Congressional Move Attempts to Resurrect Federal Scrutiny of State Workers’ Comp Programs
Six years after a ProPublica report focused increased scrutiny on Texas’ nonsubscription option and the workers’ compensation industry, federal policy makers are again considering increased federal oversight of state workers’ compensation systems.
In the months after the 2015 ProPublica report, several prominent lawmakers called on the Department of Labor to increase oversight of state workers’ compensation programs under the agency’s existing legal authority. The request languished under the Trump administration and no action was taken. However, the concept of increased federal oversight has been raised again as lawmakers craft the Fiscal Year 2022 budget reconciliation bill.
Tucked into an early version of the reconciliation bill is a provision to provide $121 million to the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs to monitor state workers’ compensation programs. The House of Representatives’ Education and Labor Committee voted in September to approve proposed language for the provision.
The move follows a report earlier this year from the House Committee on Appropriations in explanation of the reconciliation bill that asserted that there has been an ongoing and systematic decline in the adequacy of state workers’ compensation benefits, resulting in the shifting of costs for disabling workplace injuries to federal programs, such as Social Security Disability Insurance. Additionally, the report asserts that the growth of the gig economy and misclassification of workers as independent contractors has resulted in millions of workers falling through the cracks of state workers’ compensation systems.
The report recommends that state workers’ compensation programs be monitored on an ongoing basis (which was done from 1972 to 2004), and it requests that the OWCP include in the FY 2023 Congressional Budget Justification an assessment of the resources necessary to reinstate OWCP’s monitoring of state workers’ compensation programs and preparation of an annual report.
It is worth noting that there is no authority under federal law for the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs to monitor state workers’ compensation programs. Member companies with federal lobbyists are encouraged to make their lobbyists aware of this latest attempt.
Texas Law Provides Broad Protections for Employers Against COVID Claims
Legislation adopted earlier this year by state lawmakers affords Texas employers a strong defense against lawsuits brought by employees claiming that they contracted COVID-19 in the workplace.
The Texas Pandemic Liability Protection Act establishes major hurdles that plaintiffs must clear to win a COVID-19 exposure case against an employer. The law took effect June 14, however, its employer protections are retroactive.
Edward Johnson, a partner at Dallas-based Mayer LLP, said the legislation means claimants must prove that the employer knowingly failed to warn or remediate a condition that the employer knew was likely to expose the worker to COVID. Further, claimants must prove the defendant had control over the condition, knew the employee was more likely than not to be exposed to COVID-19, and had reasonable opportunity and ability to remediate or warn before the employee came into contact with the condition.
Johnson said plaintiffs could also argue that the defendant knowingly failed to implement or comply with government standards, guidance or protocols (SGP) intended to lower the likelihood of exposure to the disease. If choosing this route, plaintiffs would need to show the defendant had a reasonable opportunity and ability to implement or comply with the SGP but acted with flagrant disregard and that there weren’t conflicting SGP preventing the defendant from complying.
“This will be a really tough hurdle for a plaintiff to overcome: to show that a company was aware of a COVID risk and didn’t do anything to mitigate it,” Johnson told attendees at the Texas Alliance of Nonsubscribers annual meeting Oct. 13.
Regardless of which route plaintiffs take, the legislation requires that plaintiffs provide an expert witness report providing the factual and scientific basis for the assertion that the alleged failure to act caused the plaintiff to contract COVID-19.
“Obviously a lot of wishful plaintiffs are going to have trouble with this because they will likely have a difficult time proving how or when they contracted the virus,” Johnson said.
State and Federal Edicts on Vaccine Mandates for Businesses in Conflict
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order preventing any entity in Texas from requiring a COVID-19 vaccine for workers or customers could be overridden by an impending order from the federal government requiring that large employers ensure their workforce is fully vaccinated or require any unvaccinated workers to produce a negative test result on a weekly basis. Abbott added legislation supporting his executive order to the items eligible during the state’s special session, but the proposal lacked adequate support for passage and was not adopted prior to the session adjourning.
Kyle Briscoe, a trial lawyer specializing in defense litigation and shareholder for PeavlerBriscoe, told attendees at the Texas Alliance of Nonsubscribers annual meeting Oct. 13 that although the two orders are conflicting, the supremacy clause of the U.S. Constitution and established federal case law addressing “preemption” suggests the federal order would take precedence.
President Joe Biden in September directed the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to prepare rules that would require employers with 100 or more employees to ensure their workforce is either fully vaccinated or require unvaccinated employees to show proof of a negative COVID test on a weekly basis before coming to work. Violations under the OSHA order are expected to result in fines up to $13,653. The 100-employee trigger would apply on a companywide basis, rather than on the number of employees at a particular site.
Additionally, employers with more than 100 employees are expected to be required to provide paid time off for the time it takes for workers to get vaccinated or to recover if they are under the weather post-vaccination. At press time, OSHA had not released the proposed rule.
On Oct. 11, Abbott issued an executive order aimed at preventing any Texas entity from enforcing a vaccine mandate on employees or customers. He announced fines of up to $1,000 per violation.
Briscoe noted that the U.S. Constitution’s supremacy clause prohibits states from interfering with the federal government’s exercise of its constitutional power and that a conflict exists when “compliance with both federal and state regulations is a physical impossibility,” where state law “stands as an obstacle to the accomplishment and execution of the full purposes of federal law.”
He advised employers to determine if the OSHA order will apply to their workplace, and if so to consider the following:
- How to deal with remote workers.
- How to coordinate with on-site contractors about compliance, particularly those with fewer than 100 employees.
- How to identify vaccinated and unvaccinated employee and how to protect that information.
- How employees are to report the results of testing.
- Whether to require proof of vaccination, and if so, what constitutes proof.
- Whether to sponsor on-site vaccination clinics.
- Whether to sponsor on-site testing.
- Whether to supply test kits and how to use them. If not, how to instruct employees about obtaining test kits.
- Whether to pay for the test kits and if so, how.
- How to provide paid time off for vaccination and recovery.
- How to deal with employees who refuse both vaccination and testing.
- How to keep proper records supporting compliance.
EEOC Lawsuit May Be Indication of Agency’s Approach to Remote Work Accommodation Requests
A recently filed case by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission puts employers on notice that EEOC will use an employers’ remote working arrangements during the COVID-19 pandemic as evidence that employees should be permitted to work from home as an accommodation to a disability.
Prior to the pandemic, EEOC advocated that work-from-home requests be granted as an accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The recent case provides a glimpse of what the EEOC will expect in future work-from-home arrangements.
Robert Estrada, an associate with the El Paso-based law firm Blanco, Ordonez, Mata & Wechsler, provided details during the Texas Alliance of Nonsubscribers annual meeting Oct. 13. Estrada said the case involves Ronisha Moncrief, a former health and safety manager for ISS Facility Services in Georgia, who in March 2020 asked to work from home two days a week as an accommodation for her chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and hypertension.
Shortly after that request, ISS placed all its staff on modified work schedules where employees worked from home four days per week, however, in June 2020, ISS required all staff to return to in-person work five days per week. Moncrief then renewed her request to work from home two days per week and provided ISS with documentation establishing that her history of heart conditions increased her COVID-19 risk. Records also showed that other employees had been allowed to work from home following the June 2020 return-to-work.
Her request was denied in July 2020, and in August 2020 her supervisor recommended her termination based on poor performance, although she had never previously been advised that she performed poorly. She was terminated in September 2020, and in September 2021 EEOC filed a disability discrimination suit on her behalf. The case is pending before the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.
Estrada said the EEOC action suggests that employers should give special consideration to remote work requests. If an employer has been able to operate efficiently under remote arrangements, it will be expected that they make remote work available as an accommodation going forward.
He provided the following advice for employers:
- Review pending requests for remote work as an accommodation. Such accommodations should be considered on a case-by-case basis.
- Review job duties and position descriptions. Determine precisely what the employee’s essential job duties are and how often they must perform those tasks. Outdated job descriptions or understandings of an employee’s actual job duties can hinder this analysis. As an example, a job that requires frequent face-to-face interaction may no longer be expected since video conference platforms are available.
- Ensure requests are handled consistently. Evidence that other employees, especially those in the same or similar positions, have been allowed to work remotely or continue to work remotely may be considered evidence that an employer has violated its obligation under the ADA.
- If an employer is faced with more than one request for remote work as an accommodation, it must be able to justify why it can accommodate some employees and not others. This may be for legitimate reasons, such as data security or to be physically present to access or use equipment or products.
COVID-19 Infection & Causation Analysis
By Trang Nguyen, M.D., Ph.D. (Epidemiology) - MedicusRx
The virus productive of the COVID-19 infection is ubiquitous, meaning it can be found anywhere. It is dispersed in air as an aerosol from people breathing, sneezing and coughing. We are exposed to the virus while performing virtually any activity of daily living, from using public transportation to going to church, the grocery store or the shopping mall. In short, the virus is all around us.
Epidemiology is the study of the cause and determinants of human disease. This scientific evaluation of causation requires assessment/analysis of any and all possible causes of a human health problem of any kind, ranging from orthopedic issues to infectious diseases to cancers. The medical scientist/epidemiologist must be able to:
- Address the biologic plausibility of a purported cause and effect relationship.
- Address possible alternative explanations (differential diagnoses) for the relationship, and support or refute potential causes with published science.
- Statistically analyze the assumed relationship(s) for statistical support.
- Determine if the observed cause and effect relationship exists in other populations.
In other words, guesswork must be removed from causation statements in order for such a relationship to pass scientific scrutiny. To do otherwise is simply an expression of opinion, which may not be defensible.
We know that COVID-19 is a virus, originating in China. We know the virus can be found anywhere. We know the virus can be spread through any and all types of airborne mechanisms, such as talking, coughing, sneezing, or from droplets attached to common surfaces like countertops, elevator buttons and stair rails.
So how can we prove a COVID infection arose from one specific activity, such as a person-to-person interchange at school or work, or a public event like a sports activity? The simple answer is that we cannot make such a statement of causation with certainty.
With exposure to this ubiquitous virus, almost a certainty with any form of social activity ranging from a grocery store trip to visiting friends or eating at a restaurant, isolating causation to a single event would be difficult.
Some people with significantly increased exposure to the afflicted population, such as emergency room or intensive care personnel or emergency first responders, are considered at higher risk due to the nature of their job exposures. But these represent a truly unique segment of the population.
Statements of COVID infection should be individually assessed if a causation statement is provided. Any such statement must be accompanied by a thorough exposure history, diagnostic study results, and an assessment of medical records.
The science of causation analysis should be rigorously followed before a conclusion of causation can be reached.
Texas Workers’ Comp Report Shows Significant Increase in Telemedicine Use During Pandemic
Not surprisingly, workers’ compensation telemedicine claims in Texas increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, rising to 21,086 claims between the onset of the pandemic in March 2020 and July 31, 2021, according to a new report from the Texas Department of Insurance Workers’ Compensation Research and Evaluation Group. That figure compares to 951 telemedicine claims filed between 2018 and March 2020.
Put another way, less than 1% of claims receiving professional medical services received telemedicine pre-pandemic, but increased to 7% of claims during the pandemic. Overall, only 3% of claims that received professional medical services received at least one telemedicine service from Sept. 1, 2018, through July 31, 2021.
The most frequently used telemedicine service both before and during the pandemic was evaluation and management services (office visits). The average number of days from injury to initial telemedicine service was about six to seven weeks from April to September 2020, but decreased in 2021 to about three weeks.
Health care providers billed for 80,613 telemedicine services between Sept. 1, 2018, through July 31, 2021, with 76% of these services paid by insurance carriers. The total charged by health care providers for these telemedicine services was just more than $15.1 million and insurance carriers paid $7 million, or 46%. The amounts charged and paid for telemedicine services during the pandemic was slightly more than $14.7 million for telemedicine services during the pandemic, with 46% ($6,792,701) paid by insurance carriers. Before the pandemic, the amount charged was $383,220, but a higher percentage of these charges were paid by insurance carriers (62%, or $235,945).
The report is available here.
OSHA Moves Toward Restoring Injury and Illness Reporting Requirements
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) appears to be moving closer toward restoring injury and illness recordkeeping regulations that were abolished under the Trump administration.
A proposed rule restoring two parts of OSHA’s injury and illness recordkeeping requirements was submitted to the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs on Oct. 1 for review. There is no timetable for the review’s completion, however, upon completion of the review, the proposed rule would be published in the Federal Register, followed typically by at least a 30-day period for public comment.
Employers currently are required to submit Form 300A — a yearly summary of injury and illness data — instead of the two more detailed forms. The proposed new rule is expected to restore the requirement that establishments with 250 or more employees submit electronic submissions of their injury and illness data from Forms 300 and 301. Those forms, which typically include more detailed information about injuries and illness, were abolished in 2019 under the Trump administration, which argued they contained proprietary information. Labor groups and others had argued that eliminating the reporting requirements allows employers to hide injury records and keep the public in the dark about unsafe workplaces.
OSHA Reveals Top 10 Safety Violations for Fiscal Year 2021
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has announced its preliminary top 10 most frequently cited workplace safety standards for fiscal year 2021.
Fall Protection (1926.501) remains at the top of the list for the 11th year in a row, followed by Respiratory Protection (1910.134) and Ladders (1926.1053). Hazard Communication, which spent the last several years at No. 2, moved to the fifth spot on this year’s list.
“Throughout the pandemic, workplace safety has become more important than ever,” said Lorraine Martin, NSC president and CEO. “Although incredible advancements are made in safety each year, the OSHA Top 10 list reminds us that we must continue to pinpoint areas where we can improve so we can better prioritize workplace safety in the future world of work.”
The top 10 most frequently cited workplace safety standards for FY 2021 are:
- Fall Protection — General Requirements (1926.501): 5,295 violations
- Respiratory Protection (1910.134): 2,527
- Ladders (1926.1053): 2,026
- Scaffolding (1926.451): 1,948
- Hazard Communication (1910.1200): 1,947
- Lockout/Tagout (1910.147): 1,698
- Fall Protection — Training Requirements (1926.503): 1,666
- Personal Protective and Lifesaving Equipment — Eye and Face Protection (1926.102): 1,452
- Powered Industrial Trucks (1910.178): 1,420
- Machine Guarding (1910.212): 1,113
A more in-depth analysis of the top 10 violations for 2021 will be published in the December edition of Safety+Health magazine, a National Safety Council publication.
Poll: Americans aren’t as Divided on COVID as the Media Makes it Seem
How many Americans absolutely refuse to get a COVID-19 vaccine? How many never wear masks in public? How many insist that kids shouldn’t have to cover their faces in school? Click here for full article.
The Smartest Way to Use Rapid At-Home COVID Tests
As COVID-19 vaccines became widely available in the U.S. this year, some people who had put life plans on hold earlier in the pandemic decided not to wait any longer. One of them was Scientific American senior health editor Tanya Lewis, who got married in August. Click here for full article.
COVID-19 Booster Shots Overtake First Doses in the U.S.
More Americans are getting a booster dose of coronavirus vaccine each day than are getting their first shot. Click here for full article.
A Primer on What We Know About Mixing and Matching Covid Vaccines
Later this week an expert committee that advises the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will hear about the results of a clinical trial that could influence how Covid vaccines are used in this country at some point in the future. Click here for full article.
Portable Air Filters May Effectively Remove COVID Particles, Study Says
Research at a United Kingdom hospital filled with COVID-19 patients suggests portable HEPA filters effectively remove coronavirus particles from the air, a recent study showed. Click here for full article.
Vaccinated People are Less Likely to Spread Covid, New Research Finds
People who are vaccinated against Covid-19 are less likely to spread the virus even if they become infected, a new study finds, adding to a growing body of evidence that vaccines can reduce transmission of the delta variant. Click here for full article.
CDC Issues New COVID-19 Guidance for the Holiday Season
“Because many generations tend to gather to celebrate holidays, the best way to minimize COVID-19 risk and keep your family and friends safer is to get vaccinated if you’re eligible,” the CDC says in its guidance, issued on Friday. Click here for full article.
If I Catch COVID-19 at Work What are my Rights? A Law Expert Explains
The transition to “living with COVID” makes contracting the virus at work a distinct possibility, even with high vaccination rates. Click here for full article.
Reducing Workers’ Compensation and OSHA Liability During COVID-19 and Beyond
As the world navigates work-from-home opportunities in the post-COVID era, health care companies are considering their options too. This article provides a practical look into workers’ compensation and OSHA considerations so that health care providers can determine whether the benefits of remote working outweigh any potential risks. Click here for full article.
Hundreds of COVID-19 Workers’ Comp Claims in Logjam at Washington Labor & Industries
More than 300 workers’ compensation claims filed with the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) associated with COVID-19 have been lingering in the system without a decision for six months or longer. Click here for full article.
‘There Is Anger. He Should Be Alive.’ An Investigation Into Deadly COVID-19 Outbreaks at Foster Farms
The last time Eufracio Caballero was tested for COVID-19 at his job was the same day his employer, Foster Farms, sent out a statement with information about an outbreak at the plant where he worked. Click here for full article.
COVID-19’s Unrelenting Impact on Workers’ Compensation: What You Need to Know
COVID-19 has done a number on virtually every sector of the economy. Unfortunately, this damage has also expanded into workers’ compensation. While it would be ideal for this virus to leave those with injuries out of the economic hardships, that sadly isn’t the case. Click here for full article.
Benefits of Vaccine Mandates Outweigh Workers’ Comp Costs of Vaccine Injuries
Vaccinations have served to significantly reduce the spread of COVID-19 in populations with high take-up rates, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC). In the past months, many businesses and public entities have begun to require their employees to be vaccinated for COVID-19. Click here for full article.
Case: Individual Employment Rights/Workers’ Compensation
A trial court erred in striking the affidavit of an injured employee of Lone Star Tan GP—in which she averred that she was told she would not be covered by workers’ compensation—and dismissing her negligence claims on grounds of the exclusive remedy provision of the Texas Workers’ Compensation Act, after she experienced a seizure while being verbally abused by the tanning salon manager, and fell and hit her head, a Texas court of appeal ruled. Click here for full article.
Federal Investigation of Employee Injury Finds Texas Furniture Manufacturer Repeatedly Exposed Workers to Amputation Hazards
While the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has given a Temple furniture design and manufacturing company several opportunities to stop exposing its workers to amputation hazards, an investigation into a recent serious injury found little has changed. Click here for full article.
California Announces Workers’ Comp Temporary Total Disability Rates for 2022
California’s Division of Workers’ Compensation announced that the 2022 minimum and maximum temporary total disability rates will increase on Jan. 1, 2022. Click here for full article.
State Mulls Workers Comp Rate Reduction
No one spoke out at a brief Wednesday hearing on proposed workers compensation rates Florida employers should start to pay in January 2022, and insurance regulators were able to wrap up their questions about the National Council on Compensation Insurance request for a proposed 4.9% rate reduction in less than an hour. Click here for full article.
Florida Appeals Court Finds Workers’ Comp Judge Used Flawed Logic
If doctors offer differing opinions on a work injury, a judge must appoint a third physician to help settle the matter, according to Florida’s workers’ compensation rules. And an administrative law judge must consider a contingent argument raised by an insurer, not just the initial argument, a Florida appeals court said Wednesday. Click here for full article.
Idaho’s Workers’ Comp Rates Decreasing 7% for 2022
The National Council on Compensation Insurance recently submitted its annual rate recommendation. Click here for full article.
A New Trend in Workers’ Compensation Shoulder Cases
After the 2017 Amendments to Iowa Code Chapter 85 provided that shoulder injuries were to be compensated functionally as scheduled member injuries, instead of industrially as whole body injuries, claimants have been looking for ways to have their shoulder injuries still compensated industrially. Click here for full article.
In Study of 18 States, Average Medical Payment for Indiana Workers’ Compensation Claims Higher Than Typical
The average medical payment for workers’ compensation claims with more than seven days of lost time was higher in Indiana than the typical state in a study of 18 states, according to a recent report by the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI). Click here for full article.
Study: Indiana Workers’ Comp Average Medical Claims Higher than Most States
A recently published study from the Workers Compensation Research Institute found that the average medical payment for Indiana workers’ compensation claims with more than seven days of lost time was higher than the typical state. Click here for full article.
Numerous Reforms to New York Workers’ Compensation System Tracked in New WCRI Study
The Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) released a new report, Monitoring Trends in the New York Workers’ Compensation System, 2021 Edition, today for policymakers and system stakeholders to track the performance of the New York workers’ compensation system. Click here for full article.
Crain’s Cleveland Business
Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Sends More Employers Dividends
The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation announced that the agency last week began sending dividend checks to 3,000 newly eligible employers. Click here for full article.
Workers Compensation Insurance Market SWOT Analysis by 2028
This helps to gauge the Workers Compensation Insurance market vis-à-vis other market. This study covers the world outlook of the Workers Compensation Insurance market across different regions in the world. In addition, it assesses the market’s competitive landscape studying the market share, strengths & shortcomings, opportunities for entry into market, and target markets. Click here for full article.
Federal Cannabis Prohibition & Workers’ Comp
The House Judiciary Committee has approved the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, bringing the potential for the bill to be reintroduced in the U.S. House of Representatives and raising the potential end of federal cannabis prohibition. Click here for full article.
How Does a Workers’ Comp Settlement Work?
Workplace injuries are a reality for your business because workers can be injured doing a number of tasks. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports there were 2.8 million nonfatal workplace injuries in 2019, including traumatic injuries from workplace machinery and repetitive-use injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome. Click here for full article.
Comp Benefits Fall Over Five-year Period: Study
Standardized benefits paid to injured workers from 2015 to 2019 have continued to drop, in line with a 10-year trend, according to a study released Thursday by the National Academy of Social Insurance. Click here for full article.
Best’s Market Segment Report: Workers’ Compensation Results Still Outpacing Other U.S. Property/Casualty Insurance Lines
Underwriters of workers’ compensation insurance have consistently generated better underwriting profits than other property/casualty (P/C) lines of business, again doing so in 2020 amid the pandemic, according to a new AM Best report. Click here for full article.
NCCI: Workers’ Comp Reserve Redundancy Reaches $14 Billion
Workers’ compensation insurers continue to stow away more money than necessary in reserves, even as reported loss ratios continue to climb, according to a report released Wednesday by the National Council on Compensation Insurance. Click here for full article.
Marijuana Waxes as Opioids Wane in Workers’ Comp
Workers’ compensation insurers have slashed spending on opioids, reducing the risk of addiction and delayed recovery, but now they are under increasing pressure to reimburse injured workers for a new kind of elixir. Click here for full article.
Workers’ Compensation Premiums Flat for First Six Months of 2021
A comparison of workers’ compensation direct premium written indicated an overall decrease of approximately 0.3% for the first six months of 2021 compared to the first six months of 2020. Fifteen of the Top 25 carriers by dollar volume of workers’ comp business reported a period-to-period decrease in direct premium written. Click here for full article.
Beyond the Headlines: Workplace Violence and Workers’ Compensation Claims
Whenever a legal dispute arises as to insurance coverage, the court will evaluate policy language to determine if a specific cause of loss constitutes a covered event under the terms of that policy. Click here for full article.
Workers’ Compensation Underwriting Results Again Beat Other Lines in 2020
Workers’ compensation underwriters have been consistently generating better underwriting profits than other property/casualty lines of business, and did so again in 2020 amid the pandemic. Click here for full article.
NCCI Launches Workers’ Comp Learning Academy for Carriers
The National Council on Compensation Insurance has launched a workers’ compensation learning academy for member carriers. Click here for full article.
The Global Right to Return Home Safely From a Day’s Work
“It’s shocking to see so many people literally being killed by their jobs”. This quote, by the Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO), relates to the first joint global monitoring report of the WHO and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) into work-related burden of disease and injury. The report found that 1.9 million people died from work related injury and disease in 2016. Click here for full article.
Safety + Health
OSHA Begins Work on Rule to Protect Workers From Dangerous Heat
OSHA is requesting stakeholder input as it moves toward creating a rule to protect workers from extreme heat exposure in indoor and outdoor settings. Click here for full article.
Mandatory Arbitration Cases Have Soared During the Pandemic
U.S. employers relied heavily on arbitration in the first months of the pandemic, pushing a record number of complaints involving discrimination, harassment, wage theft and other grievances through a closed-door system largely weighted against consumers and workers, according to a report being released this week. Click here for full article.
Workers’ Compensation Cases Fell During the Pandemic, but Home-based Workers Still Have Aches and Pains
In the coronavirus pandemic that sent millions of employees home to begin new work routines, reports of occupational injuries that were expected failed to materialize. Click here for full article.
U.S. News and World Report
Explainer – Who Faces Legal Liability in ‘Rust’ Shooting Case?
Lawsuits seeking to assign civil liability in the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins would be most likely to name the “Rust” crew member who inspected the gun, the assistant director who handed it to actor Alec Baldwin and possibly others in the production company, experts said on Wednesday. Click here for full article.