New York Corrections Officer Faces Fraud Charges for Working Second Job

A Corrections Officer from New York Mills is facing fraud charges after authorities say he wrongfully collected workers compensation benefits from the State, according to information from the New York State Police.
 
 
The police noted that Frank Caporale, 43, of New York Mills was charged with first-degree offering a false instrument for filing and fraudulent practices, both felonies. 
 

Caporale, a New York State
Corrections Officer at Midstate Correctional Facility, allegedly submitted written statements that contained materially false information to the New York State Insurance Fund as part of a claim for payment.
 
 
According to State Police, the statements indicated that Caporale was not employed, when he in fact was working a second job. As a result of these filings, the defendant did wrongfully collect $10,540 in workers comp benefits from the State Insurance Fund.
 
 
Caporale was subsequently given appearance tickets returnable in the Town of Marcy Justice Court.
 
 
Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. See www.LowerWC.com for more information. Contact: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.
 
 

NEW 2012 WORKERS COMP BOOK:  www.WCManual.com
 
WORK COMP CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/calculator.php
 
Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.
 
©2011 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact  Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

Saskatoon Judge: Seatbelts Can Be a Hazard

For workers who spend the days behind the wheel, it would make sense to assume that the thin strip of nylon or polyester that keeps them pinned to their seats in case of a collision is there to keep them safe from harm.

 
But a Saskatoon Court of Queen's Bench judge recently ruled that buckling up may actually be more dangerous for bus drivers, according to a report from the Canadian OH&S News. In an Oct. 20 decision, Justice Grant Currie overturned Saskatoon bus driver Dean Christianson's traffic court conviction for failing to wear his seatbelt. (WCxKit)
 
"His experiences, and those of others that had come to his attention in the course of working in his industry, gave him reason to believe that his safety may be compromised by wearing a seatbelt," Justice Currie wrote. Christianson believed that if passengers on the bus assaulted him, being buckled in would make him less able to defend himself.

 

In his initial traffic safety court trial, Christianson called violence against transit operators a "growing, nationwide epidemic," noting that he been threatened by three people riding on the bus at the time he was pulled over.

 

"As someone who has been spit on, I discovered that you do not know who is going to grab your steering wheel while you're driving or sucker punch you, or stab you, or spit on you. You have no idea who it's coming from," he said. "Some of the drivers have been sucker punched while they are driving and took repetitive blows while trying to get their seatbelt off so they can defend themselves."

 

Under Saskatchewan's Traffic Safety Act, a bus driver is not required to wear a seatbelt if they have reason to feel it may put them at risk of injury.

 

The Crown had argued that the exemption only applied when there was a specific risk of injury, but Justice Currie ruled that the regulation could also be applied to a driver who "may be continuously exposed to a compromise of his or her safety on a random basis." (WCxKit)
 
A Saskatoon civic policy states that all public employees must be buckled in whenever they're behind the wheel of a city vehicle, but the transit union is hoping this ruling will help change that policy, first introduced three years ago.

 

Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. See www.LowerWC.com for more information. Contact: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.
 

WORKERS COMPENSATION MANAGEMENT GUIDEBOOK:  www.WCManual.com
 
WORK COMP CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/calculator.php

 
Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.
 
©2011 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact

California Quick Tip: Five Reasons to File a DOR Declaration of Readiness

 

Here are five reasons to file a Declaration of Readiness to proceed (DOR)
 
1. You will resolve an issue. Whether you file a DOR only on one issue, for example AOE/COE, or on all issues, including the nature and extent of injuries, temporary disability, and permanent disability, a hearing on the issue will normally resolve the issue.
 
2. You will reduce administrative and legal costs. Every day a file is open, administrative and legal costs increase. Vendors can be vultures, picking away profit from employers and carriers.
 
3. The sooner you file a DOR, the less evidence applicant will have to prove his or her case. And it is the applicant's burden, not the employer's burden, to prove issues such as industrial causation, nature and extent of injuries, temporary disability, and permanent disability.
 
4. You will send a signal to applicant attorneys that you are not afraid to take an issue to trial, giving you additional negotiation leverage in the current and future cases.
 
5. Trials are free! You will not get a bill from the trial judge or court reporter.  
 
Caution: The decision to file a DOR should be made on a case-by-case basis depending on the issues and nature of discovery completed; in some cases additional discovery should be completed before filing a DOR.
 

California Attorney: Albert A. Navarra is a practicing lawyer from Newport Beach, CA, a Board Certified Specialist in Workers Compensation law, and a partner at Sapra & Navarra, LLP. Navarra is a frequent speaker about workers compensation issues, and has represented employers in the area of workers compensation for over 10 years. He is also an expert in constitutional law, the author of The Elements of Constitutional Law, and a frequent guest on radio stations across the country. He can be reached at: (866) 384-4891 or Albert@snworkcomp.com.

 
NEW 2012 WORKERS COMP BOOK:  www.WCManual.com
 
WORK COMP CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/calculator.php
 
Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.
 
©2011 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact  Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

Employment Standards Backlog Reduction New Compliance Implemented in Ontario

As the Ontario Ministry of Labour continues to successfully eliminate a backlog of employment standards claims, it is increasingly shifting resources to enhancing compliance. Program changes made in January 2011 included: 
 

1.   A drop in wait time (from 7.1 months to about 3 days) for early resolution and assignment to a claims officer.
2.   Backlog was reduced by more than two-thirds and is slated for elimination by March 2012. (WCxKit)

 
As a result, the ministry is able to increase the number of Employment Standards Officers on its Dedicated Enforcement Team. This means the Employment Standards program now has more officers doing inspections than ever before.
 
 
The ministry continues to help businesses comply with legislation, thus saving them time and money, by heading off employment standards issues before they occur. That includes eliminating the backlog, working with businesses to help them understand employment standards law, thorough education and enforcement, and providing useful tools and resources.
 
 
With the scheduled elimination of the backlog, the ministry will partner and consult with employer and employee groups as it shifts resources to inspections. (WCxKit)
 
 
"Through our enhanced compliance strategy, we will continue reaching out to employers through a mix of education, outreach, and enforcement to help ensure we stem any problems before they arise and enforce the legislation," said Stephen Grier, acting director of the Employment Standards Program.
 
 
 
Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. See www.LowerWC.com for more information. Contact: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

Our WORKERS COMP BOOK:  www.WCManual.com
 
 
WORK COMP CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/calculator.php
 
Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.
 
©2011 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

Only Non-Smokers Hired at Detroit Hospitals

Three Michigan hospitals are among health systems that state they will only hire tobacco-free employees.
 
 
According to the Detroit News, Crittenton Hospital Medical Center, Bixby Medical Center, and Herrick Medical Center have put in place such policies to be smoke-free. (WCxKit)
 
 
Laura Ritzler of ProMedical, the health system that owns Bixby and Herrick, stated that reduced employee health costs is a big driving force behind the move. According to the hospitals, not hiring smokers is an extension of their health-promotion policies and missions.
 
 
Meantime, some wonder if such moves violate the rights of the 20 percent of Americans who smoke.
According to the American Lung Association, 29 states, not including Michigan, and the District of Columbia have laws that prohibit employers from employment-related discrimination against those who light up.
 
 
Dr. Michael Siegel of Boston University School of Public Health, is quoted in the Detroit News as stating “Employers who are doing this are basically saying discrimination is OK, at least on this category of smokers.” (WCxKit)
 
 
According to Siegel, such bans could lead to likewise actions against those who are overweight.
 
 
Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. See www.LowerWC.com for more information. Contact:Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com or 860-553-6604.
 
 
 
Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.
 
©2011 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

British Landscaping Firm Fined for Not Buying Insurance for Employees

Well, I guess the UK has some of the same type of workers compensaion problems we do here in the U.S. What a surpries…

A Norfolk, Great Britain landscaping firm has been fined for failing to buy compulsory insurance to protect its employees.
 

The Norfolk Ranger Ltd was fined $1,124.83 Waffham Magistrates Court and ordered to pay $482.07 in costs. (WCxKit)
 
The court heard how the company failed to produce a current Employers Liability Compulsory Insurance (ELCI) certificate when asked to do so by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in April this year. The subsequent investigation found that the company did not have ELCI.
 
Appearing at court, The Norfolk Ranger Ltd, based at Park Farm, Mileham, Norfolk, admitted breaching Section 1(1) of the Employers Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969, for failing to hold ELCI. (WCxKit)
 
HSE Inspector Steven Gill noted, "Injuries can stop employees from working for a significant period of time – or even for life, and it is vital that they are protected – that is why this type of insurance is compulsory. ELCI means those employees will not be left to fend for themselves and their families if unable to earn a wage.
 
"Failing to have this insurance potentially leaves members of staff doubly disadvantaged in the event of an incident or ill health. This case is a warning to all employers about how seriously HSE takes this issue."
 
Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. Contact:  Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com or 860-553-6604.
 
WORK COMP CALCULATOR:   http://www.LowerWC.com/calculator.php
 
WC GROUP:  http://www.linkedin.com/groups?homeNewMember=&gid=1922050/
SUBSCRIBE: 
Workers Comp Resource Center Newsletter

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.
 

©2010 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com

Heart Claims Require Direct Link Between Unusual Exertion and Heart Attack

Washington State’s Labor & Industry Department issued a statement involving the death of a police officer and related pension claim. The officer died from a heart attack while on post at the scene of a shooting. 

“We’re very sorry
about the officer’s death, (and) we understand that this is a great loss to his family and to the entire community.

“Because of the
recent deaths of several police officers in the line of duty, L&I gave the pension claim by the officer’s family an exceptionally thorough review. This included a review of the results and related laws by the Attorney General’s Office. (WCxKitz)

“The result
of our review was that the officer’s death does not qualify for pension benefits through the workers compensation program. Without written permission of the man’s family, the law prohibits us from releasing further details.

“What we can say
is that the state workers comp program is allowed to pay death benefits to survivors if the death of their loved one is related to an industrial injury or occupational disease. In most cases, work-related deaths are clearly recognizable as such. In some instances, it is less clear that a death was work related. (WCxKitz)

“The law requires
that payments of pension benefits for deaths involving a heart problem must show a direct link between the heart attack and some unusual physical or emotional exertion not normally expected as part of the person's job.

“We understand
that the denial of such a claim can be traumatic and frustrating for the survivors and there are remedies in place to appeal such decisions.” 


Author Robert Elliott
, executive vice president, Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. Contact:  Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com or 860-553-6604.

 
FREE TOOLS
WC IQ TEST:  http://www.workerscompkit.com/intro/
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WC GROUP:  
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SUBSCRIBE: Workers Comp Resource Center Newsletter

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.
 
©2010 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com

New Zealand Film Industry Independent Contractor Law Clarified for Filming of The Hobbitt

The security of workers in the film industry and The Hobbit in New Zealand has been secured with the passing of the Employment Relations (Film Production Work) Amendment Bill into law, according to Minister of Labor Kate Wilkinson.

"This law
provides certainty to the film industry in New Zealand, an industry that is worth $2.8 billion to our economy. The two Hobbit films alone are worth $670 million,” Wilkinson commented. "It clarifies what are already widespread industry practice – those actors, crew members and other production personnel in the film industry who sign on as independent contractors are just that, independent contractors. If they sign on as an employee, they are an employee.” (WCxKit)

According to Wilkinson
, the Government gave serious thought to how it would respond to the threat posed to the entire New Zealand film industry. While this is a direct response to ensure The Hobbit is filmed here, it is also in response to the fact that had it lost The Hobbit the country’s reputation as a filming location would have suffered hugely.

"This Government
was not going to let that happen. We were not prepared to see thousands of Kiwi jobs disappear and we were not prepared to see the hard work of the many talented New Zealanders who built our film industry from scratch put at risk,” Wilkinson continued. (WCxKit)

"The passing of this Bill
allows film workers and producers to get on with what they do best – making movies.”

Author Robert Elliott
, executive vice president, Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. Contact:  Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com or 860-553-6604.
 
 
WORK COMP CALCULATOR:   http://www.LowerWC.com/calculator.php
 
WC GROUP:  http://www.linkedin.com/groups?homeNewMember=&gid=1922050/
SUBSCRIBE: Workers Comp Resource Center Newsletter

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.
 
©2010 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

Pilots Flight Attendants Win $4.5 Million in War Zone Hazard Pay Case

The Miami trial lawyers of Grossman Roth, P.A. reported a major victory recently for a group of pilots and flight attendants who put themselves in harms way – and were reportedly denied full pay to. 


According to the law firm
, the case – a class-action lawsuit against Vision Airlines Inc. – resulted in a $4.5 million award for the plaintiffs. It also reportedly sends a clear message that employers need to live up to their obligations, particularly for employees who live up to theirs. (WCxKit)
 


The multimillion-dollar award, handed down by a federal jury in Las Vegas, will be shared by the 175 crew members who make up the class.

All contended that Vision, a North Las Vegas charter airline, had failed to provide the extra hazard pay due them for flying government missions into war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2005. The next step reportedly is to seek an injunction requiring Vision to abide going forward by contracts calling for hazard pay. 


The lawsuit,
filed in January 2009, brought out details on how the Vision flights were carried out: the crews flew difficult maneuvers, in missions that usually took place at night, to avoid enemy ground fire. Each of the 175 former and current Vision pilots and flight crew put their lives on the line with every flight – and in return were not paid one cent of the hazard pay owed them, until the jury ruled.


"It's a great result for the class
," Grossman Roth partner David Buckner said of the jurys decision. "It is always gratifying to see justice done." (WCxKit)



In their filings with the court,
the trial team noted that Vision itself had received extra hazard pay from the contractors that hired it to run flights in and out of hotspots in Iraq and Afghanistan. But it never shared that compensation with the employees who actually carried out the dangerous missions.
 


Author Rebecca Shafer
, JD, President of Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. is a national expert in the field of workers compensation. She is a writer, speaker and website publisher. Her expertise is working with employers to reduce workers compensation costs, and her clients include airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing.
Contact: 
RShafer@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com or 860-553-6604.

 
WORK COMP CALCULATOR:   http://www.LowerWC.com/calculator.php
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Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

©2010 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact
Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

Two Lawsuits Filed in Texas Disability Cases Involving Illness and Age

The Houston District Office of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has filed two separate lawsuits to enforce the ADA, demonstrating the on-going relevance of and need for the law in today’s workplace.

The lawsuits
, filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division, addresses various alleged unlawful practices by these two employers illustrating the broad and necessary protections afforded by the ADA.

In addition, one of the employers, DynMcDermott Petroleum Operations Co. (“DynMcDermott”) is alleged to have violated the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”). (WCxKit)


In the suit
against ENGlobal Engineering Inc. (“ENGlobal”) (Civil Action No. 4:10-cv-XXXX), the EEOC alleges the company terminated the employee, Jeff Rose (“Mr. Rose”), because it regarded him as being disabled. ENGlobal is a publicly traded corporation providing engineering and professional services to the energy sector.

According
to the EEOC, Mr. Rose worked for ENGlobal as a safety supervisor for approximately two weeks when, unbeknownst to him, he began to develop multiple sclerosis (“MS”) symptoms that did not debilitate nor substantially limit him. Mr. Rose informed his manager of the symptoms and kept him informed of the conversations he had with his doctors as they tried to ascertain what was wrong with him. As the manager learned more about Mr. Rose’s condition and realized he faced a potential MS diagnosis, the manager searched for a replacement and urged Mr. Rose to take medical leave despite the fact that he could continue working. After taking medical leave at his manager’s insistence, Mr. Rose presented the company with a doctor’s note stating he had clearance to return to work.

Although his position
was available, ENGlobal’s human resources manager falsely told Mr. Rose it was not. Further, although the human resources manager then told Mr. Rose that ENGlobal would try to find him another position within the company, it took no such action. Three weeks later, ENGlobal hired another individual for Mr. Rose’s position. It is the EEOC’s position that ENGlobal’s management violated the ADA by incorrectly and impermissibly viewing Mr. Rose as substantially limited in his ability to perform the work of any job within the company.

The ADA
was also violated by DynMcDermott when the company failed to hire an applicant for employment, the EEOC alleged in the lawsuit filed against this employer for actions occurring at its Winnie, Texas facility (Civil Action No. 4:10-cv-XXXX). The EEOC also maintains DynMcDermott’s actions violated the ADEA.

According to the lawsuit, DynMcDermott is a privately held corporation providing maintenance and operations services for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve managed by the U.S. Department of Energy. The EEOC alleges that the applicant and employee, Phillip (“Mike”) Swafford (“Mr. Swafford”), applied with DynMcDermott for a position he had previously held with the company. He was interviewed by and recommended for the position by both his former supervisor and the manager in charge of hiring for the position.

Nonetheless,
the facility’s director, who had authority over both the supervisor and the hiring manager, stated to them and others, on at least two occasions, that Mr. Swafford should not be hired because of his age, then 56 years, and his wife’s cancer, which the director simply assumed would interfere with Mr. Swafford’s ability to perform his job duties. The EEOC alleges this assumption and DynMcDermott’s unwillingness to hire Swafford because of his age and his wife’s cancer violated both the ADA and the ADEA. DynMcDermott ultimately hired a 35-year-old applicant with no prior experience with the company for the position.

The EEOC filed the lawsuits after conciliation efforts to reach a voluntary settlement with each employer were unsuccessful. (WCxKit)
In each lawsuit, the EEOC is seeking a permanent injunction prohibiting the relevant company from engaging in employment discrimination, as well as other non-monetary relief to address the unlawful practices. The EEOC is also seeking back pay, compensatory damages, punitive damages or liquidated damages, and other relief.

Author Robert Elliott
, executive vice president, Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. Contact:  Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com or 860-553-6604.
 
WORK COMP CALCULATOR:   http://www.LowerWC.com/calculator.php
 
WC GROUP:  http://www.linkedin.com/groups?homeNewMember=&gid=1922050/
SUBSCRIBE: Workers Comp Resource Center Newsletter

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.
 
©2010 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

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