Krishna Balasubramani

Washington – COVID-19 Incident Reports, Workers’ Comp, Wage and Leave Issues

Krishna Balasubramani | Sather Byerly and Holloway, Oregon and Washington Employment Law, Workers Compensation, Longshore, and OSHA Defense AttorneysWith the recent news of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Washington, we want to ensure everyone understands the guidelines for incident reports, workers’ compensation claims, and other employment-related concerns. We have created a Q&A to cover many questions Washington employers may have on this confusing and pressing issue.   When should an OSHA Injury and Illness incident report be filed? If an employer is aware of an exposure or an employee reports an exposure to a virus, this should be documented as a work incident. While the common cold and flu is exempt from OSHA recordkeeping requirements, COVID-19 is a recordable illness. OSHA COVID-19 Standards Employers should file an incident report if either: An employee has tested positive for COVID-19; or The… Continue reading

Sather, Byerly & Holloway Welcomes New Partner

  Sather, Byerly & Holloway, LLP is pleased to announce Rebecca Watkins is a partner effective July 1, 2018. Rebecca manages the firm’s appellate department. She advises employers on policy development and employment decisions. She also represents Oregon and Washington clients in court before administrative agencies on disputes relating to wage and hour, discrimination, personal injury, leave laws, and workers’ compensation. Rebecca is a valued member of our firm and we are excited to announce this addition to our partnership. Please do not hesitate to contact Rebecca at (503) 595-2134 for any employment related needs.

Do you know your employer sponsored wellness program can create Workers Compensation Liability?

Krishna Balasubramani | Sather Byerly and Holloway, Oregon and Washington Employment Law, Workers Compensation, Longshore, and OSHA Defense AttorneysAn employee twisted her knee while walking – she was off the clock, on a lunch break, and walking off the employer’s premises. However, because she was walking as part of a “walking program” promoted by the employer, she was entitled to receive Workers’ Compensation benefits. Employees were not required to participate but were encouraged to participate in the program. The employer established certain walking paths and rewarded teams that logged the most miles. The injured employee changed her usual walking pattern so she could participate in the “walking program”. In other words, the employer had a wellness program similar to that offered by many employers. The parties agreed the employee was engaged in “recreational activity” but disagreed on… Continue reading

Join SBH at the Oregon PRIMA Annual Conference

Krishna Balasubramani | Sather Byerly and Holloway, Oregon and Washington Employment Law, Workers Compensation, Longshore, and OSHA Defense AttorneysSBH Attorneys Sarah Ewing and Krishna Balasubramani are speaking at the Oregon PRIMA 2015 Annual Conference. The conference is held at Salishan Resort and Spa in Gleneden Beach September 30- October 2, 2015. Sarah, along with Regina Jackson, an ADA specialist, will speak on Thursday October 1, 2015 about the interactions of on-the-job injuries, ADA, and FMLA including fitness for duty tests, common pitfalls, and dos and don’ts. Krishna will be providing a 2015 legislative legal update on Friday October 2, 2015. Krishna will cover the important laws passed that impact workers’ compensation, employment and leave laws. Check out the full agenda and register at

Federal Court ruling suggests that every disabling Workers’ Compensation claim should trigger ADA interactive process

Krishna Balasubramani | Sather Byerly and Holloway, Oregon and Washington Employment Law, Workers Compensation, Longshore, and OSHA Defense AttorneysBy: Krishna Balasubramani Judge Michael Simon issued a decision in Dunlap v. Liberty Natural Products, Inc. (April 20, 2015) addressing the overlap between the ADA and a Workers’ Compensation claim. The Defendant employer received a Notice of Closure that “classified Plaintiff’s claim as disabling under Oregon workers’ compensation law.” He ruled “a reasonable jury could find that “Defendant was ‘on notice’ of Plaintiff’s need for accommodation due to her disability, triggering Defendant’s duty to engage in the interactive process.” The court reaffirmed that the employee is not required to specifically mention the ADA or the phrase “reasonable accommodation.” The jury found for Plaintiff and awarded $70,000 in non-economic damages and $13,200 back pay. The underlying workers’ compensation… Continue reading

US Supreme Court Issues Two Title VII Decisions That Favor Employers

Krishna Balasubramani | Sather Byerly and Holloway, Oregon and Washington Employment Law, Workers Compensation, Longshore, and OSHA Defense AttorneysOn June 24, 2013 the US Supreme Court issued 2 decisions dealing with Title VII cases. Both cases were decided by a divided 5-4 court and were decidedly ‘employer friendly’. Somewhat predictably, the same 5 conservative justices were in the majority on both cases. The Supreme Court accepted review of these two cases to clarify the law and resolve the conflict between the different legal interpretations being followed by different circuits. In the first case, the US Supreme Court ruled that Title VII retaliation claims must be proved according to traditional principles of ‘but-for’ causation, not the lesser ‘motivating factor’ test that applies to status based discrimination. This requires proof that the unlawful retaliation would not… Continue reading

Teleworking: Employer Beware

Krishna BalasubramaniThe CEO of Yahoo! recently created headlines by ending the company’s telecommuting or teleworking program. Perhaps not surprisingly, the decision was met with criticism by those who consider it to be going against a modern trend. To be more precise, the practice of telecommuting has grown dramatically in recent years, increasing 31 percent in 2009 to represent 4.3 percent of all employment (up from 3.3 percent). A question that is not often asked is: are employers adequately prepared to handle the workers’ compensation liability created by teleworking employees? There are an increasing number of cases being issued by the Workers’ Compensation Board finding injuries occurring at or near… Continue reading

Employer may have violated ADA and state law by using post-offer medical information in discipline and WC

Krishna BalasubramaniEmployee sued employer alleging workers’ compensation retaliation. Employee alleged the employer misused her post-offer medical questionnaire to terminate her employment and reduce workers’ compensation benefits. The claim was brought under ORS 659A.133. However, the court relied on provisions of the ADA, including 42 USC Sec 12112(d)(3). The court cited precedent from other states. As such this case presents concerns for all employers. Claimant completed a post-offer medical questionnaire and did not reveal a childhood history of scoliosis or early signs of carpal tunnel syndrome. She filed a workers’ compensation claim for carpal tunnel and this was accepted. However, her employer terminated her for falsifying her post-offer medical questionnaire. Her workers’ compensation benefits… Continue reading

Welcome to the new SBH Blog

Krishna BalasubramaniThe world of employment and workers’ compensation law is ever changing. The changes are not predictable and it does not make sense to wait until the next quarterly newsletter to update our clients. Blogs are a perfect way for SBH attorneys to communicate regarding important new legal issues, case law development, industry development and happenings at SBH. You can access the blog in many different ways including through an RSS feed, emails, or a twitter feed. You can limit the information so that you only receive updates on certain topics. This way, you get exactly what you want, when you want it and the way you want it. Some will wait for a printed… Continue reading