Worker’s Compensation

January 19, 2021

Mandatory vaccine policies may have workers comp implications

The COVID-19 vaccine rollout has begun in health care and senior living facilities across the U.S., and employers in many industries are eagerly awaiting the chance to have their employees vaccinated against the coronavirus. However, employers must balance their desire for a safe workplace with the risks of requiring vaccinations and the potential workers compensation implications if a worker experiences serious side effects, experts say. Employers “need to recognize that if they do impose a vaccination mandate that it’s likely that they are going to have to pay for the vaccination, that this will be compensable work time, and … […]
February 17, 2017

Worker’s Compensation Claims and Pain Medication, Part Two

In Part One we examined the issues around opioid addiction and dependence for injured workers. In this article, we will look at alternative treatment options for work related injuries. Chronic pain affects more Americans than cancer, heart disease and diabetes combined. Despite making up less than 5% of the world population, the US consumes 80% of the world’s opioid pain medication. Many of the injured workers we see fall into the category of having chronic pain which can often lead to opioid dependency. Some experts believe over-prescribing and overusing pain medications has put us in an opioid addiction crisis as a nation. […]
January 20, 2017

Worker’s Compensation Claims and Pain Medication

Many of our current and former clients are dealing with chronic pain from their work injuries. We see chronic pain management as one of the biggest issues for our clients and one that is affecting injured workers across the country. According to the CDC, more than 16,000 Americans died from prescription painkiller overdoses in 2013– quadruple the total in 1999. In a 2014 study by the Workers Compensation Research Institute examining 264,000 claims from 25 states, researchers found that 65 to 85 percent of injured workers in most states received narcotic painkillers. Opioids, a group of drugs which includes oxycodone and morphine, […]
November 18, 2016

Washington Supreme Court Affirms Rule Giving Attending Physicians “Special Consideration”

Earlier this year, the case of Clark County vs. McManus went before the Washington State Supreme Court, ultimately raising the question of whether the “special consideration” jury instruction be treated as discretionary or mandatory. The “special consideration” instruction requires that testimony from injured workers’attending physicians be given careful thought or special consideration by the fact finder be that the Department, a judge, or a jury. The case surrounds Patrick McManus, a Clark County street sweeper who, after working between 1999 and 2011, had to quit due to a degenerative spinal disease affecting his lower back. The Department of Labor and […]
October 14, 2016

Oklahoma Supreme Court Rules in favor of Injured Workers

Earlier this month, the Oklahoma Supreme Court struck down the Opt Out provision of Oklahoma’s State workers’ compensation law, ruling in favor of injured workers. The 2013 legislation gave qualified employers the option to create treatment plans outside of the regular workers’ compensation system. The case involved Johnie Yvonne Vasquez, a department store employee who filed a claim for an injury to her neck and shoulder she sustained at work in 2014. Her employer, which had opted out of the state system and written their own plan, denied her claim. Vasquez sued and the Oklahoma Worker’s Compensation Commission agreed in a decision in February that the Statecannot allow […]
August 25, 2016

VOCATIONAL BENEFITS: Understanding This Valuable but Discretionary Benefit

In the State of Washington, injured workers who have sustained an industrial injury or developed an occupational disease resulting in permanent physical and/or mental limitations may wonder about their ability to receive vocationalrehabilitation (retraining) benefits.  Access to vocational services is not a guaranteed benefit; vocational services areprovided at the sole discretion of the Director of the Department of Labor and Industries when vocational rehabilitation is determined to be both necessary and likely to make the injured worker employable at gainful employment.  (http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=51.32.095)  If the Director determines that vocational rehabilitation is necessary and likely to make the injured worker employable at gainful employment, a specific set of vocational […]
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