Category Archives: Uncategorized

Apprehensive, Many Doctors Shift to Jobs With Salaries

Today’s post was shared by Gelman on Workplace Injuries and comes from www.nytimes.com

Workers’ Compensation will soon be impacted by the full economic force and effect of The Affordable Care Act. The economics of the costs of the delivery of medical care will soon be the issue that determines whether workers’ compensation continues as a viable program. Today’s post that is hared from the NYTimes.com highlights the issue.
 

Dr. Suzanne Salamon, with a patient at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, said she has had trouble filling a prestigious fellowship because of relatively low salaries. Katherine Taylor for The New York Times

American physicians, worried about changes in the health care market, are streaming into salaried jobs with hospitals. Though the shift from private practice has been most pronounced in primary care, specialists are following.

Last year, 64 percent of job offers filled through Merritt Hawkins, one of the nation’s leading physician placement firms, involved hospital employment, compared with only 11 percent in 2004. The firm anticipates a rise to 75 percent in the next two years.

Today, about 60 percent of family doctors and pediatricians, 50 percent of surgeons and 25 percent of surgical subspecialists — such as ophthalmologists and ear, nose and throat surgeons — are employees rather than independent, according to the American Medical Association. “We’re seeing it changing fast,” said Mark E. Smith, president of Merritt Hawkins.

Health economists are nearly unanimous that the…

[Click here to see the rest of this post]

Sheriff Dart retaliation lawsuit to cost $2.4 million

Today’s post was shared by The Workers’ Injury Law & Advocacy Group and comes from www.chicagotribune.com

 Sheriff Tom Dart
Sheriff Tom Dart

The Cook County Board next week is expected to approve spending $2.4 million to settle a lawsuit alleging that Sheriff Tom Dart retaliated against deputies who backed his political opponent when he first sought the job eight years ago.

Dart has objected to the settlement, believing he could ultimately win the case, but it was mediated under the auspices of the federal courts, endorsed by the state’s attorney’s office and recommended by the Cook County Litigation Subcommittee, making a rejection by county commissioners highly unlikely.

Lurking behind the machinations of the lawsuit is a complex tale of Chicago politics, alleged jail abuse and public images.

The original case was filed by 21 sheriff’s deputies who alleged that Dart and his subordinates were responsible for the disbanding of their elite Special Operations Response Team at the County Jail. The unit was disbanded weeks after Dart won the November 2006 general election, but before he took office shortly after. During that time, Dart was chief of staff in the sheriff’s office.

The deputies alleged the unit was disbanded to punish them for backing Richard Remus, their former commander, in the three-candidate March 2006 primary election. The deputies contended that the alleged retaliation was a violation of their First Amendment right to free speech and said it resulted in lower wages, lost overtime pay and unrealized future promotions.

In late 2012, a jury awarded nearly…

[Click here to see the rest of this post]

Poem That May Resonate for You

Today’s post comes from guest author Kit Case, from Causey Law Firm.

Connections brought me in touch with a poet from Eastern Washington, Charlie Hopkins.  I found that several of his poems describe work, workers, the aches and pains of growing older and the ties that bind us all together.  The following poem caught my eye:

MORNING PRAYER FOR CAROL

“Everything that touches you.” The Association

May she sleep well at night.
Wake without pain in her shoulder.
May her knee and hip not cry out, bringing her too soon
to this world.
May blue jays speak respectfully at her windows.

Let there be peace in her morning contemplation
a perfect cup of coffee in her hand.
May Carol enjoy everything she sees and hears, everything she touches
and tastes.
May she always delight in the face she sees in her mirror.

Let the first incident of the day that would disturb her peace
not happen.
Let her go at her own pace and never tire of beauty.
May beauty flow in her as mercy and as a joyful song.
May she enjoy her garden as she does her flying dreams.

May there always be harmony between us and trust and may our eyes
be creased with smiling.

You can find more of Mr. Hopkins work on his blog, “The Flood Plain – Poems by Charlie Hopkins” and in a published collection of his work, “I Need To Feel You Every Moment In My Heart”, available on lulu.com.

Sometimes, you meet the right person at the right time, even on the internet.

 

 

Uncertainty Over Whether N.F.L. Settlement’s Money Will Last

Today’s post was shared by Gelman on Workplace Injuries and comes from www.nytimes.com

As intriguing football matchups go, Sunday’s Super Bowl has nothing on one looming down the turnpike in federal court in Philadelphia — with Judge Anita B. Brody the ultimate referee.

Brody, considering the N.F.L.’s recent settlement with 4,500 retirees over work-related brain injuries, has asked both sides to demonstrate that their $765 million bargain will fulfill its promise to compensate every currently retired player who has or will develop a neurological condition such as dementia or Parkinson’s disease.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs and the N.F.L. said independent actuaries and medical experts had endorsed the terms of the settlement. But the lawyers refuse to share any of their data with the public to help substantiate how they arrived at the $765 million figure, and there is growing displeasure among plaintiffs who have not been allowed to see the data, either.

Numbers can speak for themselves, though, and they bring a clear warning: The $765 million could run out faster than either side apparently believes. When one forecasts how many of the roughly 13,500 currently retired players may develop these conditions over the next 65 years, compensating them as the settlement directs could very well require close to $1 billion, and perhaps more.

No one can divine how many players will develop these conditions. But the best data available comes straight from the N.F.L., and it becomes instructive after some basic guidelines.

The settlement essentially…

[Click here to see the rest of this post]

What Both Sides Miss in the ‘Duck Dynasty’ Debate

Today’s post comes from guest author Jon Rehm, from Rehm, Bennett & Moore.

Comments made by “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson, in an interview with GQ magazine, have set off a social media and cable news firestorm about the role of free speech in the employee-employer relationship. But neither side in the Duck Commander debate is telling the complete story. In short, while private employees do not have First Amendment protections in the workplace, Title VII provides some protections for religious belief and practice in the workplace.

Duck Commander detractors are correct to point out that the First Amendment does not apply to private employers* like A&E Networks and that employers are free to fire employees at will.* But what the largely urban, progressive and educated Duck Commander detractors largely fail to realize is that religion is a protected class under federal anti-discrimination law.

Conservative, evangelical Duck Commander supporters also fail to realize that federal anti-discrimination laws protect them as well. In the case of Ollis v. HearthStone Homes, an evangelical Christian successfully sued his employer for discrimination and retaliation for firing him in retaliation for failing to participate in “New Age” religious practices. The Ollis decision gives a good guide on what constitutes religious discrimination:

To establish a prima facie case of religious discrimination, a plaintiff must show he (1) has a bona fide religious belief that conflicts with an employment requirement, (2) informed the employer of such conflict, and (3) suffered an adverse employment action. If the plaintiff establishes these elements, the burden shifts to the employer to offer a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for the adverse employment action. Thereafter, the burden shifts back to the plaintiff to show the reason offered by the employer is pretextual. 

Assuming that Robertson was an employee, it might be difficult to argue that his religious beliefs conflicted with an employment requirement. Even if he could make that argument, his employer could argue that how he expressed his comments about gays could be legitimate reason for termination. Finally, regardless of Robertson’s comments about gays, his comments about race relations in the South could likely provide any employer with a legitimate reason for termination.

 

*Robertson is likely not an employee of A&E Networks and likely has an a contract with A&E so Title VII is probably not applicable in this case

Buying Overseas Clothing, U.S. Flouts Its Own Advice

Today’s post was shared by The New York Times and comes from www.nytimes.com

WASHINGTON — One of the world’s biggest clothing buyers, the United States government spends more than $1.5 billion a year at factories overseas, acquiring everything from the royal blue shirts worn by airport security workers to the olive button-downs required for forest rangers and the camouflage pants sold to troops on military bases.

But even though the Obama administration has called on Western buyers to use their purchasing power to push for improved industry working conditions after several workplace disasters over the last 14 months, the American government has done little to adjust its own shopping habits.

Labor Department officials say that federal agencies have a “zero tolerance” policy on using overseas plants that break local laws, but American government suppliers in countries including Bangladesh, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Mexico, Pakistan and Vietnam show a pattern of legal violations and harsh working conditions, according to audits and interviews at factories. Among them: padlocked fire exits, buildings at risk of collapse, falsified wage records and repeated hand punctures from sewing needles when workers were pushed to hurry up.

In Bangladesh, shirts with Marine Corps logos sold in military stores were made at DK Knitwear, where child laborers made up a third of the work force, according to a 2010 audit that led some vendors to cut ties with the plant. Managers punched workers for missed production quotas, and the plant had…

[Click here to see the rest of this post]

Lafayette settles lawsuit for $225,000, one of three large settlements this year

Today’s post was shared by The Workers’ Injury Law & Advocacy Group and comes from theadvocate.com

LAFAYETTE — Lafayette city-parish government has paid $225,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by a woman who was injured when she broad-sided a police cruiser that was going through a red light while responding to another traffic accident.City-parish government released documents this week detailing the out-of-court settlement in the case, which arose out of a February 2008 accident at the busy intersection of Congress Street and Cajundome Boulevard on a rainy Friday afternoon.Officer Larry Theriot II had his lights and sirens on, but Melissa B. Dugas had alleged in the lawsuit that Theriot, who had the red light, did not pay enough attention to cross-street traffic before passing through the intersection and being struck by Dugas.Dugas, who suffered neck injuries, had said she did not see the police cruiser’s emergency lights or hear the siren and did not notice that other vehicles had already stopped.Theriot had said he came to a complete stop and looked both ways several times when moving through the intersection, but there were questions as to whether he stopped again for traffic while moving through the large intersection, according to statements in the court record.City-Parish Chief Administrative Officer Dee Stanley declined comment.The case is one of three settlements north of $200,000 paid by city-parish government this year.In March, Lafayette paid $500,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by a man who was paralyzed after being struck in a traffic accident blamed…

[Click here to see the rest of this post]

Drilling down on the necessity of dental X-rays

Dental x-rays

Today’s post was shared by Gelman on Workplace Injuries and comes from www.latimes.com

When my son and daughter were youngsters, once a year I’d have a disagreement with their pediatric dentist. He wanted to do routine annual X-rays, and I would protest because neither child ever had any cavities. His response: Dental X-rays are an important diagnostic tool, representing a small speck in the sea of radiation that we receive by inhabiting planet Earth.

It turns out we both were right. Dental X-rays are essential for detecting serious oral and systemic health problems, and generally the amount of radiation is very low. But new thinking on dental X-rays is that the "one size fits all" schedule is outdated.

"The notion of bite-wing X-rays every year and a full set of X-rays every three years for every patient should go in the garbage can," says Stuart White, a dentist and professor emeritus at the UCLA School of Dentistry. Instead, decisions should be made individually.

Emphasizing that "without dental X-rays we would go back 120 years, and disease detection would be primitive and awful," White says dentists must strive to minimize unnecessary exposure.

And this is where the discussion gets complicated because the amount of radiation you receive depends on how the dentist takes pictures of your teeth.

For example, if your dentist uses slow film and round collimation (the piece of equipment placed near your face during X-rays), you’re going to get approximately double the dose that you would from digital imagery and rectangular…

[Click here to see the rest of this post]