Are Injuries on Commute or in Parking Lot Covered?

When employees are injured on the job, they are eligible for workers' compensation benefits, but not if the accident occurs on their commute to or from work — in most cases, at least.  But how about if an employee is injured in your parking lot, or while running an errand for you after work? There are two rules that govern at which point a worker is eligible for benefits if they sustain an injury: The 'coming and going' rule Typically, workers' comp benefits won't be paid for injuries sustained during a daily commute. This is known as the "coming and…

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New Rules Clear Up Workers’ Comp, Medicare Conflicts

A new law will make it easier for insurers to settle workers' compensation claims with older workers who are enrolled in Medicare, in an attempt to resolve an issue that can sometimes drive up premiums for affected employers. The law adds transparency by letting workers' comp insurers inquire about whether Medicare may have been used to pay for any part of the claim. Often this is shrouded in secrecy, requiring the insurer to add reserves to the claim to pay for any potential demands from Medicare to recoup outlays it may have made for treatment of the worker. Medicare is…

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DOL Issues New Definition of Independent Contractor

In the last month of the Trump administration, the Labor Department finalized a regulation to clarify for employers which workers are employees and which are independent contractors. Because independent contractors are typically ineligible for employee benefits, businesses have an incentive to classify workers that way. The new regulation's purpose is to make answering the question easier. The regulation employs an "economic reality test" that courts have developed over the years. It asks "whether, as a matter of economic reality, the workers depend upon someone else's business for the opportunity to render service or are in business for themselves." This test…

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EEOC Issues New COVID-19 Vaccination Guidelines for Employers

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has affirmed that employers can mandate COVID-19 vaccines for employees, subject to some limitations. The EEOC's updated guidance offers direction regarding employer-mandated vaccinations, accommodations for employees who cannot be vaccinated due to a disability or sincerely held religious belief, and certain implications of pre-vaccination medical screening questions under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act. Asking a patient pre-screening questions is a routine part of a vaccination. These questions may constitute a "medical examination" as defined by the ADA. An employer must be able to show that the inquiries are…

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Don’t Make These Mistakes When Posting OSHA Form 300A

Employers with 10 or more employees must post their completed OSHA Form 300A by Feb. 1 and keep it posted in their workplace until April 30. The form must be posted where the company usually posts other employee notices, like minimum wage and workplace safety notices. Form 300A summarizes the total number of fatalities, missed workdays, job transfers or restrictions, and injuries and illnesses as recorded on Form 300. The penalty for OSHA posting violations is $13,260. The Summary (Form 300A) requires the following information from the Form 300 Log: The total number of non-first-aid occupational injury and illness cases.…

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Employment-Related Lawsuits Explode during Pandemic

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, so does the number of workplace-related lawsuits filed by workers across the country against their employers. The pandemic laid the groundwork for new local, state and federal laws and regulations governing a number of workplace issues like workplace safety, family and medical leave and remote work. And it created new challenges for employers who were forced to close operations, lay off and furlough workers and organize new work arrangements. The surge resulted in a record number of COVID-19-related class-action lawsuits, the majority of them concerning disputes over:  (1) Alleged failure to provide a safe working…

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Workplace Sexual Harassment Moves Online During Pandemic

With so many people working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, logic would dictate that instances of workplace sexual harassment would have plummeted since people are not in the office or any other facility together.  Logic would be wrong. Sexual harassment of employees by other employees or superiors has moved online, according to recent reports. In fact, since the pandemic has started, the nonprofit Stop Street Harassment found that there has been a 20% increase in sexual harassment complaints among American workers. The increase is not surprising considering an earlier study by Stop Street in 2018, which found that 41%…

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8 Tips for Improving Electrical Safety on Construction Sites

The construction industry has the highest percentage of electrical fatalities out of all industries. While electricity is a crucial component in a construction project's success, it poses a risk of harmful shock, horrific burns or fatal electrocution. These accidents can occur when workers come into contact with power lines, wiring, transformers or other electrical machinery. Fortunately, there are steps that companies can take to minimize the dangers. The following are eight tips on how to improve electrical safety in the construction industry: Provide personal protection вЂ” Electrical safety in the industry starts at a personal level. All the electrical work personnel…

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