Dropping traditional workers’ compensation in favor of a private plan? New data from Stanford University shows that it’s saving companies
Employers may be liable for workers compensation payments even if a worker is disciplined. The Kentucky Court of Appeals very recently decided that a worker who came back on light duty – but was suspended for misconduct – still was eligible for workers’ comp temporary total disability (TTD) payments.
When it comes to resolving disputes, Ohio and Kentucky workers’ compensation cases are as different as chalk and cheese. Many issues in Ohio cases are decided by an administrative person who simply reviews records, whereas many Kentucky cases are litigated in a process that can take months.
Injuries from horseplay in the workplace generally are not covered under workers’ compensation. However, a fight that results because of a work dispute does result in coverage.
After surgery, nurses and doctors often offer a sage piece of advice: “Stay ahead of the pain.” It’s a tried-and-true adage because an ounce of pain-reliever now may stave off a bushel of agony later. The same is true in the area of workers’ compensation. Any business – larger or small – should consider investing in a good workers’ comp legal audit.
The Kentucky Workers Compensation Board has added another layer to cases that are called medical-fee disputes. The Board ruled recently in Workman v. Twin Resources, et al. (2005-00744) that all medical-fee disputes must be assigned to an administrative law judge for proof-taking, which often is a six-month process.
When an employee is assaulted at the job site, many people rush to the conclusion that a resulting injury is automatically covered by workers’ compensation. But as the Gershwin brothers song cautions us all, it ain’t necessarily so.
An accident in the company car usually entails workers compensation coverage and benefits for the driver. However, coverage is not automatic, at least in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. More and more employers and their carriers are mounting challenges to such coverage, and the facts of each case are crucial.
Kentucky’s administrative law judges are finding more and more of their opinions are being reversed. Both the Kentucky Workers’ Compensation Board and the state Court of Appeals are routinely sending cases back to ALJs for further fact-finding
The new session of the Kentucky General Assembly may have to tackle the sticky problem of black-lung benefits for workers’ compensation. That is because the Kentucky Supreme Court provided a gift for Kentucky coal minters just before the holidays. The high court scrapped the system of black-lung screenings for workers’ compensation benefits that had been in place since 1996.
You don’t have to watch the TV series “The Office” to know about very odd things that can happen in the workplace. Perhaps you’ve seen employees arm-wrestle each other at work. Maybe you’ve chased a stapler-thieving co-worker down the hall. Or perhaps you asked someone to hand you a hammer, but they threw it at you instead. If so, you have entered the grand domain of “horseplay,” and that one word alone is enough to jeopardize workers’ compensation coverage.
An injured worker is about to return, and the employer arranges to resume the customary job. Yet, the worker shows up with a doctor’s note that limits the amount of lifting, standing or bending the worker can do. These restrictions make it impossible for the worker to resume the customary job. What’s the employer to do?
It can start as a simple arm strain or neck strain. The strain becomes chronic. The strain aggravates a pre-existing condition, such as a Type II acromion in the shoulder or degenerative disc disease in the spine. The employee remains off work, then has surgery. Sometimes the surgery does not resolve the physical issue, and the worker remains off for a year or more. Before long, the worker is asking the employer to pay for anti-depressants or anti-anxiety medicine.
Most of us have seen the commercials where the police officer asks, “Sir, have you been drinking?” It’s a question they must consider at every traffic stop. It’s also a question and issue that should be explored in workers’ compensation cases.