Safety

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    Will summer ever come to Michigan in 2014? Hopefully, by the time this article reaches you, the long winter will be far behind us. Regardless of the temperature, however, you can be sure that high- school students will soon be available for summer help. If you plan to hire minors this summer, or at any time, you should be familiar with Michigan's...
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    A federal court in Missouri recently ruled against the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) on its request for dismissal of a disability discrimination lawsuit filed by a letter carrier who walks with a cane. The court determined that comments by the employee's supervisor suggesting that he should apply for disability retirement showed discriminatory intent...
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    The Arkansas Court of Appeals recently held that an employee was not qualified for disability benefits because she failed to provide evidence that she was totally and permanently disabled. Background On July 12, 2010, Lecia Templeton, who was 51, sustained a compensable back injury while working for Dollar General. On September 27, 2011, she...
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    The Arkansas Court of Appeals recently upheld the Arkansas Workers' Compensation Commission's (AWCC) decision to deny benefits to the surviving beneficiaries of a worker whose death was due to a non-work-related incident following a compensable injury. Background In 2009, James Loar Jr. overdosed on methadone while being treated for withdrawal...
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    Q If an employee is on some kind of medicine for his back and we notice it causes mood swings and hostility toward his manager, what rights do we have as the employer? May we require him to bring in a doctor's note? This could be a long-term issue with the employee. A You do have rights, but be careful. While it may seem at first blush that...
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    The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida recently held that a public employer's policy of drug testing all job applicants was applied in an unconstitutional manner. The case highlights the importance of carefully drafting and implementing workplace drug-testing policies. Working in Key West The city of Key West conducts...
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    As we previously reported, in March 2013, a Cuyahoga County trial court awarded $859,440,258.79 to a group of approximately 270,000 employers that were classified as "nongroup" employers under the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) group rating program between 2001 and 2008. The trial court ruled that the BWC overcharged the nongroup...
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    Under North Dakota law, any individual who performs work for remuneration or wages is presumed to be an employee. To overcome that presumption, an employer must provide evidence under a 20-factor common-law test that is complicated and confusing. That said, there are definitely benefits to using independent contractors instead of employees...
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    In response to an inquiry from a U.S. senator, the California attorney general (AG) released an opinion in February on the lawfulness of an employer's practice of videotaping its truck driving employees, allowing the videotapes to be inspected by a third party, and using the videotapes as grounds for imposing employee discipline and for training...
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    NLRB revives union election proposal. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is revisiting a 2011 effort to change regulations governing union representation elections — changes the NLRB claims would streamline elections and prevent unnecessary litigation. Employer groups strongly opposed the changes when they were proposed in 2011,...
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