(504)-3303


 

The number of American workers who have been forced to do overtime work for the same or less pay has dramatically increased since the onset of the recession in 2008. Today, lawsuits have upped by up to 32% compared to prior 2008, making court houses across the country busy all year long.

Based on the reports gathered, workers have been suing employers for violations of federal and state laws because they have been forced to do more than 40 hours for work in a week. The forcing factor was to avoid the same fate as the almost 9 million employees who have lost their jobs during the recession.

Catherine Ruckelshaus, the legal co-director of the National Employment Law Project, says that the recession has place more pressure on companies to squeeze their workers to do more and at the same time, cut on production costs. Ruckelshaus adds that if employers would have to bear the actual costs of overtime, then it would be better for them to hire more workers in order to help in the economic recovery. This, unfortunately, is not an ideal suggestion for most businesses.

There are three ways that the complainants have been forced to render overtime work and these include: a.) being forced to work off the clock, b.) jobs were misclassified as exempt from overtime requirements and c.) work bled into their personal time via smartphones and other related technologies.

The Effects of Smartphones
In defense, employers have been drawn to giving away modern office privileges like smartphones and other relevant technological tools;
thereby redefining the American workplace. Telecommuting is now a new kind of work environment that has quickly clung to the basic functions of an employee. This means that even on off-hours and vacations, employers will become tethered to their employees. To resolve this, courts must find a way to reconcile old labor laws.

Employers also believe that the explosion of lawsuits is ill-timed and does not suit the current working trend. They say that employees want more flexibility of work at home or in the office e-mail while on their free time.

Meanwhile, Richard Alfred, the chairman of Seyfarth Shaw’s wage and hour practice, believes that the surge of cases is primarily because of the lucrative settlements offered if the case is won. This prompted labor lawyers to copy old lawsuits which are simpler and less costly compared to discrimination cases. 

What Steps Corporations Have Taken
In order to make the working conditions more fitting for the contemporary workers, businesses reclassified their salaried employees to hourly workers. This means that instead of getting a fixed salary every pay, employees will receive what is just equivalent to the hours that they’ve put in. This makes it possible for businesses to pay for overtime because they offer a lower basic wage. 

Labor: “Workers are More Protected”
The Labor Department has implemented steps to make sure that the employees are well-protected. Such steps include the addition of 300 wage-and-hour investigations that have increased their staff to up to 40% over the course of two years. The Department is also closely monitoring the conditions of workers in high-risk industries like hotels and restaurants. 

For news and more information on labor and other related employment matters, go to www.johnfoxassociates.com.

 

All employees of any type, whether contractual or permanent, will have to be prepared for the time when they will be needing the assistance of a lawyer whose expertise cover labor laws, both Federal and governing the State of Louisiana. There can be several reasons why a worker needs the help of an attorney, but in most cases, they may not be aware of how urgent they need one, or if they can still carry on an official negation with a lawyer. For cases such as worker’s compensation claims, employees must seek legal assistance in order to prevent more complication.  

The following instances are when an employee needs a lawyer at the soonest possible time: 
When a worker has been injured while on duty and the injury requires intense treatment, such as surgery, then an attorney must be at hand to help the injured worker cover his or her legal rights to worker’s compensation. 

When a worker believes that because of the injury, he or she may not be able to work fulltime anywhere because of the injury, a lawyer is needed to negotiate with the employer on the status of the worker’s employment and worker’s compensation. There are workers who may be entitled to disability grants if a physician deems that the worker’s health cannot be restored to the condition before the injury was incurred.

When employers deny their employees, injured or otherwise, the health benefits they deserve, it’s time to seek legal advice. 
Workers who think they need legal help will have to conduct their own research first to identify whether a problem fits the bill of legal assistance. From sexual harassment, faulty contracts, and other forms of discrimination, articles over the Internet show varied cases that the employee can glean on. It also helps to seek out websites that specifically address the needs of worker’s who need to fight for their worker’s compensation and rights as laborers. There are a handful of directories for labor laws attorneys and employees in Louisiana should seek the most experienced and adept in handling such cases. 

Choose only the kind of lawyers who can communicate well with you, and have all their accreditation and contact information readily available on their websites. Lawyers who handle labor rights issues must be able to answer al relevant questions, has the skill to simplify complicated terminologies to an inquiring employee, and has good references from other workers who have fought labor cases in the past. 

When an employee has found a potential lawyer for a labor issues case, the employee should ask the attorney how long he or she has been in the field, how much time has he or she spent in employment law. The timeframe for getting compensation from the employer after filing the complaint must also be discussed with the attorney. He or she should be able to give you an idea how long it will take before you get your worker’s compensation should your complaint is addressed. Consulting in advance with an attorney will also determine whether or not a complaint is worth the fight. 

If you are working in the state of Louisiana and want to know more about legal experts focusing on employment law, visit www.johnfoxassociates.com. Or you call 1-866-994-1912 (Toll free) and 1-504-891-3303 (Local). You can also mail your questions to info@johnfoxassociates.com.

January 01 , 2012

 

Workers’ compensation is an insurance program designed to give certainty for any employee who incurs illness or gets injured while on the job. The law states that in exchange for giving certain benefits, a direct lawsuit against employers is not permitted. In most cases, workers are caught in a situation where they are pitted against their employers’ interest. Consequently, insurance companies (obviously commissioned by the employers) will carry out the goals of the employers to minimize the claims, if not to deny the benefits, thus compromising the needs of the employees. 

Injured employees should also be aware that while the law provides statutory recovery against their employers in the event of work-related injuries, they also the right to file personal injury lawsuits against other parties that may have been responsible for the injury, in one way or another. This process is referred to as third party cause of action and the people responsible will be called third party defendants. To whom should the case be directed? They may be the manufacturer or the supplier of the product or equipment that may have caused the accident. 

Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. It allows those injured employees to stake claims for lost wages as a result of the injury, as well as medical assistance. While employees’ medical bills and rehabilitation expenses will be taken cared of, this is not a medical insurance. This merely provides injured employees that opportunity to recover from the injury without worrying where to get sustenance for the family while recovering from injury or illness. Employees are also given the chance to choose their doctor. 

How Injured Workers are Paid?
Once the claim has been filed, there is a pre-determined amount that will be paid out that is reflective of the worker’s pay plus the possible loss of income while the worker is out of commission. The employee will not have to worry about their hospital bills, including the expenses to be incurred while in the recovery process, until such time that the employee can go back to work. 

To be entitled for the benefits, employees should report the injury or illness as it happens. Failure to immediately file a report to the employer might jeopardize an employee’s chances of being granted the needed benefits. 

In the event that you get involved in an accident in the workplace, you should inform your immediate superior right away and then contact the HR or your employee relations officer. It is also imperative that you have supporting papers or witnesses to back up your claims – documents or data to include are an accurate description of the incident, witness accounts, and other pertinent information related to the incident. 

While employees are not allowed to file lawsuits against their employers, you will still need to get a lawyer to properly represent you to ensure that the case will be dealt with utmost care and fairness. 

This serves as an employee’s lifeline. It upholds the rights of employees to receive medical treatment and proper compensation from work-related injuries and illnesses. John Fox & Associates is a law firm specializing on workers’ compensation. For those who need assistance, you may call them at 1-866-994-1912 or 1-504-891-3303.  You may also get information by sending an email to info@johnfoxassociates.com.

 

Psychologists expect an increase in workplace injury secondary to lack of sleep on the first Monday of Daylight Savings Time.

A study conducted by the American Psychological Associated links an increase of workplace injury to sleep deprivation. At 2 am at the start of the Daylight Saving Time, clocks are set an hour in advance. This results to a lack of sleep for about 45 minutes. Although the body is yet to get accustomed to the change, it is compelled to work.

The study is further supported by two separate studies conducted by the Mine Safety and Health Administration as well as the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Data from both studies even show that workers who are involved in mining and other physical jobs like construction are the most affected; with a recorded 3.6 more work-related injuries. As such, the US Department of Labor requires that all mining operators to examine all work-related injuries especially during Daylight Saving Time. Records should also be shared with the Labor Department for documentation. 

In addition, employees need to be more careful on the road as the US National Highway and Safety Administration found a 17% increase during Daylight Saving Time. All studies conducted in reference to the Daylight Saving Time also established higher risks of heart attacks.

Since there is an expected increase of about 68 workdays lost during the Daylight Savings Time, it pays to be prepared. Your employers can either implement stricter safety guidelines during the Daylight Saving Time period or you can take it upon yourself to become more prepared. 

Dr. Ronald D. Chervin from the neurology department of the University of Michigan advises that prior to the beginning of the Daylight Savings Time, you should start sleeping about 15 minutes earlier. This will tell your body clock to wake earlier too. He adds that instead of just waking up, get out of bed and get some sunshine on your face. This will also help reset your natural body clock.

Although an increase in the percentage of workplace injuries have been noted, none of the researches conducted showed any significant changes in the severity of injuries. 

An association composed of mothers and fathers have assembled to show their protest against the implementation of the Daylight Saving Time. According to their posts in social media sites, they dislike how the Daylight Saving Time disrupts their children’s sleep patterns. Daylight Saving Time, they say, should be stopped because people are more important than the economy of savings. 

However, their concerns may fall on deaf ears because authorities are intent on still implementing the DST. Instead of working to stop Daylight Saving Time from taking place, lawmakers advise that everyone be prepared to accommodate more waking hours. Medicine kits should be packed and everyone should be physically and emotionally ready to spring forward. Stress should also be minimized because it aggravates the consequences of lack of sleep. 

This year, the Daylight Saving Time will start on March 12.
If you are injured while at the workplace, there are firms in Louisiana that you can contact to provide you with legal assistance. Call John Fox & Associates at (504) 891-3303 or you may visit their website at www.johnfoxassociates.com.