Share

Employee Claims

Friday, February 10, 2017

Federal Assault on Worker’s Rights


            Last week Republican lawmaker in Washington D.C. introduced two different pieces of legislation aimed at weakening a union’s ability to protect its members.  The first piece of legislation seeks to repeal the Davis-Bacon Act.  The Davis-Bacon act requires contractors to pay “prevailing wage” on all federally funded public works projects.
Read more . . .


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Court Rules that Employer’s Wellness Program is Voluntary Under Americans With Disability Act But Finds Possible Retaliation And Interference


A federal district court in the Eastern District of Wisconsin has ruled in favor of an employer in an action brought by the EEOC under the Americans With Disabilities Act against an employer who implemented a wellness program requiring employees to take a health assessment to participate. The case is EEOC v. Orion Energy Systems, Inc., No. 14-CV-1019 (E.
Read more . . .


Friday, September 30, 2016

THERE’S MORE TO THE NEW NON-DISCRIMINATION RULE


MEANINGFUL ACCESS FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH LIMITED ENGLISH PROFICIENCY

On May 18, 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published a final rule to implement Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  This comprehensive rule prohibits discrimination in health coverage based on race, color, national origin, age, disability, and sex. Some of the provisions incorporate federal non-discrimination policies.  These provisions incorporate existing federal non-discrimination policies intertwined with some new protections.

Access for Individuals with Limited English Proficiency (LEP)

While the spotlight in the media regarding these new protections has been on the prohibition of sex discrimination which now includes gender identity discrimination in its definition, other very significant anti-discrimination provisions are included in the expansion of Section 1557 of the ACA.
Read more . . .


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

NLRB to Consider Charging Union Fees in Right to Work States

The NLRB has solicited the submission of amicus briefs in the Buckeye Florida Corp. case, 12-CB-109654, presently pending before the Board on the issue of whether unions may charge non-members fees for processing grievances in right to work states. 

The case involves the United Steelworkers Union and a Florida-based subsidiary of Georgia-Pacific LLC in which the Union informed a non-member he would be required to pay the union a fair share fee equal to the dues paid by union members for the remainder of the term of the collective bargaining agreement in order for the union to process his grievance.  This individual, in turn, filed an unfair labor practice with the NLRB, relying upon long-standing precedent finding that unions commit unfair labor practices when they require non-members to pay a fee as a condition for having their grievances processed.  In March 2014, an ALJ ruled that the union’s requirement violated Section 8(b)(1)(A) of the NLRA.  On appeal, the union is asking the Board to adopt a rule allowing it to charge the fee as long as the fee does not exceed the amount the union could charge non-member objectors under other Board decisions on the subject.

The NLRB’s request for briefs on this issue is an indicator of possible interest in overturning the existing law that prohibits unions from charging such fees.  If the law is overturned, it would represent a significant step forward for unions representing employees in right to work states.  Our firm will continue to update you as to developments in this area.


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Know Your Rights!

When it comes to discipline in the workplace, one of the most important rights that a Union member can exercise is their “Weingarten right.”  Named after the Supreme Court case that established the right, the Weingarten right ensures that a Union employee can have Union representation during any investigatory interview that may result in discipline.  This right can be exercised either before the interview has begun or at any time during the interview. 

To exercise the right, the interview must be “investigatory.”  Weingarten does not attach if the employer calls you into a meeting simply to tell you that you are being disciplined.  Weingarten does attach if you are being asked to explain or defend your conduct or are being compelled to answer questions or give evidence.  In essence, anytime a reasonable person could believe that the meeting may lead to future disciplinary action or questions are related to pending disciplinary action you have the right to Union representation. Importantly, you must request Union representation!  The employer has no obligation to provide you with Union representation if you don’t request it, nor does the employer have to tell you that you have a right to Union representation.

Once you have invoked Weingarten and asked for Union representation, the Employer has three choices. 1) The employer can grant the request and wait for the Union representative to arrive and have a chance to consult with you prior to continuing the interview; 2) the employer can deny the request and end the interview immediately; or 3) give the employee a choice of either having the interview without representation or ending the interview.  If the employer chooses option three the employee cannot be punished for choosing to end the interview.  If the employer refuses the request for representation and attempts to continue the interview it is committing an unfair labor practice.  The employee can refuse to answer any questions that the employer asks after making such a refusal but may be required to sit there until the employer terminates the interview.  Any information that is gathered after an employee’s Weingarten rights have been violated will be excluded from evidence in any disciplinary action.

It is important to remember that you have a right to Union representation during any investigation.  The Union representative can help to determine what the subject of the investigation is, consult with you before the questioning begins, advise you on how to answer the questions, and provide additional information to the employer at the conclusion of the interview. Having a Union representative present helps to ensure that you are treated fairly and aids the Union in its fact gathering mission if you would face disciplinary action later on.  

As a general rule, anytime you are having discussions with your employer request a Union representative!  Even if the Weingarten rule does not apply most employers will allow you to have a Union representative present if you ask for one.  When approached by an employer, start any interview or meeting with the following statement, “If this discussion could in any way lead to my being disciplined or discharged I request that my Union representative be present at the meeting.  Without representation, I choose not to answer any questions.”

If you think your employer has violated your Weingarten rights, contact your Union immediately!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Early reporting of injury is important

Recently we had a client who suffered an injury at work but failed to report the incident to his employer. He then waited to see the doctor for several days and then did not seemingly make it clear to the doctor what had happened to him at work.  When the employer refused to accept the claim the matter went to hearing on whether to allow the claim.  The client then was subjected to the employers attorney insinuation that the problem did not occur at work because there was no contemporaneous accident report, a lapse between the incident and treatment and no mention of the relationship to work in the medical records.  Luckily we were able to get the necessary relationship statement from the doctor and convince the hearing officer of the clients truthfulness to get the claim allowed but it would have been so much easier for the client if he had reported the injury to his boss and made it clear to the doctor that the injury happened at work.  Then a hearing and the delays in treatment and compensation that go with it would not have been necessary.   


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Workers Compensation and Third Party Actions

Some work related accidents can be caused by the negligence of a third party who can also be held responsible for the damages, both economic and non-economic, suffered by the worker.  Such worker can have both a workers compensation claim that is processed through the BWC and an independent claim against the party who caused the injury, usually processed through an insurance carrier.  Although the injured worker can recover under both claims there is a subrogation provision in the law which will require the injured worker to reimburse the BWC for a portion of the funds expended for the injured workers medical and disability benefits.  However it is beneficial for any worker injured by a third party to take advantage of all sources of potential benefits.    


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Workers' Compensation Wage Loss

Presently the Industrial Commission and the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation have proposed new wage loss rules. The new rule at Ohio Administrative Code 4125-1-01 would replace the current wage loss rules.  Essentially the requirements for job search remain the same, however, the search will be based on a more fluid “good faith effort”. The job search still must be “consistent, sincere, and best attempt to obtain suitable employment that will eliminate the wage loss.”  There are a number of factors that will be considered by the BWC and Industrial Commission in determining whether the type of searches and the manner of search has met the good faith criteria.  The injured worker will be allowed for the first 60 days to search for suitable employment within their skill level but after 60 days has gone by and no requisite work has been found they must also search for entry level or unskilled work. Even if an individual finds a job and is filing for working wage loss they will still be required to submit searches for every week that they are asking for working wage loss. Any failure to conduct an appropriate job search is considered to be a voluntary limitation of their income and could result in a reduction in their working wage loss compensation.  Supposedly these new work rules are to take into account the location where the individual lives and the ability to find employers within his area of residency.  However, the rule still appears to require attempts to submit applications and treat the searching for work as a job itself.


Archived Posts

2017
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January
2016
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
March
February
January
2015
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
2014
October
September
July
June
May
April
March
February
January
2013


With offices in Toledo and Lima, OH Allotta Farley Co., L.P.A. serves clients throughout northwest OH with various legal matters. Areas of service include Allen County, Ashland County, Auglaize County, Crawford County, Defiance County, Erie County, Fulton County, Hancock County, Hardin County, Henry County, Huron County, Lucas County, Marion County, Mercer County, Morrow County, Ottawa County, Paulding County, Putnam County, Richland County, Sandusky County, Seneca County, Van Wert County, Williams County, Wood County, Wyandot County.

Disclaimer
Hiring an attorney is an important decision which should not be based solely on advertising. The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.



© 2017 Allotta Farley Co., L.P.A. | Disclaimer
2222 Centennial Road, Toledo, OH 43617
| Phone: 419.535.0075
121 West High Street, 10th Floor, Lima, OH 45801
| Phone: 419.224.0075

Labor Union Representation | Taft–Hartley/Multiemployer Benefit Plans | Workers' Compensation | Unemployment/Appeals | ERISA Disability | | Attorneys

Law Firm Website Design by
Zola Creative