Earlier this month, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection issued fines against a Houston-based oil and gas company over an explosion that occurred at a drilling site in Susquehanna County back in January. The explosion, according to investigators, was caused by vapors which ignited and broke a tank open.
Workers who are injured on the job, readers know, have the right to receive workers’ compensation for the injuries they suffer. While many employers honor their employees’ right to workers’ compensation, some do not always do so.
Worker’s compensation is an important resource for those who are injured on the job. Under Pennsylvania’s Workers’ Compensation Act, workers who suffer workplace injury are able to obtain medical expenses and wage-loss compensation. Death benefits may also be available for dependent survivors.
Everybody is aware that one of the benefits they have as an employee is the ability to apply for workers’ compensation for on-the-job injuries. Workers’ compensation benefits are an important resource for injured workers since they provide reasonable and necessary payments for lost wages, medical care, specific loss benefits, and even death benefits.
In case anybody was wondering: yes, it is true: government is not always efficient in conducting business. When it comes to workers’ compensation claims for government employees, this inefficiency can be particularly frustrating. Right now in the District of Columbia, government workers injured on the job know this all too well. There, injured employees, attorneys and advocacy groups complain of various flaws in the system, including delays and inconsistency in decisions regarding claims.
Employee misclassification is not a small issue in the United States generally, and in Pennsylvania in particular. In fact, at least one state lawmaker feels the issue is serious enough to warrant a new law tackling the issue. Although the state has already passed a law punishing employers for misclassifying workers, but Senator Mike Stack has pointed out that state regulators, for whatever reason, are not diligently enforcing penalties.
According to new information from the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of fatal injuries in the workplace decreased 5 percent from 2012 to 2013. That is obviously a good thing, though the need for improvement remains, particularly in certain categories of accidents. Last year, 3.2 out of 100,000 full-time employees die, which is still too many.
One of the aspects of workers' compensation in Pennsylvania that can be frustrating for those injured at work is recoupment. This refers to the ability of employers to gain back prior workers' compensation payments to an employee. Often this is done by reducing benefits going forward. One of the protections for employees facing possible recoupment is that courts presume that recoupment will cause hardship when an employer waits two years or more to satisfy a notice obligation.
A man who used to work as a security guard at a former Sherman-Williams paint factory in Philadelphia has recently filed a lawsuit against the owners of that factory, which has since closed down. The issue in the personal injury suit is that the man claims to have suffered serious injuries while patrolling the property back in 2012.
Many of our readers can name at least one instance where they've been either required or pressured to participate in some company activity whether they wanted to or not. Whether it's a picnic, a run, a trust-building exercise or a game of softball, many of us have a story. For most of us, though, it's not as bad as that of a man who worked for a South Carolina public relations firm.