Posts tagged as:

workers’ compensation

  • Nomination of David Weil as Labor Department wage/hour chief could be flashpoint in overtime furor [Terence Smith, Hill] Another reaction to President’s scheme [Don Boudreaux, Cafe Hayek, earlier here and here]
  • Oregon: longshoreman’s union says NLRB charges of blinding, threatened rape meant “to distract” [Oregonian]
  • Who thinks hiking the minimum wage would kill jobs? Company chief financial officers, to name one group [Steve Hanke, Cato]
  • Tourists’ casual naivete about union politics at NYC hotel made for tension, hilarity [How May We Hate You via @tedfrank]
  • Just for fun: Wichita business’s creative responses to union’s “Shame On…” signs reach Round 2 [Volokh on first round, Subaru of Wichita on second round]
  • Workers’ comp claims at government agencies in Maryland can be odd [Baltimore Sun via Jeff Quinton]
  • Are unions losing their grip on the California Democratic Party? [Dan Walters]

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Maryland roundup

by Walter Olson on November 16, 2013

  • Even if some of its speedcams were illegal, Montgomery County says it doesn’t plan to issue refunds “because drivers admit guilt when they mail in their signed tickets and pay the fines” [WUSA, auto-plays video]
  • Per state’s highest court, “repose statute does not bar the plaintiffs’ wrongful death action because it refers to suits for ‘injury,’ as opposed to ‘death.’” [Alex Stein, Bill of Health] Introduce comparative negligence while also reforming old doctrines like joint/several liability? [Don Gifford and Christopher Robinette via TortsProf]
  • Double-blind photo lineups: “Baltimore Police Take Steps to Avoid Wrongful Convictions” [John Ross, Reason]
  • State shuts down day care center. An overreaction? [Free-Range Kids]
  • Reporter Audrey Hudson worries investigative sources were compromised after her notes were seized in armed Coast Guard raid on husband [Maryland Morning]
  • Baltimore detective convicted of shooting himself to get workers’ comp benefits [WBAL]
  • Santoni’s grocery, southeast Baltimore institution since 1930s, cites city’s beverage bottle tax as reason for closure [Baltimore Sun, auto-plays video]
  • New Maryland laws effective last month include some dubious ideas passed unanimously [Maryland Legislative Watch]

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“A government worker injured during motel sex on a business trip is not entitled to workers’ compensation, Australia’s highest court has ruled.” [Debra Cassens Weiss, ABA Journal, earlier on Australian workers' comp]

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“A former UC Davis police officer whose pepper-spraying of protesters gained worldwide notice thanks to a viral video has been awarded more than $38,000 in workers’ compensation from the university for suffering he experienced after the incident.” [Joe Garofoli, San Francisco Chronicle]

More from Lowering the Bar:

Here are some additional facts that are remarkable.

  • Pike was on paid leave during the university’s investigation, which for some reason took eight months.
  • The investigation found not only that Pike didn’t need to use the spray, but that he used a spray not sanctioned by the department and he used it from an unsafe distance. Seems serious and willful to me.
  • Pike was being paid — please be seated — at least $119,000 per year (another report says $121,680) plus benefits, to be a campus policeman in Davis, California.
  • Though Pike was fired, he will still get his pension.
  • The students he sprayed sued UC Davis for civil-rights violations. The university settled with them for $1 million (plus an apology). Under the settlement, the plaintiffs will each receive, at most, $30,000.

Yes, the man who assaulted the plaintiffs will be getting $8,000 more than any plaintiff will get, as a result of his claim that he was acting within the course of his employment by assaulting them and became emotionally disabled as a result of being accused of assaulting them; he is also allowed to keep a pension that is likely based to some degree on the $119,000 per year the state was paying him to be the kind of officer who pepper-sprays non-violent protesters in the face.

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  • Defend yourself in the press against an employee’s litigation publicity, and you’ve “retaliated”? If you say so, Your Honor [Jon Hyman]
  • Hijab-wearing applicant never informed Abercrombie she needed religious accommodation of Look Policy; 10th Circuit reverses EEOC win [Wolters Kluwer, EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch]
  • What, no more drop-ins from other states? “Gov. Jerry Brown signs athlete workers’ comp bill” [L.A. Times, background]
  • ProPublica on supposed decline and fall of employment class actions after Wal-Mart v. Dukes [Ted Frank, my take]
  • How many online readers need to follow OFCCP press releases on federal-contractor law but have so little fluency in English that they require a version in Hmong, Lao, Tagalog, or Urdu? [Department of Labor]
  • What happened to the carpal tunnel epidemic? The condition itself didn’t go away [Freakonomics via Ira Stoll]
  • Gail Heriot on affirmative action at Cato Constitution Day [video]

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Dividing 11-5: “Plaintiffs who failed in their state worker’s compensation claim cannot sue their employers and their medical experts under federal civil racketeering laws, the en banc 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled.” [Jackson et al. v. Sedgwick Claims Management et al., PDF; Miller Canfield; Business Insurance; Steven Schwinn, Constitutional Law Prof Blog]

“A former University of California, Davis police officer who was fired after pepper spraying a group of students staging a protest in 2011, and whose actions went viral on the internet, is seeking workers’ compensation settlement, claiming the incident left him psychologically injured.” [ABC News]

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Sports roundup

by Walter Olson on June 27, 2013

  • Florida attorney John Morgan, suing NASCAR over crowd injuries, says waiver on back of ticket isn’t valid [Mike Bianchi, Orlando Sentinel, scroll to "Open Mike"; John Culhane, Slate] Idaho court denies assumption-of-risk “Baseball Rule” in foul-ball case [CBS]
  • “Pennsylvania vs. NCAA: case dismissed” [antitrust; Rob Green, Abnormal Use]
  • 1911 article: aviation “as safe as football”: 47 aviation vs. 60 football fatalities in 1909. [Kyle Graham, @tedfrank] “Do no harm: Who should bear the costs of retired NFL players’ medical bills?” [WaPo] “Retired Jocks Dig for Gold in the California Hills” [Jon Coppelman on state's generous worker's comp arrangements]
  • “The Derrick Rose lawsuit and emotional distress claims in South Carolina” [Frances Zacher, Abnormal Use]
  • “Parents of autistic New Jersey teen sue so he can play on” [Brick, N.J. football team; WPVI]
  • NY Yankees successfully challenge company’s effort to trademark “Baseball’s Evil Empire” [Ilya Somin, Michael Schearer]
  • “Memo to Roger Goodell: I’ll take my NFL football without Obamacare propaganda, please” [Bainbridge]

“Oh, come on, now, WRAL. No one’s really going to believe the claimant in the bogus workers’ comp case with the game show angle is named ‘Wrench Cashwell’. You’re going to have to come up with something better than that.” [Fayetteville, N.C.]

  • “The Emperor’s Clothes: Should jury bias against corporations receive legal recognition?” [Michael Krauss on Alabama legal malpractice case]
  • Which did more to compromise gas can usability, regulation or liability? [Coyote, Jeffrey Tucker a year ago at LFB, earlier here, etc.]
  • Wow: Litigation Lobby stalwart Joan Claybrook signs her name to letter claiming there’s “no evidence” of “significant fraud” in asbestos litigation [WSJ letter] “Peter Angelos’s Asbestos Book” [WSJ] “House panel passes asbestos trusts transparency bill” [Law360, Chamber-backed Legal NewsLine]
  • “Indiana’s ‘Government Compliance’ Presumption Against Defect and Negligence” [John Sullivan, D&DL]
  • CPSC Commissioner Nancy Nord on the commission’s certificates of compliance;
  • A way to head off the product-suit technique for bypassing workers’-comp limits? “Pennsylvania Supreme Court Allows Waivers for Future Negligence by Third Parties” [Krauss, Point of Law]
  • California cities’ lead-paint-as-nuisance suit may be headed for trial [Max Taves, Recorder]
  • For most private-sector employers it’s illegal to let workers take comp time off in lieu of overtime; H.R. 1406, the Working Families Flexibility Act of 2013, would fix that [Hyman]
  • Christine Quinn take note: laws requiring paid sick leave do not constitute social progress [Richard Epstein]
  • Occupational hazards of bagpipe playing (other than being chased out of your neighborhood) [Donald McNeil Jr., New York Times]
  • “Phoenix ‘Not Looking for Strong Swimmers’ for Lifeguard Jobs” [David Bernstein; earlier on discrimination against deaf lifeguards]
  • Decline of full-time work in retail sector in response to ObamaCare: year’s biggest employment story? [Warren Meyer, FoxNews (largest movie theater chain cuts hours for thousands of employees)]
  • City of Philadelphia not doing well on workers’ comp program, to say the least [Workers' Compensation Institute]
  • “New labor rule will violate attorney-client privilege” [Diana Furchtgott-Roth, D.C. Examiner]
  • “Calling a Co-Worker ‘Stupid’ Not Enough to Prove ‘Disability’, Court Says” [Daniel Schwartz]

Worker’s comp is intended to provide relatively liberal coverage in some ways — that goes with the territory of a “no-fault” compensation scheme — but a few of these outcomes might still raise an eyebrow, particularly when it comes to generous definitions of what’s “work-related.” [Cracked] More: Coyote (“Our problem tends to be that we get a whole heck of a lot of “injuries” in the 3-4 hours between when we fire someone and when they leave the property.”)

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  • Judge rules in first California “suitable seating at work” trial [The Recorder; earlier here, here]
  • On business travel: “Injury During Sex is Work-Related and Compensable, Aussie Court Holds” [Workplace Prof]
  • On the other hand: “Running in High Heels Was Probably Enough to Defeat This Workers’ Comp Claim” [Lowering the Bar]
  • Illinois federal court rules that unpaid volunteers may be covered by Title VII discrimination law [Eric Sigda, GTLE Blog]
  • Seattle to pay drama teacher $750K for not accommodating wishes re: renovation of building [Seattle Times, meanwhile]
  • Recalling AP v. NLRB, 1937, in which SCOTUS rejected First Amendment defense to Wagner Act, over Sutherland dissent [Gerard Magliocca, ConcurOp]
  • House Oversight Committee blasts NLRB for pro-union bias [press release and staff report PDF, Goldberg Segalla]

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Public employment roundup

by Walter Olson on December 19, 2012

  • Report: California state psychiatrist paid $822,000, highway cop $484K in pay/benefits [Bloomberg News via Dan Mitchell]
  • “Florida Prison Guard Charged with $2.7 Million Workers’ Comp Fraud” [Insurance Journal]
  • Agitprop video from California Federation of Teachers is educational, if only in unintended ways [Katherine Mangu-Ward]
  • “California government employee unions spent nearly $100 million in the lead up to the November election” [Jon Coupal, Fox and Hounds] How San Bernardino went broke: a cautionary tale [Reuters]
  • “Taxpayers funding 35 six-figure union chiefs at Transportation Department” [Examiner]
  • Congress again strengthens legal hand of federal employees claiming whistleblower status [Paul Secunda] Mistrial in case of whistleblower group’s payment to government worker [WaPo]
  • “Binding Arbitration’s Threat To State And Local Governments” [Ivan Osorio, CEI]

Illinois: “If you are a state employee and your feet hurt, you could be in line to receive medical care, including surgery, paid time off plus a tax-free disability settlement that might exceed your annual salary — all paid for by taxpayers. You also would keep your job.” Arbitration awards for trauma inflicted by “repetitive walking” and other seemingly common workplace stresses have caused enough concern that state attorney general Lisa Madigan has called for tightening up causation standards. [Belleville News-Democrat]

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  • Arbitrator: felonious Montgomery County, Maryland cops should keep disability pay [Examiner] “Cop who took naked photos of rape victim can keep pension” [NY Post] Cop who pepper-sprayed UC Davis protesters is still on job, and maybe that’s how they’d have it [Radley Balko]
  • “Billions in retroactive liability” in pharma detailer wage/hour action before SCOTUS [Marcia Coyle, NLJ] And USA Today chose a faulty “worker discontent” theme on wage/hour case, since as class actions these suits are lawyer-driven;
  • Australia: “Worker injured during sex gets compensation payout” [News.com.au]
  • “Courts are finally starting to apply ADAAA—and it ain’t pretty” [Jon Hyman] ADA: “Judge Rules In Favor of Fired Employee With Bipolar Disorder” [ABC]
  • NLRB goes after Hyatt on employee handbook language [Gary Shapiro, Examiner] Union claims Indiana right-to-work law violates Thirteenth Amendment ban on slavery [James Sherk, NRO]
  • EEOC: sex discrimination law bars bias against transgender employees [AP, Hyman] “EEOC Obtains Substantial Settlement in Obesity Discrimination Suit” [Disabilities Law]
  • Law journal prediction: adherents of racism will claim Title VII protection [Lawrence D. Rosenthal, Temple L. Rev. via Workplace Prof]

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Labor law roundup

by Walter Olson on December 10, 2011

  • Union withdraws, and NLRB drops, complaint against Boeing over plant location decision [Adler, earlier] “Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA) Introduces Bill to Reverse NLRB’s ‘Micro-Union’ Decision” [LRT via @jonhyman] Video of “Organized Labor & Obama administration” panel [Federalist Society convention]
  • Suing Atlantic City is an established sport for current, former employees [Press of AC] After lawsuit win, former Gotham sanitation worker litters neighborhood with cars [NY Post via Christopher Fountain] Why have House, Senate reversed usual ideological lines on federal employee workers’-comp reform? [WaPo]
  • Murder of reformist professors reinforces difficulty of changing Italian labor law [Tyler Cowen] UK considers relaxing “unfair dismissal” controls on employers [BBC, earlier]
  • Taylor Law and NYC transit strike: “ILO Urges that U.S. Stop Violating International Obligations It Hasn’t Agreed To” [Ku, OJ; Mitch Rubinstein, Adjunct Law Prof]
  • Maryland’s misnamed 2009 “Workplace Fraud Act” bedevils carpet installers and other firms that employ contract workers, and perhaps that was its point [Ed Waters Jr./Frederick News-Post, Weyrich Cronin & Sorra, Floor Daily]
  • “Government pay is higher” [Stoll] Notwithstanding “Occupy” themes, interests of unions and underemployed young folks might not actually be aligned very well [Althouse]
  • More on outcry over proposed federal restrictions on kids’ farm chores [WSJ, NPR, Gannett Wisconsin, CEI, earlier]