Obtaining and Maintaining Proper Working Papers – It’s No Minor Task

Prior to hiring a minor (an employee who is under the age of 18), an employer has an obligation to obtain the minor’s employment certificate or permit issued in accordance with the education law (commonly referred to as “working papers”). Prior to the minor starting work, the employer must file this certificate at the place of the minor’s employment so that it may be readily accessible to any person authorized by law to examine such a document.

If a minor is injured while on the …

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American Patriotism Honored: 9/11 First Responders Receive the Health Benefits They Deserve

On September 11, 2019, some of New York’s greatest heroes were honored as Gov. Cuomo signed legislation to aid first responders who developed a qualifying health condition due to harmful exposure after those dreadful attacks 18 years earlier. This legislation reminds all New Yorkers that while the effects of this horrific day continue to live physically and emotionally within first responders, New York City will continue to connect them to health benefits.

First responders who helped in providing service on September 11 suffered drastic health …

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Connecticut Workers’ Compensation Commission Issues Important Update to Professional Guidelines Regarding One-Time Evaluations and Second Opinions

On August 29, 2019, Connecticut Workers’ Compensation Commission (WCC) Chairman Stephen M. Morelli issued Memorandum No. 2019-07 regarding updates to the Professional Guide for Attorneys, Physicians, and Other Health Care Practitioners Guidelines for Cooperation. Specifically, the memorandum highlights changes to the Professional Guide with respect to one-time medical evaluations and second opinions.

By way of background, the Professional Guide is a guidance document produced by the Workers’ Compensation Commission intended to improve the interaction between attorneys, physicians, and other health care professionals in the …

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Special Funds Liability Under the Board’s Special Funds Group

It has become apparent over the recent years that the New York Workers’ Compensation Board, along with the Special Funds Group, will go to great lengths to resolve themselves of liability for outstanding claims under NY WCL Section 25(a), as well as 15(8), particularly in consequential death claims.

Under the 2007 reforms, the then-Second Injury Fund was closed to new claims with dates of injury on or after July 1, 2007. Then, on March 29, 2013, Section 25(a) was amended to close the Fund for …

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Expanded Provider Legislation; Implications for Insurance Carriers

As part of Gov. Cuomo’s 2019-20 executive budget, a new law was passed expanding the types of medical providers that can apply to be authorized to treat injured workers under the New York State Workers’ Compensation System. The law will be effective January 1, 2020.

Prior to the legislation taking effect, only physicians, chiropractors, podiatrists, and psychologists could apply to be board-authorized to treat injured workers while nurse practitioners (NPs), physician assistants (PAs), occupational therapists, physical therapists and licensed clinical social workers (LCSWs) could only …

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The Perils of Paragraph Three – Mind Your Step

When a case is resolved by way of a Compromise & Release (C&R), parties often believe that all pertinent issues (including claims of injury and body parts) have been disposed of in the settlement. This is because settlements will carefully delineate all of the body parts and claims that are being resolved in the written agreement. What do we make of the applicant who decides to file a subsequent claim alleging an injury that was presumably resolved in the prior settlement? An important lesson can …

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Connecticut Legislative Update: Workers’ Compensation Coverage Expanded for Some First Responders

In a rare legislative change to Connecticut Workers’ Compensation Law, Gov. Ned Lamont recently signed into law Senate Bill No. 164 (Public Act 19-17), which expands workers’ compensation coverage for some first responders who experience mental or emotional impairment following certain traumatic events experienced in the line of duty. Specifically, the bill allows for police officers, firefighters, and parole officers that have been diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. In order to be eligible for benefits, the first …

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Maryland Legislature Says “Yea” To Additional Medical Presumptions, “Nay” To Medical Cannabis Reform in Workers’ Compensation Cases

The 2019 Maryland legislative session only produced one substantive law change that impacts the Maryland Workers’ Compensation framework. Additionally, two bills that did not get passed also sent conspicuous messages to practitioners within the bar.

The lone bill implicating Maryland Workers’ Compensation that was passed into Law is House Bill 595, which was approved by Governor Larry Hogan on April 30, 2019. The bill serves as an amendment to Labor & Employment Article Section 9-503 which addresses medical presumptions in workers’ compensation cases. Specifically, the …

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Proposed Pennsylvania Legislation May Increase Workers’ Compensation Claims for Asbestos-Related Diseases

Republican Pennsylvania State Representative, Eli Evankovich introduced a bill on April 2, 2018 to eliminate the ability of employees to sue their employers for asbestos-related diseases. Prior to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s issuance of the Tooey decision in November 2013, Pennsylvania employees were barred from filing suit against their employers due to the exclusivity provision of the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation. Tooey v. AK Steel., 81 A.3.d 851 (2013). Those employees could file a workers’ compensation claim if diagnosed within 300 weeks of their last date …

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Maryland State Senate Passes Bill Requiring Self- Insured Employers to Report Fraud

On March 6, 2018, the Maryland State Senate passed a bill that would require self-insured employers to report workers’ compensation fraud to the Maryland Insurance Administration’s Fraud Division. S.B. 575 was sponsored by Senator Katherine Klausmeier of Baltimore County and is now pending in the Maryland House. Subject to any further changes and amendments, it is expected to be passed by the House and take effect in October 2018.

The bill requires all employers who self-insure or participate in a self-insurance group for workers’ compensation …

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