Nebraska for an early morning workers’ compensation trial against Tyson. The case was a prototypical packinghouse case involving an immigrant with an overuse injury. To the extent that workers’ compensation in Nebraska merits any media discussion, it’s usually in the context of the immigrant packinghouse workers.

I took a break from my final pre-trial prep to get coffee in the breakfast room. Among the din of business travelers and Fox and Friends on the big screen, I noticed investigators from the federal MSHA or Mine Safety and Health Administration.

I identified the crew as MSHA employees from the logos on their binders. If not for that, they were indistinguishable from the mostly blue collar and agribusiness types who frequent the hotel.

I struck up a conversation with one of the investigators.  As I suspected they were in central Nebraska looking at sand mining. I told them I was in town trying a workers’ compensation case. I gave them some encouraging words about their work. One of the agribusiness types shot me a dirty look.

Workers’ compensation laws pay workers for work injuries. This helps encourage workplace safety as employers bear the cost of workplace injuries. Government regulators do the same thing through the threat of civil penalties and sometimes criminal prosecution.

Anti-retaliation protections for miners in Nebraska

The Mining Safety and Health Administration was created by the Mining Safety and Health Act. The MSHA has a whistleblower provision for miners reporting unsafe or hazardous conditions. Nebraska also has a general whistleblower law which would protect mining employees in Nebraska. Sand mining is considered environmentally hazardous and it poses a risk to groundwater. In some circumstances, complaints about the environmental impact of sand mining could be protected activity as well.

The MSHA, separation of powers and the “deep state”

On my way to trial, I felt good knowing that federal workplace safety laws were still being enforced. I’ve written a lot about the role of executive branch in interpreting and enforcing laws. Executive agencies have a lot of leeway in how they enforce laws. But Executive agencies still have to follow the laws passed by Congress. Federal employees who are enforcing federal workplace safety laws aren’t acting as a deep state. They are obeying the dictates of a co-ordinate branch of government – Congress. Congress passes laws and the courts fine tune the laws.  Like the judicial branch, the Executive Branch fine tunes laws through guidance and regulation. Executive agencies have discretion about how to enforce laws as well. But on some level the executive branch has to enforce the laws written by Congress. It doesn’t matter if Gene Scalia or Tom Perez is the Secretary of Labor, if an employer is disregarding safety standards or wage laws they may have to contend with enforcement from the Department of Labor.

Regardless of who is enforcing labor laws, citizens and non-citizens alike have a right to access the judicial system with the help of their lawyer if their employer is violating their rights.

The offices of Rehm, Bennett, Moore & Rehm, which also sponsors the Trucker Lawyers website, are located in Lincoln and Omaha, Nebraska. Five attorneys represent plaintiffs in workers’ compensation, personal injury, employment and Social Security disability claims. The firm’s lawyers have combined experience of more than 95 years of practice representing injured workers and truck drivers in Nebraska, Iowa and other states with Nebraska and Iowa jurisdiction. The lawyers regularly represent hurt truck drivers and often sue Crete Carrier Corporation, K&B Trucking, Werner Enterprises, UPS, and FedEx. Lawyers in the firm hold licenses in Nebraska and Iowa and are active in groups such as the College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers, Workers' Injury Law & Advocacy Group (WILG), American Association for Justice (AAJ), the Nebraska Association of Trial Attorneys (NATA), and the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). We have the knowledge, experience and toughness to win rightful compensation for people who have been injured or mistreated.

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How Nebraska law shortchanges injured workers

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Workers compensation is a defined benefit that pays certain benefits for work injuries regardless of fault. But when defined benefits aren’t well-defined, injured workers get short-changed when it comes to workers compensation disability benefits.

Underpayment of benefits is already baked into Nebraska workers’ compensation law for some workers. Nebraska usually does not take overtime pay into consideration when determining disability benefits. Nebraska also caps workers’ compensation benefits at a maximum rate.

Here is the how and why fuzzy math can lead injured workers can get underpaid benefits in Nebraska. I think you can break down the reasons that workers get underpaid into disputes over wage rates and the time periods they are entitled to benefits

Wage rate

Average weekly wage and abnormally low weeks

Permanent and temporary disability benefits are controlled by the average weekly wage under the Nebraska Workers Compensation Act. The average weekly wage is usually based on an average of the past 26 weeks of wages minus “abnormally low weeks”. What’s an abnormally low week? There isn’t a hard and fast rule. For the purposes of permanent disability Nebraska workers compensation law assumes a 40 hour work week. This assumption helps address underpayment issues for permanent disability.

But no such assumption exists for temporary disability under Nebraska workers compensation law. So insurers and claims administrators have wide latitude to underpay temporary benefits. This is particularly harmful as workers who are temporarily disabled are often entirety unable to work.

Shift differentials

Workers who work evening and overnight shifts often get paid shift differential on top of base pay. Particularly if a worker works a combination of day and evening shifts, workers compensation benefits tend not to account for shift differential.

Time Period

The gap between temporary and permanent disability

Nebraska law is unclear as to when temporary disability ends and when permanent disability ends. Not only does this mean injured workers can go months or weeks without benefits, it also means that workers can be underpaid benefits. Usually this underpayment is accomplished by shortening the period of temporary disability paid.

Neb. Rev. Stat. §48-119

Under Nebraska law, the first week of disability after a work injury is not compensated unless the disability lasts for more than six weeks. This tends to happen with injuries that don’t lead to quantifiable impairments. Sometimes, employees under pressure from employers, will be released to work too soon. Insurers and claims administrators view premature returns to work as an excuse to deny temporary disability because they employee is already at maximum medical improvement

The bottom line on underpayment of workers’ compensation benefits

If employees take these claims to court, they can often win back due benefits. These monetary amounts are meaningful for injured workers, but they may not always be cost-effective for an attorney to pursue.

In wage and hour cases under Nebraska and federal law successful claimants are awarded attorney fees that can be much greater than the lost wages collected. These fees encourage lawyers to take these cases.

But under Nebraska workers compensation law a successful claimant needs the court to find there was no reasonable controversy in law or fact for the court to award attorney fees and penalties under Neb. Rev. Stat. 48-125. This is a difficult standard. This difficult standard is made more difficult over disputes over average weekly wage because average weekly wage is a question of law and fact.

In short, Nebraska workers compensation law gives insurers and claims administrators wide latitude to underpay injured workers. But since under Nebraska law it is very difficult to win attorney fees in under Nebraska law, insurers and claims administrators have little to fear in the way of penalties and attorney fees if a court rules they underpaid benefits to an injured worker.

The offices of Rehm, Bennett, Moore & Rehm, which also sponsors the Trucker Lawyers website, are located in Lincoln and Omaha, Nebraska. Five attorneys represent plaintiffs in workers’ compensation, personal injury, employment and Social Security disability claims. The firm’s lawyers have combined experience of more than 95 years of practice representing injured workers and truck drivers in Nebraska, Iowa and other states with Nebraska and Iowa jurisdiction. The lawyers regularly represent hurt truck drivers and often sue Crete Carrier Corporation, K&B Trucking, Werner Enterprises, UPS, and FedEx. Lawyers in the firm hold licenses in Nebraska and Iowa and are active in groups such as the College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers, Workers' Injury Law & Advocacy Group (WILG), American Association for Justice (AAJ), the Nebraska Association of Trial Attorneys (NATA), and the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). We have the knowledge, experience and toughness to win rightful compensation for people who have been injured or mistreated.

This entry was posted in Nebraska. workers' compensation, Workers' Compensation. Workplace Injury and tagged , , , .

Will the Supreme Court weaken an important civil rights law?

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Overshadowed by the presidential impeachment hearings that started on Wednesday, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case could weaken an important civil rights and employment law.

Comcast v. National Association of African American-Owned Media and Entertainment Studios and Networks involves a case where Byron Allen alleges Comcast refused to carry channels produced by his company due in part to his status as an African-American. He alleges Comcast ran lesser-known channels from white-owned companies.

Allen brought his case under 42 USC 1981, a law passed after the Civil War during the  Reconstruction Era, that prohibits racial discrimination in contracting. This law applies to employment discrimination. Comcast is arguing that the Allen must show race was a “but for” factor in their decision not to run his channels.

But for causation is considered a harder standard than either motivating factor or contributing factor causation. Requiring but for causation in 1981 cases would weaken the effect of the law and make it easier for employers to discriminate against African-Americans.

African-Americans are still covered under Title VII which only requires proving race is a motivating factor for employment discrimination. But Section 1981 has some important advantages over Title VII.

First of all Section 1981 does not require that employees file a charge of discrimination with a civil rights agency or exhaust administrative remedies. I believe this requirement amounts to private sovereign immunity for employers. As a practical matter, exhaustion of remedies requirement can serve to delay the resolution of cases and make it harder for individuals to pursue justice.

Secondly Section 1981 has a four year statute of limitations. Statute of limitations are much shorter and unclear under Title VII and state civil rights laws.  Claimants also have 90 days to file a lawsuit after being issued a right to sue letter. Claimants are often left scrambling trying to find lawyers to file a timely complaint. When you have a clear four year statute of limitations it’s easier to bring a claim.

But if Section 1981 is weakened by the Supreme Court, the procedural advantages of bringing such a claim will be cancelled out by the weaker substantive law.

Comcast is the second major employment law case argued this term. In October there was some indication that the court may expand Title VII to at least cover sexual orientation. I had a more pessimistic prediction before oral argument.  My feeling is that the court seems inclined to expand the scope of civil rights protections while at the same time weakening the protections in those laws.

 

 

The offices of Rehm, Bennett, Moore & Rehm, which also sponsors the Trucker Lawyers website, are located in Lincoln and Omaha, Nebraska. Five attorneys represent plaintiffs in workers’ compensation, personal injury, employment and Social Security disability claims. The firm’s lawyers have combined experience of more than 95 years of practice representing injured workers and truck drivers in Nebraska, Iowa and other states with Nebraska and Iowa jurisdiction. The lawyers regularly represent hurt truck drivers and often sue Crete Carrier Corporation, K&B Trucking, Werner Enterprises, UPS, and FedEx. Lawyers in the firm hold licenses in Nebraska and Iowa and are active in groups such as the College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers, Workers' Injury Law & Advocacy Group (WILG), American Association for Justice (AAJ), the Nebraska Association of Trial Attorneys (NATA), and the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). We have the knowledge, experience and toughness to win rightful compensation for people who have been injured or mistreated.

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Watch your body clock and time clock for a safe and fair “fall back”

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Early last week most of us felt a little dazed and tired from the end of daylight  savings time. But will that time change lead to more injuries and some workers getting shorted on their paychecks?

The end of daylight savings time and workplace safety

Studies show that daylight savings time in the spring leads to an increase in work injuries. While no studies have been done on the end of daylight savings time, experts state that any changes to the bodies ciciadian rhythms can lead to lower concentration, which can increase the risk of work injury. In short, if you feel a little off in the days after daylight savings time, your chances of injury on the job increase.

Fatigue leads to injuries. The risk of fatigue-related injury at work tends to increase in November and December as many workers take on increased hours or second jobs during the holiday season.

The time shift and wage theft

A tweet from a high-profile New York congresswoman reminded workers who work overnight to check their paystubs as sometime computerized timekeeping records will miss time shifts. Workers in human services, transportation and retailing would be particularly vulnerable to this form of wage theft.

Proving up actual unpaid time is one of the biggest challenges for employees when it comes to wage and hour law. The United States Department of Labor has an app callled Timesheet which allows workers to monitor their own hours.  The law favors employees who bring wage and hour violations to the attention of their employers in a prompt manner.

The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) also includes anti-retaliation provisions which protect an employee who brings up a potential wage and hour violation to their employer.

While one hour of unpiad wages would be a small amount of money, an employer would not be able to plead a de minimis defense. That defense only applies in pre and post shift activities. Workers can join together in collective action cases under the FLSA. This allows workers to join together for relatively small amounts of wage loss. But workers are forced to opt-in or affirmatively join those cases. The opt-in provision works to limit the actual damages payable in these cases. I am involved in a collective case now where about 1/10 of the eligible workers decided to opt-in.

Up until 2018, I think it would be fair to say that workers who banded to together to address unpaid wages would also be covered under the National Labor Relations Act. (NLRA) In the wake of the Epic decision, I have some doubts about whether that activity would be protected. The Epic decision also gave employers the ability to take away the right of employees to join together to sue the employer for wage violations.

The offices of Rehm, Bennett, Moore & Rehm, which also sponsors the Trucker Lawyers website, are located in Lincoln and Omaha, Nebraska. Five attorneys represent plaintiffs in workers’ compensation, personal injury, employment and Social Security disability claims. The firm’s lawyers have combined experience of more than 95 years of practice representing injured workers and truck drivers in Nebraska, Iowa and other states with Nebraska and Iowa jurisdiction. The lawyers regularly represent hurt truck drivers and often sue Crete Carrier Corporation, K&B Trucking, Werner Enterprises, UPS, and FedEx. Lawyers in the firm hold licenses in Nebraska and Iowa and are active in groups such as the College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers, Workers' Injury Law & Advocacy Group (WILG), American Association for Justice (AAJ), the Nebraska Association of Trial Attorneys (NATA), and the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). We have the knowledge, experience and toughness to win rightful compensation for people who have been injured or mistreated.

This entry was posted in Employment, Wage and Hour, Workers Compensation and tagged , , .

Misclassification stymies efforts to measure cost of work injuries

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Workers’ compensation courts do more than just decide workers’ compensation cases. Workers’ compensation courts also collect information about work injuries that is public information. But what happens when workers are classified as independent contractors?

Recently three U.S. Senators found out how difficult it was to find out information about work injuries for independent contractors when Amazon refused to provide information about injuries to drivers contracted with Amazon.

In Nebraska, employers are required to report injuries to the Nebraska Workers Compensation Court and those records are public record. These reports, called First Reports of Injury, at least provide some basic information about the number and nature of injuries.

The fact that First Reports are public is somewhat controversial. Opponents of making first reports public argue the workers’ compensation court is disclosing private health information. Many also find the practice of plaintiff’s attorney using the reports for marketing purposes distasteful.

On the flip side, if insurers and employers always treated their injured workers fairly and lawfully, they wouldn’t call lawyers. Secondly the availability of information about work injuries can help legislators and other policy makers improve workplace safety.

Employer advocates may argue that employers have an incentive to make their workplaces safe because of cost. But when employers, like Amazon, make their workers independent contractors they don’t provide workers’ compensation benefits. This shifts the cost of work injuries onto workers  and society as a whole. When companies classify their workers as independent contractors it is difficult even for powerful United States senators to determine the true cost of work injuries.

State workers’ compensation courts do important work in tracking work injuries. But as readers of this blog know, workers’ compensation laws are state-based laws. What may be a reportable injury in one state might not be reportable in another state. OSHA Rules 300 and 301 create a national standard for when an injury is recordable. But a rule that would have strengthened reporting requirements under OSHA was overturned through the Congressional Review Act. (CRA)

Many rules adopted by the Department of Labor during the Obama administration were overturned through the CRA. Reporting by Mike Elk at Payday Report revealed the dithering by the Obama administration on workplace safety that allowed Congressional Republicans and the Trump administration to overturn these rules.

The offices of Rehm, Bennett, Moore & Rehm, which also sponsors the Trucker Lawyers website, are located in Lincoln and Omaha, Nebraska. Five attorneys represent plaintiffs in workers’ compensation, personal injury, employment and Social Security disability claims. The firm’s lawyers have combined experience of more than 95 years of practice representing injured workers and truck drivers in Nebraska, Iowa and other states with Nebraska and Iowa jurisdiction. The lawyers regularly represent hurt truck drivers and often sue Crete Carrier Corporation, K&B Trucking, Werner Enterprises, UPS, and FedEx. Lawyers in the firm hold licenses in Nebraska and Iowa and are active in groups such as the College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers, Workers' Injury Law & Advocacy Group (WILG), American Association for Justice (AAJ), the Nebraska Association of Trial Attorneys (NATA), and the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). We have the knowledge, experience and toughness to win rightful compensation for people who have been injured or mistreated.

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Do court rules make it harder for PTs to manage pain in workers’ compensation cases?

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Physical therapists are playing an increasing role in pain management in workers’ compensation as the prescription of opioids has been curtailed over concerns over abuse of those drugs. But at least in the Nebraska Workers’ Compensation Court, physical therapists (PTs) may not be able to meet their increased responsibilities due to their ambiguous status as experts under court rules.  

Nebraska Workers Compensation Court Rule 10 holds that the court may admit reports from physical therapists but are not required to admit those reports as expert testimony.

This ambiguity creates confusion about what a physical therapist can testify to through written report in the Nebraska Workers’ Compensation Court. If physical therapists are going to take the lead in treating chronic pain this could mean that a medical doctor would have to ratify the suggestions of a PT when it comes to treating pain for those recommendations to have any weight in the court.

Physician-ratification of functional capacity evaluation tests performed by PTs amounts to an informal requirement for the appointment of a vocational rehabilitation counselor for a loss of earning power evaluation. I’ve written about the gap or squeeze in workers’ compensation cases when injured workers can go for weeks or even months without receiving either temporary or permanent benefits. In my experience the practice of requiring doctor endorsement of FCE results delays the payment of permanent disability benefits and often burdens injured worker with additional expenses.

I believe the requirement that doctors endorse the recommendations of physical therapists would also serve to delay and make it more costly injured workers to get treatment for chronic pain recommended by physical therapists. Additional delay and cost could make pain management without the use of opioid drugs more difficult.

Lawyers for injured workers in Nebraska should not accept the practice of physician-endorsement of physical therapist reports. I had some recent success in getting a loss of earning power ordered based just on FCE results. (Feel free to contact we directly for a copy of the order) But even in that hearing I made sure that those FCE results were endorsed by a doctor.

The plaintiff’s bar should also look to the legislature or the Nebraska Workers’ Compensation Court rule making process to allow the use of PT reports without doctor-endorsement. Last year the court rejected an effort to allow physician assistants to testify by Rule 10 report by a 5-2 margin. There may be a better chance for physical therapist reports to admitted on the same basis as doctors as physical therapists are already included in the language of Rule 10.

The offices of Rehm, Bennett, Moore & Rehm, which also sponsors the Trucker Lawyers website, are located in Lincoln and Omaha, Nebraska. Five attorneys represent plaintiffs in workers’ compensation, personal injury, employment and Social Security disability claims. The firm’s lawyers have combined experience of more than 95 years of practice representing injured workers and truck drivers in Nebraska, Iowa and other states with Nebraska and Iowa jurisdiction. The lawyers regularly represent hurt truck drivers and often sue Crete Carrier Corporation, K&B Trucking, Werner Enterprises, UPS, and FedEx. Lawyers in the firm hold licenses in Nebraska and Iowa and are active in groups such as the College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers, Workers' Injury Law & Advocacy Group (WILG), American Association for Justice (AAJ), the Nebraska Association of Trial Attorneys (NATA), and the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). We have the knowledge, experience and toughness to win rightful compensation for people who have been injured or mistreated.

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How is workers’ compensation different for top draft picks?

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New Orleans Pelicans forward, Zion Williamson (The Athletic)

It’s hard to imagine an injured highly paid professional athlete as a workers’ compensation claimant. Their wealth shields them for many of the difficulties an injured worker can experience. But their experience as injured workers gives the public insight into the some of the challenges faced by injured workers.

New Orleans Pelicans forward and NBA top draft pick, Zion Wiliamson, injured his right knee in the preseason.  Here are few takeaways on the injury and its media coverage from the perspective of a workers’ compensation lawyer.

New employees are more likely to get hurt – Studies show that new employees are more likely to get hurt on the job. In this respect Zion Williamson is similar to many other new employees.  Injuries to new employees pose all sorts of issues for injured workers. How do you calculate workers’ compensation benefits? What if you have to miss time from work? Williamson likely doesn’t have those problems for a few reasons.

Average weekly wage A major issue for new employees is how to calculate the amount of their workers’ compensation benefits. Even if Williamson wasn’t making millions of dollars, this wouldn’t be a problem for him because he has an actual employment contract that states how much he is to be paid. 

Leave for the injured new employeeA typical employee at-will employee isn’t required to be granted leave until they have been employed for one year.  That assumes the employee is covered by the Family Medical Leave Act. But Williamson is covered by a contract with the Pelicans. He is also covered by a collective bargaining agreement through the NBA Players Association. So unlike the typical new at-will employee hurt on the job, Williamson likely has the time to recover from his work injury without having to worry about losing his job.

Pre-existing injuries and uncertainties over reporting – Williamson injured his right knee playing for Duke in February 2019. At least according to press reports, there is some question about the right knee injury occurred. Nonetheless, I would assume the Pelicans will pick up Williamson’s medical care through workers’ compensation.

But if you aren’t an elite-level NBA power forward and you tell your employer you aren’t sure how you hurt your knee, but you know you hurt it eight months ago, don’t be surprised if workers’ compensation doesn’t cover that injury.

On the off chance the Pelicans deny Williamson’s workers’ compensation, claim based on causation and/or the definition of accident, Williamson probably would have the money to cover his medical treatment. Most other injured workers lack that ability.

As an aside, if it was determined that Williamson’s knee injury was caused by his play at Duke, those injuries would not be covered by workers’ compensation. Eventhough the NCAA recently allowed student-athletes to make money through endorsements, they aren’t employees who are entitled to workers’ compensation.

General ignorance of workers’ compensation – I like basketball but I don’t follow it closely. I didn’t find out about Williamson’s injury until I saw an article in The Onion entitled “Pelicans HR Informs Zion Williamson Knee Surgery Not Covered Until 90 Days Into First Season.

Employers are required to carry workers’ compensation and employees are covered by workers’ compensation on their first day of work. The Onion is satire but it’s fairly typical of the misunderstanding of workers’ compensation by the media and entertainment industry. California’s Assembly Bill 5 is often described as a bill that provides sick leave and health insurance to gig economy workers. Sick leave and health insurance often aren’t required benefits, but workers’ compensation is a mandatory benefit. AB5 expands workers’ compensation to gig economy workers.

Wall Street Journal columnist Andy Kessler was griping about AB5 in a recent column. Kessler didn’t mention workers’ compensation in his column. Any pundit opining about AB5 who doesn’t understand the fundamentals of employee benefits, should be discounted or ignored.

 

The offices of Rehm, Bennett, Moore & Rehm, which also sponsors the Trucker Lawyers website, are located in Lincoln and Omaha, Nebraska. Five attorneys represent plaintiffs in workers’ compensation, personal injury, employment and Social Security disability claims. The firm’s lawyers have combined experience of more than 95 years of practice representing injured workers and truck drivers in Nebraska, Iowa and other states with Nebraska and Iowa jurisdiction. The lawyers regularly represent hurt truck drivers and often sue Crete Carrier Corporation, K&B Trucking, Werner Enterprises, UPS, and FedEx. Lawyers in the firm hold licenses in Nebraska and Iowa and are active in groups such as the College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers, Workers' Injury Law & Advocacy Group (WILG), American Association for Justice (AAJ), the Nebraska Association of Trial Attorneys (NATA), and the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). We have the knowledge, experience and toughness to win rightful compensation for people who have been injured or mistreated.

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