The workers’ compensation system has been in effect for decades in Washington State, and despite its restructuring in 2010, it essentially remains the same system it’s always been.  Times change, manufacturing systems change, the tasks of workers change – everything seems to evolve but those ...
Often, injured workers involved in a workers' compensation claim will receive notice from the Department of Labor and Industries instructing them to schedule and complete an IME exam. The reason cited by L&I, as well as many other private insurance companies, is that the IME allows a doctor othe...
Over 40 million American workers receive no paid sick leave. These individuals must work when ill or take unpaid days off, which can cause financial hardship, and, sometimes, dismissal. As a recent editorial in the New York Times argues, “the best way to address this workplace and public health pr...
The vast number of U.S. workers claim to periodically suffer from depression, anxiety and stress; moreover, every year an alarming percent are diagnosed with chronic mental health issues related to these conditions. However, as with all mental health problems, the symptoms can manifest at the physic...
In Washington State, workers have the right to choose their own doctor (often the patient’s family doctor) to administer care for a work injury.  Within the Department of Labor and Industries, and the workers’ compensation system, that provider becomes your “treating doctor.”  Yet there ar...
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), a branch of the Department of Labor, has announced a new “National Emphasis Program for Nursing and Residential Care Facilities.” This initiative aims are protecting workers from safety and health hazards commonly found in the medical ind...
Part two in our Labor Day series. In our recent post on the working poor in America, we discussed our broken economy’s inability to provide enough decent jobs for millions of Americans who are unemployed, underemployed, uninsured, or living in poverty.  As we celebrate Labor Day this coming we...
When Evan Wilder was recently nailed by a car on his  bicycle commute to work, he didn’t have the opportunity to jot down the license number of the vehicle that hit him before it sped off. Nor were there any witnesses on foot or in other vehicles. But a video camera that Evan had attached to his...
L&I makes significant payments for workplace injuries each year, with the biggest amount going to employees injured in major accidents involving machinery or construction injuries.  But one of today’s fastest-growing costs is payouts for strong painkillers, including many to workers who have ...
In the state of Washington, workers you have the right to choose their own doctor (or remain with their regular family physician) while receiving treatment for a work injury. Yet in some cases an employer or insurance provider will select a different doctor for an “independent medical examination...