Civil Procedure Labor & Employment Worker’s Compensation

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@Work: Your HR and Employment Law Update - June 2016

With the Ohio Senate’s passage of House Bill 523 on May 25, 2016, Ohio is poised to become the nation’s 25th state to legalize medicinal marijuana. Although the proposed state law provides direction for employers, a new OSHA...more

Getting to “Yes”!

In their book, “Getting to YES, Negotiating Agreement without Giving In,” Roger Fisher and William Ury discuss alternatives to positional negotiating. It is a must read for all mediators and a strongly suggested read for any...more

Permanent Light Duty Not Required Under ADA

Employers frequently offer light duty work as a means for injured employees to return to their regular job duties. Light duty is typically associated with employees with Workers’ Compensation related injuries. ...more

Several New Worker's Compensation Provisions Favorable to Wisconsin Employers

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed into law several new employer-friendly 2016 amendments to the state’s Worker’s Compensation Act. In addition to cutting the statute of limitations for traumatic injury claims in half,...more

Is Your Workers Compensation Program Unlawful?

A popular workers compensation insurance program offered by Berkshire Hathaway subsidiaries Applied Underwriters Captive Risk Assurance Company (Applied Underwriters) and California Insurance Company may be in trouble. On...more

Dempsey v. Bagley, 2016 ABQB 124 - Lessors of Vehicles Still Vulnerable Under Workers Compensation Act

There were two motor vehicle accidents in the summer of 2006. The plaintiffs and the defendants involved in the accidents were employees of Brinks Canada Limited (“Brinks”). The vehicles in question were owned by PHH...more

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Rules In Favor Of Equitable Contribution

Wiggin and Dana successfully represented the Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania (ISOP) in a recent case before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court affirming insurers' rights to equitable contribution from...more

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Approves Equitable Contribution Among Co-Insurers And Rejects “Selective Tender Rule”

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court recently rejected the application of the “Selective Tender Rule” as against Massachusetts law and public policy. On a certified question from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First...more

ERISA: Sixth Circuit — No Conflict of Interest with Multi-Employer Benefit Plan, Saving Abuse of Discretion Standard of Review

You already know that evidence of a “conflict of interest” can change the standard of review the court applies in ERISA claims. But proper structuring of multi-employer benefit plans can avoid an inherent conflict of...more

RLA “Minor Dispute” Preemption Alive and Well As a Potential Defense in State Court

An Illinois state appellate court recently confirmed that Railway Labor Act “minor dispute” preemption is alive and well as a potential defense to state-law retaliatory discharge claims. The case, Hughes v. United Airlines,...more

Florida’s Workers’ Comp System Goes Back to the Future . . . at the Expense of Your Premiums

On April 16, 2016, the Florida Supreme Court will hear another in a long line of cases brought by plaintiffs’ lawyers trying to turn the clock back on Florida’s Workers’ Compensation Law. Before 2003, employers in Florida had...more

Risks In Being A Joint Employer

Joint employment of one worker by two businesses can create risks of liability for both employers in a variety of ways. Both businesses may be liable, for example, on claims for employment discrimination and/or violations of...more

A Change in Direction for Change in Condition?

On January 20, 2016, the South Carolina Court of Appeals handed down its opinion in Russell v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 2016 WL 231216, and held that claimant is not required to prove a change of condition by objective...more

Labor and Employment Group News: Retaliation Claims Difficult to Defend

A recent judgment in the United States District Court in Connecticut of over Five Hundred Thousand Dollars ($502,402.05) illustrates the difficulties involved in defending retaliation claims. Summerlin v. Almost Family, Inc.,...more

Texas Supreme Court Vindicates Employer That Uniformly Enforced its Leave Policy

On December 4, 2015, the Texas Supreme Court vacated a jury verdict in favor of a former employee who had alleged workers’ compensation retaliation, rendering judgment in favor of the employer and finding that the employee...more

Interplay Between Texas Workers' Compensation Law and Federal Family Medical Leave Act: Texas Supreme Court Addresses Impact of...

On December 4, 2015, the Texas Supreme Court provided significant guidance for employers by clarifying the relationship between the Texas Worker’s Compensation Act and the federal Family Medical Leave Act ("FMLA") in...more

Georgia Supreme Court Interprets the Apportionment Statute in Conjunction with the Workers' Compensation Act

This month, the Georgia Supreme Court further extended the reach of the Georgia law addressing the apportionment of liability in tort cases in the case of Walker, et al. v. Tensor Machinery, et al. The Court had recently...more

Workers’ Compensation Mediation – What Employers Need to Know

The costs of civil litigation, and uncertainties of a jury trial, have turned mediation into its own cottage industry. Now more than ever, parties involved in civil suits will voluntarily agree to mediate the dispute, with...more

On The Road Again: Where Does Jurisdiction Lie for a Traveling Employee's Out of State Work Injury?

For companies that employ traveling employees, such as truck drivers, dealing with work injuries sustained by such employees can be challenging, because predicting which state will have jurisdiction over the employee's injury...more

Illinois Supreme Court Decision Bars Employee from Bringing a Direct Civil Action against Employer for Alleged Asbestos Exposure...

In Folta v. Ferro Engineering, Ill.S.Ct. Docket No. 118070, Nov. 4, 2015, the Illinois Supreme Court reversed an Illinois Appellate Court decision and held that a personal injury and subsequent wrongful death suit brought on...more

Labor Code § 2708 Presumption of Employer Negligence is Not Applicable Against Homeowners Who Hired Unlicensed Painting Company

In Vebr v. Culp (Filed 10/28/2015, No. G050730), the Fourth District Court of Appeal affirmed a trial court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of homeowners, where an employee of an unlicensed painting company was injured...more

Court Crushes Constitutional Challenge To Independent Medical Review

In Frances Stevens v. Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board, Outspoken Enterprises, Case: A143043 1st District, Division 1, the California Court of Appeal upheld the constitutionality of California Labor Code Section 4610.6...more

Maine Supreme Court Addresses Employee Misclassification and Workers’ Compensation Coverage Requirements

In WCB Abuse Investigation Unit v. Nate Holyoke Builders, Inc., 2015 ME 99 (August 4, 2015), a construction company obtained predeterminations of independent contractor status from the WCB for workers classified as...more

When Going to Work is Work: McMorris v. New Haven and the Workers’ Compensation Act

Generally speaking, our workers’ compensation laws provide certain benefits for injuries arising out of or in the course of employment. Certain employees (police officers and firefighters) are referred to as “portal to...more

A Surprising Holding by the Tennessee Supreme Court Regarding Workers' Compensation Retaliation Claims

On Friday, the Tennessee Supreme Court held in Yardley v. Hospital Housekeeping Systems that applicants are not eligible as a matter of law to assert "failure to hire" claims based on even the admitted fact that the reason...more

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