Tag Archives: workers compensation

What’s Going on With Workers’ Comp?

Is the workers’ compensation system being changed for the worse? According to some, changes in workers’ compensation laws across the country are exposing workers to greater potential for injury and long-term disability. Four Ways States Are Limiting Workers’ Comp Benefits Placing caps on the length of time that workers can receive workers’ comp benefits. New York became an example of this in 2007 when they capped permanent disability benefits (which are no longer permanent). Restricting the types of injuries that workers’ comp covers, specifically excluding repetitive trauma injuries such as carpal tunnel or tennis elbow. Limiting the employee’s choice of doctor. For example, in Pennsylvania, if an employer has a list of designated physicians, employees must seek treatment from those physicians for the first 90 days after injury, otherwise they will not receive workers’ comp benefits. Legislation is in the works to extend this to six months. Classifying workers as independent…
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National Changes to Workers’ Comp and What It Means for Tennessee

While Oklahoma and Texas may have rivaling college sports teams, the two states do have one thing in common. Both states passed laws that allow employers to opt out of state regulated workers’ compensation benefit programs. This means both states allow their employers to regulate (ahem, dictate) what types of benefits the employers provide for their injured workers. Like we mentioned in a prior blog, law makers are trying to ensure Tennessee also shares this in commonality with the two opt out states. Given that both South Carolina and Tennessee are considering legislation to hand over workers’ comp benefits to the whims of employers, NPR recently released a series called Insult to Injury: America’s Vanishing Worker Protections. In this series, NPR reviewed 120 employer injury plans in Texas and Oklahoma that replaced state mandated workers’ comp plans and found a huge difference across the board in the benefits different employers…
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Industrial Gas Leak Kills Tennessee Worker

A worker died when a protective glass shattered and exposed him to harmful materials at a Memphis chemical plant. Other workers have died and sustained injuries because of negligence at a Valero facility. The most recent accident involved a ruptured sight glass. Sight glasses are clear tubes or panes that allow workers to see toxic chemicals inside tanks or pumps. The ruptured glass exposed two workers and later two firefighters to propane and hydrofluoric acid. One worker died, and the other three are recovering in stable condition. Past Safety Violations at the Valero Plant A fire at the plant killed one worker and injured three others in March of 2012. After Nicolas Cuevas died, his family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the plant. The suit claims that the plant did not provide firefighting assistance in a timely manner and that hazardous and flammable gases were in close proximity to…
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