Reducing Workers’ Compensation Claims

Everyone knows that the goal of any business is to make as much money as possible. Costly workers’ compensation claims can be a huge burden to companies trying to reach that goal.

If you’re the owner of a business, you’ll want to maintain a safe working environment to not only reduce workers’ compensation claims but keep your employees safe as well. I decided to research the best methods to help you do just that.

What is a Worker’s Compensation Claim?

First, we need to establish what a workers’ compensation claim is. If an employee is injured on the job, they are entitled to make a worker’s compensation claim. If the company accepts the claim, they are required to provide compensation to the employee, often in the form of replacing the wages lost or paying for medical bills. In exchange for the benefits, the employee waives their right to sue their employer for negligence.

Workers’ compensation claims may seem like an easy way to avoid the hassle of a drawn out lawsuit, but depending on the wages lost and medical bills incurred, they can be extremely expensive for both you and your company, The best option is to take the proper precautions to avoid workers’ compensation claims in the first place.

Utilize Testing Services in the Hiring Process

Including testing services in your hiring process can help you hire smart and avoid workers’ compensation claims. Several companies like WorkSTEPS, Inc. have pioneered evidence based tests that measure prospective employees physical abilities. This helps you hire employees that will be able to handle the physical demands required by your company, helping you stay away from injuries at the workplace.

These tests will allow you to make the best decisions during the hiring process, and are both completely objective and legal.

Create a Safety Program

Another way to avoid spending money on workers’ compensation claims is to create a company wide safety program. Such programs will allow your administration to notice any potential safety hazards and get rid of them to ensure that your working environment is as safe as possible. Many states even require companies to write safety programs — make sure to check out the laws in your respective state.

You many options when creating your work safety program. You could hire a third party business to help develop one for you, download a template online from a company for a fee, or turn to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s consultation program. No matter where you look, it is important to create a program that is much more than a document and truly keeps your employees safe.

Consider Joining a Professional Employer Organization (PEO)

This tip is especially beneficial for small and medium sized businesses. Join a professional employer organization (PEO). PEOs can provide the guidance needed to steer clear from workers’ compensation claims and reduce their impact if they do happen. PEOs can help you select workers’ compensation plan coverage, design a safety program, and manage relations with any injured employees.

Monsanto’s Reaction to Product Effects

It’s hard to make a technological advance that doesn’t come with any hardships. After all, you have to break a few eggs to make an omelet. And, most of the time, people don’t know just how bad hardships are until decades after the fact. Lead paint was deemed safe for a very long time before people started to notice that children were being born with birth defects because of their mother’s exposure to the substance. Fossil fuels are still being burned to this day while the world’s top scientists scramble to find a long-term alternative, even though everyone knows that the usage of fossil fuels is slowly destroying our planet. Once the effects of a new product come to light, most big businesses will attempt to do the right thing and correct the problem in their product or service. Everyone except Monsanto, it seems.

Since it introduced its herbicide Roundup in 1974, Monsanto has been poisoning the general public. Roundup contains glyphosate, a known carcinogen. Farmers and agricultural workers have reported some nasty side effects of exposure to Roundup. As an aerosol, much of exposure to Roundup has been attributed to inhalation. This being said, exposure to Roundup has also been caused by eating contaminated food or drinking contaminated water. This means that there are likely traces of Roundup in a large plurality of the water we still drink today.

Exposure to glyphosate has been linked to the development of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, leukemia, and myeloma. Aside from cancers, glyphosate is potentially a key factor in the development of diabetes, ADHD, depression, liver disease, and a myriad of other diseases. Elderly members of society and pregnant women are especially vulnerable when it comes to contracting a disease as a result of exposure to glyphosate and Roundup.

There’s been more than one class-action Monsanto cancer lawsuit started as an attempt to force Monsanto to admit their mistakes. Monsanto has doubled down and is refusing to hold themselves accountable. Unfortunately, it’s going to take more people taking a stand against this major corporation before any change occurs. For some victims, it’s too late. For those that are still around, it’s now or never. It’s time for Monsanto to deal with what they have done. They have made their beds, and now they have to lie in them!

If you’ve been diagnosed with cancer or another disease, and you think it’s a result of exposure to Roundup, it is time to get a lawyer who cares about you and is willing to go the extra mile to make your case known. Many people have been lumped together in one large lawsuit against this company, but a few have chosen to take on Monsanto as individuals. Regardless of how you make your case, be sure to make sure to put your health first as you work to make Monsanto atone for their crimes.

Could a slip and fall accident result in serious injury?

Slip and fall accidents are among the most common ways to incur an injury. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over one million Americans are injured by a slip and fall every year. Of these one million, 17,000 result in death. Slip and falls also account for up to 15% of all workplace compensation expenses. But how does a simple trip result in injuries for so many? Read through for an overview of the major factors at play.

Slip and Falls from Elevated Positions

The potential for injury from a slip and fall is increased exponentially when you are working or standing on an elevated platform. A simple slip can have you falling several feet to the ground. This can lead to serious back and feet injuries and in the most extreme circumstances, death. Some workers in factories and construction zones are exposed to these work conditions on a daily basis.

Slip and Fall in the Workplace

When slip and falls happen in workplace environments such as warehouses, factories, and construction zones, there is great risk for a resulting injury. Slip and falls may cause workers to knock over large equipment which then injuries them or even other employees. After tripping, workers may get themselves tangled or caught in machines. This can cause severe, life-altering injuries that result in a lost limb. Construction workers may find themselves working around or nearby exposed rebar and electric wiring that causes injury upon contact.

Slip and Fall Accidents and Older Individuals

As we age, we are more susceptible to injury from slip and falls. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predicts that up to 30% of slip and falls result in injuries such as hip fractures, bruising and head injuries. All of these injuries make it difficult for the elderly to live independently. These accidents account for almost half of the traumatic brain injuries sustained by elderly individuals. Of the 17,000 fatalities caused by slip and falls every year, 1,800 of them occur in nursing homes. The CDC also reports that one third of the population over 65 will be injured during a slip and fall every year.

Can I Hire a Lawyer For Slip and Fall Injuries?

If you incur a slip and fall injury on someone else’s property, whether that be at work or otherwise, you may be able to sue for compensation. When companies do not take proper precautions to prevent patrons from slipping and falling, they can be held liable for their negligence. Apart from trauma alone, injuries incurred from tripping may result in medical expenses. It seems unfair that you should have to pay these out of pocket when a company’s negligence caused the injury. While researching for this blog, I gathered some helpful information from the Law Offices of William J. Luse. Located in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, The Law Offices of William J. Luse handle cases in both employment law and personal injury. This includes slip and falls that happen inside and outside the workplace.


What is Celiac Disease?

Many grocery stores and restaurants have begun offering gluten-free choices in recent years, and it has been due to many studies coming out on the matter. With so many reviews coming out, what’s real and what’s not becomes a little confusing. What’s without a doubt, however, is that gluten (a protein) can cause allergic reactions in many people, and that’s why there’s an increasing demand for gluten-free food.

Celiac disease is a genetic disorder which causes an adverse reaction to ingesting gluten. Symptoms are primarily felt in the gastrointestinal area and may include cramping, diarrhea, and constipation. Symptoms are not limited to just the stomach area, however. Over 200 symptoms have been reported, including bone and joint pain, headaches, fatigue, rashes, and behavioral changes. Some reports are far more severe, with reactions that include stunted growth and infertility in rare cases.

Seeing as celiac disease is genetically inherited, family members and relatives are very likely to have it. Although it is rare, and only about 1% of the population is prone to having it, just a mere 17% of those who are likely to get celiac disease have been diagnosed. There is no real treatment or cure for celiac disease; the only solution is to maintain a gluten-free diet. Although research is continually being conducted in search of a cure, treatment, or medication, there is still no better solution in the present day than avoiding gluten in one’s diet.

Gluten sensitive or non-celiac wheat sensitivity is a very similar issue which is a little more confusing. It is not an autoimmune reaction like celiac disease, and there are no real tests or tell-tale signs that can help identify it. The only real way to figure out if one is gluten sensitive is the same as with celiac disease; cut out gluten and see the results. If there is an improvement by stopping ingestion of all gluten, then you can safely assume you have a gluten sensitivity. Cutting gluten is the only treatment for someone with celiac disease.

It’s not easy to tell if one has celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. The symptoms can be very unnoticeable to one who is unaware of gluten’s possible effects. In some cases where it’s more severe, the disease might be more apparent, otherwise, it can go undetected. It can often be chalked up to indigestion, overeating, or one of many other issues. The best way to find out if you have celiac disease is to speak to a healthcare professional. Your doctor is the best person to help you get a diagnosis and find out whether or not you have celiac disease. For those with celiac disease, there are many cookbooks and recipes available that can help with your symptom flare-ups. Wheat substitutes can be just as enjoyable as the “real thing,” and most find they can enjoy the same flavors as those who are allowed wheat in their diet. 


How the Military Makes a Divorce More Difficult

Whether civilian or military, divorce is a difficult decision. But how does military divorce differ from civilian divorce? According to Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, L.L.P., “Military divorces are subject to greater scrutiny and regulation than their civilian counterparts,” since both the state and federal courts look at military divorce. Because of this, it is important to know your legal rights in cases of military divorce.

Supreme Court Ruling

Ameriforce explains how a recent Supreme Court ruling clarified property rights in military divorce settlements. The case involved John and Sandra Howell, an airforce couple, who divorced in 1991. In 1991, John was just one year away from retirement, and the divorce decree stated that Sandra would receive 50 percent of his military retirement pay.

John decided to give up $250 of his $1,500 retirement pay to receive that amount in tax-free disability benefits. In 2005, Sandra went to court, and an Arizona family court decided that Sandra should receive half of the $1,500 before the disability benefits. After appealing the decision, John took his case to the Arizona Supreme Court, which sided with Sandra on the basis that federal law “did not pre-empt the family court’s order.” However, the US Supreme Court overturned the Arizona Supreme Court decision this May.

Pros and Cons

What does this decision mean for the ex-spouses in military divorce? The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) lauded the Supreme Court for “‘providing some much needed consistency’ in how the 1982 Uniformed Service Member’s Former Spouse Protection Act (USFSPA) is applied to divorce settlements nationwide.” Arizona was not the only state that required military retirees to pay for a former spouse’s lost retirement income based on a VA waiver.

Other organizations that support military spouses foresee ex-spouses receiving a smaller portion of military pensions since retirees are incentivized to waive military retirement pay for tax-free disability benefits. Lisa Colella, president and CEO of Healing Household 6, fears financial repercussions for ex-spouses, stating, “You will have all these specialty cases now where there is no way to determine them case by case…I think that is an unfair assessment for those families. Those families weren’t thought of when this ruling was made.’”

The Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) agrees with Colella that the ruling “clearly illustrates the unfairness” of reducing ex-spouse payout for VA disability compensation. Ising the Supreme Court ruling, MOAA is lobbying for a more fair solution for all parties involved.

While divorce is already difficult, this recent Supreme Court ruling makes it even more trying for the ex-spouses of military personnel. Although greater consistency is a positive, the overgeneralized ruling of the Supreme Court has serious consequences. As Mark Sullivan, a lawyer and retired Army Reserve JAG colonel, states, the ruling represents the “‘the death of indemnification,’ which is the ability of a court to increase a former spouse’s share of military retirement pay to make up for a loss in benefits if the service member elects to receive offsetting VA disability pay.”    

Equal Pay Act Addresses Sex-based Discrimination

Learn moreMoney isn’t everything, but when it comes to compensation for work it matters a great deal. When sex-based discrimination rears its ugly head in the workplace, the hardest hit are the pocketbooks of its victims. This issue of inequality was the basis for the Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA).

Women and other groups who have historically experienced inequality in pay are the primary beneficiaries of theEPA. The law mandates that all employees in the same company, regardless of gender, should be given the same compensation if they are doing essentially the same job. The job titles may differ, but the basis for comparison is the job description. For example, if employee A is called a sales coordinator and employee B is called a customer liaison, but they both solicit orders from prospective clients, then they essentially do the same work and should be given the same compensation.

The EPA covers not only salary but other types of monetary compensation as well. These include bonuses, stock options, life insurance, overtime pay, representation allowances, profit sharing, vacation and holiday pay, and other benefits. If there is a substantial discrepancy between two employees doing the same work, the employer may increase the pay of one to match the other, but may not reduce compensation of either employee in any way.

Sex-based discrimination may manifest itself in the workplace in a number of ways, but compensation is something that is clearly documented and can be checked. If there is any sex-based discrimination when it comes to pay, it is typically easy to prove.

Any violation of the EPA may be directly filed with the court by the concerned party; there is no need to first file with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). In general, workplace discrimination claims must first go through either the EEOC or the state commission (which in New York is the New York City Commission on Human Rights) before a claim can be made in court.

A case under the EPA, as well as for Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), which also protects people against sex-based discrimination, must be filed in civil court within two years from the time of the alleged violation. A claimant under the EPA may also file a case under Title VII at the same time. An experienced sex-based discrimination lawyer can determine the pros and cons of this.

If you have experienced discrimination because of your sex, make sure to contact a lawyer as soon as possible. You shouldn’t have to suffer through the complexities of the law alone.

Trucking Accidents and Wrongful Death

Trucking accidents are a serious concern for motorists. Every day, drivers across the country share the road with large commercial trucks. The problem is that the size and power that these vehicles can have make the risk of an accident occurring a serious concern. Unlike other types of automobile accidents, those involving large trucks frequently have the potential to cause permanent injury or death.

The impact that a loved one’s death from a truck accident can have on a family can be devastating, particularly if the deceased played an important role in helping to financially support his or her loved ones. The costs of any medical treatment which may have been sought, as well as funeral expenses and the loss of income which the individual may have provided, can all take a serious toll on the well-being, both emotional and otherwise, of the survivors.

It is for this reason that many families take legal action in an attempt to recover compensation for the wrongful death of a loved one. A case from Texas, for example, in which a driver was struck and killed by a truck attempting to make a dangerous return to the road after having been forced off by another vehicle, illustrates how families can seek justice for this type of tragic loss.

Daniel Rhodes was killed in 2011 following a collision with a truck carrying dangerous explosive materials. His family was represented by the lawyer Jim Hart, working for the law firm Williams Kherkher, who argued that with proper training, the driver never would have attempted such a dangerous maneuver. As a result, the family was awarded $11 million in damages by the jury overseeing the case, illustrating the degree to which families may be able to recover compensation for the costs that their loss can have.

Dining in The Woodlands, Texas

The food scene in Houston has been taking on the spotlight, lately. With its diverse culture and increasing sophistication, the Houston food scene has started to develop its kind of unique taste and flavor. According to John T. Edge, renowned author and food enthusiast, Houston’s food is special because of its “connectivity between ethnic… and white table cloth restaurants, a connectivity that is both respectful and consultative”. The diversity of food is not only centered on Houston though, because 32 miles up, The Woodlands have their own contribution and variety of Houston flavor.

Just as with Houston, The Woodlands offers a selection of food choices, all depending on what you want to eat at the moment. From European cuisine to exotic Asian dishes, you will surely find what you are craving for in this quite little community. Visiting it without tasting the numerous restaurants and cafés would be such a waste of a trip. Aside from the fast food and familiar restaurants and diners that you find all over the United States, The Woodlands is also booming with a fast-growing fusion of flavors as diversity-driven entrepreneurs take advantage of the thriving community.

Along with the expansions and developments going on in The Woodlands, it has also opened up to a multitude of restaurants. Among the more familiar ones are the “Mi Cocina” located at The Woodlands Waterway, where diners can enjoy an array of enchiladas and tacos but not before sampling the classing house margarita. If you are yearning for Chinese food, then you can head on out to “Ace Chinese Restaurant” for some classic Chinese cuisine. “The Black Walnut Café” is also a great option for early birds who want to have their own made-to-order kolaches along with the classic stacks of pancakes. For those looking for the taste of the South, “Jasper’s” would be a good place to go, elegantly served food where you won’t be shy to get your face messy from enjoying the food.

There are a number of other options for your appetite. Whether you are craving for a juicy steak or seeking pizza to eat with your friends, the options seem limitless at The Woodlands. As the booming food scene in Houston sweeps the country, The Woodlands is not far behind.

Types of Child Custody: Which is the Best for Your Child?

There are four child custody types from which spouses can choose:

Legal custody – courts in some states sometimes decide on awarding this type of custody to both parents. Legal custody gives the custodial parent(s) the right and responsibility to decide on matters concerning the child’s growth and basic needs, like education, religious upbringing, and health care. In joint legal custody or when the right to decide is given to both parents, both spouses are given the right to provide input about this issue and to have a say in the ultimate decision.

Physical custody – this type of custody gives the custodial parent the right to live with his or her child/ children, while the other parent is typically awarded visitation rights. In the event that the divorced parents live near one another and the child / children spend considerable amounts of time with both of them, then the court may allow joint physical custody instead.

Sole custody – though many courts are now veering away from entrusting a child to only one parent and increasing the role played by fathers in a child’s life after divorce, sole custody would still be the decision if one parent is judged to be unfit due to dependency on drugs or alcohol, neglect or abuse of the child, mental incapacity, or an unfit new partner.

Joint custody – this type of custody has various forms:

  • joint physical custody;
  • joint legal custody; and
  • joint legal and physical custody

Divorced couples who are awarded joint physical custody also usually enjoy joint legal custody, but not vice-versa. Though joint custody allows the parents continuous involvement in the child’s life, which is highly beneficial to the child, it also has some disadvantages. You should consult with a qualified legal professional to learn more about these issues.

Legal Assistance on International Divorce Needs

Today’s technology allows many people to go wherever they want to live or to get in touch with people in any part of the world. Whether for work or leisure, going to foreign lands has never been so easy as it is today and, wherever people go, relationships may be entered into, relationships that sometimes lead to marriage.

Many of these marriages, unfortunately, do not last forever. This can create particularly acute problems, as the different parties to the marriage may live in countries with radically different legal systems, making international divorce much more complicated than it would typically be. For this reason, international divorce lawyers can be of invaluable assistance to those in this situation.

These lawyers are well trained in laws governing international marriage, divorce, and divorce-related issues; they are also well-versed in cultural and international marriage agreements, such as the Hague Conventions on marriage and divorce. The Hague Convention on the Celebration and Recognition of the Validity of Marriages, which was enacted on May 1, 1991, requires all contracting (member) states to recognize as legal any marriage entered into in any contracting state.

Prior to this, though, was the Hague Convention on the Recognition of Divorces and Legal Separations that was convened in June of 1970 and which took effect on August 25, 1975, which obliges other contracting states to recognize divorces or legal separations obtained in another contracting state. Certain exceptions are stipulated, though, such as not having to recognize the divorce applied for if the spouses were citizens of a country where divorce was not legal. There are various other exceptions which your lawyer can help you understand.

Thus if you need assistance with any issue concerning international laws pertaining to divorce, remember that there are highly-qualified legal [rpfessionals always ready to give you the help you need.