Kaiser Permanente and DMEC are partnering up and sponsoring an employer work group in response to continuing questions regarding ADA and family leave. This will be an opportunity for employers to bring questions about any aspect of the ADA and family leave process, challenging case studies, or examples of best practices. This is an open forum with a focus on problem solving and employers talking about real issues that can have real consequences. I am facilitating the work group, along with Mike Moses, Kaiser Permanente’s ADA Manager. IF THERE ARE SPECIFIC QUESTIONS YOU WANT ANSWERED, OR IF YOU HAVE A CASE YOU WANT DISCUSSED, PLEASE EMAIL YOUR QUESTION AND/OR CASE INFORMATION TO: JANIE MCCOLLISTER (JMCCOLLISTER@CISOREGON.ORG),… Continue reading
Mike Moses of Kaiser and I will be moderating an ADA/FMLA roundtable event to answer some of your questions. This is a roundtable forum, which allows employers to pose questions and get feedback in an informal environment. We will tackle real world situations presented by local employers. If you have a situation you would like to see on the agenda, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I hope to see you there. Details for the event are: Thursday, November 7th from 11:30 – 1 pm. Kaiser Town Hall, 3704 N. Interstate Avenue, Portland, Oregon. Lunch will be provided. Please e-mail Dianne Gibson at email@example.com if you would like to register.
To determine the extent of disability for the purposes of claim closure, OAR 436-030-0020 requires insurers mail of an accurate job description to claimants prior to closure. The provision applies if the worker has not been released to regular work or has not returned to the job at injury. Job descriptions must contain a description of the physical requirements of the job. They must also be sent by certified mail to claimant and his/her counsel. If the insurer does not establish compliance with this rule at the time of reconsideration, ARU will likely overturn the Notice of Closure. In one recent claim, a job description, which did not specifically identify the physical requirements of the… Continue reading
Mike Moses of Kaiser and I will be moderating an ADA/FMLA roundtable event to answer your ADA/FMLA questions. This is a roundtable forum, which allows employers to pose questions and get feedback in an informal environment. We will tackle real world situations presented by local employers. If you have a situation you would like to see on the agenda, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I hope to see you there. Details for the event are: Thursday, July 11th from 11:30 – 1 p.m. Kaiser Town Hall, 3704 N. Interstate Avenue, Portland, Oregon. Lunch will be provided. Please e-mail Dianne Gibson at email@example.com if you would like to register.
In a recent decision, Schultz v. SAIF Corp., A148840, the Court held that even where a worker is primarily motivated to attend a social event with a supervisor for work related reasons, injuries sustained from voluntary intoxication are not compensable. In this case, claimant testified she accompanied her supervisor to a bar for drinks one night after work. He had asked her (and others) out numerous times previously but she had declined all prior invitations and therefore felt obligated to accept in this instance. Claimant wanted to be seen as a “team player.” While at the bar, claimant drank to excess and drove herself home. En route, she entered the freeway going the wrong direction… Continue reading
We hope to see you Thursday, November 8th at the Kaiser & DMEC Oregon/SW Washington ADA FMLA Employer Work Group. Rebecca Watkins and I are partnering with DMEC along with Mike Moses of Kaiser, to host an employer roundtable discussion to answer questions regarding all aspects of the ADA and FMLA. This will be an opportunity for employers to ask questions and discuss their difficult ADA/FMLA cases. The format will be an open forum with a focus on problem solving. The Work Group Session will be from 11:30 – 1 p.m. at the Kaiser Permanente – Town Hall Ballroom, 3704 N. Interstate Avenue, Portland. A free lunch will be provided. If you would like… Continue reading
By the terms of a stipulated Order with the Oregon Medical Board, Dr. V. James Makker has agreed to surrender his Oregon medical license. The local neurosurgeon is familiar to those in the industry as he accepted workers’ compensation patients and operated on many. Dr. Makker came under increased scrutiny after The Wall Street Journal published report in 2011 accusing him of performing medically unnecessary spinal fusions. He is alleged to have one of the highest repeat fusion rates in the nation. No longer able to practice medicine in Oregon, Dr. Makker still faces a barrage of pending medical malpractice lawsuits which will continue to make their way through the courts. SBH will monitor the ongoing developments.
In April 2012, the EEOC issued updated enforcement guidance on employer use of arrest and conviction records in hiring decisions. This comes on the heels of a $3 million settlement with an employer whose criminal background check policy disproportionately excluded African-American applicants. The policy was neutral on its face. The EEOC guidance provides that the use of individual arrest and conviction history to exclude a potential hire may amount to unlawful employment discrimination where the employer policy disproportionately impacts or excludes certain protected classes from hiring consideration. This is true even where the policy is facially neutral. With the EEOC’s eye on the issue, SBH recommends employers reconsider hiring policies and its use of arrest and… Continue reading
Reports indicate the number of wage claims filed under the Fair Labor Standards Act is at an all time high. Last year, there were approximately 7000 lawsuits filed under the FLSA. With less than 5 months left in the reporting year, the number of FLSA suits already exceeds the total for last year. In 2011 SBH employment attorneys counseled employers to expect greater inquiry into whether workers classified as independent contractors actually met the requirements for such a designation. We correctly anticipated increased litigation alleging misclassification of employees as independent contractors (which are exempt from overtime as well as meal and rest breaks). Our predictions were correct and increased litigation is likely to… Continue reading
In a new PPD case, Schleiss v. SAIF Corp., the Oregon Court of Appeals upheld an insurer’s right to apportion permanent disability awards. Claimant was injured in April 2008. In 2009, the claim was closed with no impairment. Claimant appealed and requested a medical arbiter evaluation. The arbiter found range of motion limitations, 33% of which were attributable to the compensable condition. The arbiter attributed the remainder to preexisting conditions and a long history of smoking. Relying on the arbiter, the OOR apportioned 33% of the range of motion limitations to the accepted injury. On appeal, the ALJ and Board affirmed the OOR. Claimant appealed to the Oregon Court of Appeals arguing… Continue reading