What to Do in the Case of Pregnancy Discrimination

It should be the most joyful time of your life, discovering you’re pregnant, but it can also be one of the most stressful. There are the obvious issues—the lethargy, the discomfort and pain, the weight gain and lack of balance—and the more subtle ones—preparing to accommodate a new life, choosing what to buy and what not to buy, baby proofing, saving up money. That should be more than enough for one woman (or one couple) to deal with, but sometimes, there’s the added fear that a job (which may be vital and irreplaceable) could also be on the line if too much time off is required or if the boss simply feels you are replaceable.

This should not be possible, this pressure. In fact, it’s illegal. According to the Cary Kane lawyers, women who are pregnant are required to be treated the same as any other employee and should not face discrimination.

The law goes beyond that. An employer with more than four employees cannot force a pregnant woman to quit or fire her because of her condition. Even more, an employer must reasonably accommodate the needs of a pregnant woman if at all possible. These accommodations can include providing more time to sit instead of stand, giving extra breaks, or even allow the woman to work in another more comfortable location.

Should there be complications in a pregnancy, an employer is also required to offer the necessary time off (up to 12 weeks).

While these requirements are somewhat murky (exactly what is a reasonable accommodation for some jobs is very debatable) and do not go far enough (there is no requirement for maternity leave), it is clear that women should not feel the risk of losing their job simply for being pregnant.

What can be done if this pressure persists? The best course is two-fold. First, document everything. If there are actual documents or emails that outright state or imply some form of discrimination, keep them. If there are activities that seem to be designed to make you uncomfortable (a sudden requirement, for instance, to stand for a meeting), keep a record of those activities and all sudden changes.

If the pressure is more subtle, still keep track of it. Ask your boss about this pressure and record his or her answer.

The second step is to go to a lawyer. Because this is a complicated issue, it’s hard for an individual to defend themselves alone. A lawyer would be able to advise whether a case needs to be brought forward. A lawyer can also give the extra weight of pressure on the employer. The risk of a lawsuit is often enough to ensure your position will be safe.

Pregnancy is hard enough without the fear of losing your job. Make sure your employer understands that. Be direct, and know your rights. Know that if you stand firm, you have the law on your side.

Hostile Work Environments Cause Some Truckers to Turn to Stimulants

Everyone in business agrees that growth is good, and as more and more goods are produced and consumed every day, more and more truckers need to transport them. Add in the pressure from self-driving cars, and career truckers are fighting harder than ever to keep their jobs. Some companies are pushing their drivers too hard, and in order to stay awake, the drivers are turning to stimulants to keep going. Even though no one wants a sleepy driver at the wheel, stimulants can cause more problems than they solve.

According to this article published by Reuters way back in 2013, it was found that drug use was high among truck drivers and that it was tied to poor working conditions. While some of the drivers reported using drugs like marijuana, others claimed to take cocaine or methamphetamines to stay awake, but these drugs can also cause hallucinations, agitation, and vertigo. According to this study, which reviewed a bunch of other studies from around the world, about 8% of drivers in the study tested positive for amphetamines, double the number of drivers who tested positive for alcohol. In addition, these studies also correlated higher drug use with driving longer routes and driving at night. There was also a positive correlation between drug use and whether or not the driver had been in an accident before. However, this is only a correlation and the authors of this review point out that the studies included in their research are small and that more research is needed. The U.S Department of Transportation reportedly told Reuters that in their own surveys, less than 1% of drivers who were tested during pre-employment screening or after an accident showed signs of drug use. Regardless, the authors do claim that the evidence suggests having companies reduce the hours the drivers work and offering better pay would likely help the problem.

Many transportation companies pay their drivers based on the number of miles they drive and keep strict monitors on how often they stop and how fast they are going. Some drivers claim that a company will penalize them if they take breaks. Instead of paying their workers based on miles, the drug use behavior could be minimized by paying the driver hourly or having them salaried. Of course, if transportation costs get too high, transportations companies will look more and more towards self-driving vehicles, which will put many truck drivers out of a job, making this a difficult problem to completely solve.

A personal injury attorney in Milwaukee suggests that, instead of immediately turning to stimulants, truck drivers should contact a lawyer that works on truck driving accidents, to hold the company that is mandating them work through breaks accountable for breaking the law. Even if the data is spotty at best, it should still be high priority that truck drivers are taken care of, and more studies should be done to make sure transportation companies are not taking advantage of their workforce.

Long Term Disability Appeal

An illness or injury that leads to long term disability can have a tremendous effect on the financial situation of a struggling family, especially if the injured or ill worker’s application for benefits gets denied or if a claimant is awarded a minimal amount by his/her insurance provider. And, though, in most states, providing workers’ compensation benefits to workers is mandatory to certain employers, this is never an indication that these same employers will approve their injured employee’s intent to file a claim.

Besides the discovery of fraudulent claims in the past, wherein employees were found to fake disability or illness for financial gains, many employers have become biased in treating claims since they are inclined to immediately consider most injuries as neither serious nor valid. This is especially true concerning injuries that are caused by inexplicable pains, such as back pain, which may be very hard to verify through x-rays, nerve conduction studies or other medical examinations. An employer’s refusal to support an employee’s claim, however, should never deter an employee from pursuing or appealing his/her claim.

When filing a claim with the Workers’ Comp, the first step required is informing one’s employer about the injury or illness; this should be done within 30 – 45 days after the accident occurred or after the illness was discovered. An injured worker who has been notified (through writing) by his/her employer, or the company’s insurance provider, of the denial of his/her request to file a claim, can request the state Workers’ Comp board for a hearing – this can be more effectively accomplished through the help of a competent disability claims appeal attorney.

Sustaining a job-related injury or developing an occupational illness gives a worker the full right to file a claim to protect himself/herself; an employer’s thoughts regarding the legitimacy of the worker’s injury is no longer relevant. An employee should neither worry about the possibility of being retaliated upon by his/her employer too if he/she decides to pursue with his/her application despite his/her employer’s denial (there are federal and state laws that will protect the employee from any acts of retaliation).

Long-term disability claims, it is true, are often denied by insurance companies, requiring many claims to go through an appeal process. A long-term disability lawyer can review the details of a claim, identify the reasons why it was denied, and help a claimant build a successful appeal.

How to Avoid Slip and Fall Accidents

Slip and fall accidents can happen in a variety of places, such as office spaces, construction sites, malls, playgrounds, and even in our homes. In other words, slip and fall hazards are practically everywhere. It is true that property owners have the responsibility to ensure the safety of the premises against accidents and injuries. But as an individual, you should also be responsible enough to make the effort to prevent slip and fall accidents.

Below are some safety tips for your properties and for yourself to ensure that you and everybody around you are free from slips, trips, and falls.

Wear proper footwear
Before looking at the external factors that may cause accidents, look at yourself first. Always wear footwear that has proper traction to avoid easily slipping on wet surfaces. Also, make sure that your laces are tied properly so you don’t unintentionally trip yourself.

Maintain cleanliness
Slip and fall accidents can happen because of the sheer negligence of property owners towards debris, slippery substances, and other elements that may slip and trip unsuspecting people. The simple solution is maintaining the cleanliness of the premises. Don’t let spilled substances go unnoticed. Don’t let trash stay on accident prone areas such as stairs.

Avoid obstructions
Unnecessary obstacles, particularly in pathways, can cause slip and fall accidents. In the workplace, these obstacles may include opened drawers, cabinets, document boxes, and briefcases. In the household, these obstacles may take on the form of chairs, cables and wires, and other small objects that may go unnoticed in hallways. Unnecessary matting, like putting rugs and carpets on unsafe places, may also cause slip and fall accidents.

Install proper lighting
Sometimes, even easily avoidable objects become catalysts for accidents. This is because of low visibility and inadequate lighting in the area. When a place is poorly lit, all people in the area may be susceptible to tripping and slipping even on innocent objects such as steps and uneven surfaces.

According to the website of the Milwaukee slip and fall accident lawyers of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, slip and fall accidents may be taken to court, as they are included in a body of law called premises liability. To avoid the possibility of medical bills, attorney fees, and compensations to injured individuals in your properties, just take the safety tips above seriously.

Workers’ Compensation: Pursuing Benefits After a Workplace Injury

Accidents can happen at any time, and it’s important that people are prepared for the consequences that it may cause. This is particularly important for individuals working in high-risk industries such as construction, manufacturing, and other fields that require manual labor. It’s because of these risky professions that appropriate safeguards and protocols have been set up for workers all across America.

The aftermath of any workplace injury is unpredictable and may lead to a host of challenging consequences. For most individuals, being injured on the job means being unable to earn a living for a significant amount of time. This could also mean a long road to recovery, requiring hundreds of dollars in medical expenses. Fortunately, American workers have the option to pursue several legal avenues that can help mitigate the effects of these consequences. The country’s nationwide adaptation of a workers’ compensation program is just one of the many ways in which the law ensures that workers remain well-protected from the unforeseen consequences of workplace accidents and injuries.

In North Carolina, the Worker’s Compensation Act has long been passed by state legislature. As early as 1929, North Carolina employees that were injured in a workplace accident have been provided with the legal avenue to pursue just compensation without having to go through the stress of a court trial. Following state law, employers are expected to provide workers’ compensation to their workforce as long as they employ 10 or more individuals.

Workers’ compensation benefits are important to the welfare of all North Carolina employees. As established, workplace injuries can lead to many long-term consequences that complicate an individual’s way of life. As such, it’s important that all employers respect the safety and well-being of their employees by enforcing a workers’ compensation program that is in accordance with the requirements of the law.

« Previous Entries