Many people identify Berkeley with the Free Speech Movement of 1960s, but few know that Berkeley was also a central player in the disability rights movement. Berkeley’s campus is where Ed Roberts — a student with quadriplegia — emerged as an outspoken advocate of the cause. Peggy Klaus, a con...
The Department of Labor & Industries will host four hearings for public comment on regulations concerning structured settlement agreements for workers’ compensation claims. In 2011, the Washington State Legislature passed several major workers’ compensation reform acts.  Engrossed House Bi...
Some companies assume they can ignore the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) when it comes to employees who haven’t yet reached their anniversary dates. Yet that belief was directly overturned this month by the Eleventh Circuit, which covers Florida, Georgia, and Alabama. Pereda v. Brookdale Sen...
Two weeks ago we reported the story of Arkansas worker Lauren Eason, who was denied a change of physician even though her doctor had died in December. Eason had already switched physicians earlier in the year, and Arkansas law does not allow patients with a workers compensation injury to change a se...
Survey results released by the Department of Labor & Industries show that job sites across Washington became safer in 2010, continuing a trend that started over a decade ago.  According to the Washington State Occupational Injury and Illness Survey, 5 out of every 100 full-time workers (includi...
The U.S. Department of Labor has proposed a historic new rule that could require federal contractors and subcontractors to establish hiring goals that 7 percent of their workforce be people with disabilities. The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs is currently soliciting public comment o...
Labor & Industries claims continue to evolve across the States and a recent development in Michigan may signal an alarming trend in the downsizing of L & I Commissions that specialize in protecting injured worker rights in the face of business lobby interests. Governor Rick Snyder pressed a...
In an October 21 press release, the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics reported an encouraging decline in workplace injuries and illnesses.Across much of the U.S., workers compensation claims are down in many industries, particularly construction.Among private employers, nonfatal...
Last week, the Department of Labor & Industries released findings from its investigation of the April explosion at the Tesoro plant in Anacortes, which killed seven people.  L&I determined that the accident could have been prevented, and has issued a $2.39 million fine against Tesoro, citin...
For the first time in state history, workers’ compensation benefit rates in New Jersey will be decreasing. In the coming year, the highest benefits will fall from $794 to $792 per week, a 0.3% decrease.  This may be compared to 2007, when rates increased 2.7 %. Historically, New Jersey’s max...