Protect employees from workplace violence usps,2010 haiti earthquake preparedness home,north american blackout quad,hospital power outage response plan example - Step 2

After 21 years as a building engineer for Macy's department stores, Kevin Schiller was left unable to work as the result of a 2010 workplace accident.
Schiller keeps a note on his refrigerator to remind him to take his medicine every morning. Bill Minick, president of PartnerSource, a Texas company that writes and administers opt-out plans for employers who want an alternative to state workers' compensation laws, says ERISA ensures that injured employees are treated fairly. Labor Department spokesman Michael Trupo provided the following statement in response to NPR inquiries about ERISA and the opt-out alternative to state workers' compensation: "First and foremost, the well-being of workers and their families should be the priority when it comes to workers compensation arrangements.
Trupo also says the agency has never litigated a single case involving possible misuse or violation of the law by employers who have opted out of state workers' comp. The overwhelming majority of career seekers and employees have little or no knowledge of their employee workplace rights!
After the six month “honeymoon” is over finds herself in a quagmire of sexual harassment, FMLA, FLSA violations, workplace bullying, workplace retaliation and more, all aimed right at HER!
All her academic achievement from kindergarten through graduate school never prepared her for this moment. As a result of the negative employee performance evaluation Janie is disqualified for a pay increase. Janie spends the next six months struggling to manage her personal and work lives resulting in medical issues requiring her to take prescription medication.
Janie Jo had at least six of her employee workplace rights violated in the brief time she was employed by WeBully Inc.
The law states that employers must follow guidelines set in place by OSHA, make sure their work environment is safe for employees and free from severe hazardous conditions. How to use personal protective equipment (PPE) – This includes gowns, masks, gloves, protective eyewear, and ventilation devices. How to read labeling and Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) – MSDS identify potentially harmful chemicals in the workplace and how to decontaminate.
All of these points are usually done when an employee is hired during a required orientation session. While safety meetings are not required for every employer, some businesses have to have these meetings a certain number of times during the year. Health and safety training has to address any hazards in the workplace that can cause injury or illness. Small employers with less than 10 employees may be exempt from OSHA requirements, but not regulations. With 21 years on the job, the building engineer for Macy's department stores had been in and out of every nook and cranny of many of the retail giant's Texas stores, including the storage room in the Macy's in Denton, Texas. States should not be in a race to the bottom when it comes to minimizing workers comp costs at the expense of workers. This in turn leads to a physician certification to take one full day of rest every two weeks for the next three months. At the end of the month Janie is worn out, stressed out, drugged out with random thoughts of suicide.
The agency that oversees this is known as, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
They opened up the first Health and Safety training institute in 1972, which focused on training employers to lower hazards in the work environment.
The International Labour Organization (ILO) oversees health and safety standards in several different countries.
It is the employer’s responsibility to take quick action to correct any hazards in the workplace. Employees are instructed in the proper labeling of chemicals, use of alarms to alert if chemicals are spilled, and color-coding.
If an employee reports a health and safety hazard or injury, employers cannot retaliate against the employee.
Employees do have the right to report any workplace hazards to OSHA if the employer has not taken the steps to remedy the situation. Employers must test the environment and monitor the air to make sure it is of a high quality for breathing.
Medical records related to the workplace must be kept on file and the employee has a right to see these records.
If an employer retaliates against an employee for reporting a workplace injury, employees can file a complaint with OSHA. If the company has temporary employees, they have the same rights and responsibilities as regular employees.
Then, all employees are required to attend scheduled safety meetings at certain times of the year. To date, the department has no records of receiving complaints regarding opt-out plans.This may be due, in part, to workers not knowing they have rights under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.
Schiller, Chalk ruled, suffered a "mild" traumatic brain injury and was subjected to "scattered, intermittent [and] non-focused" medical treatment. She let’s the manager know in no uncertain terms to leave her alone and his remarks are offensive.
Her supervisor stated the needed change was due to problems another employee on third shift was having.
Employee rights education is absolutely critical for anyone with a job and a family to feed!
They not only improve safety in the workplace, but also set strict standards for child labor and human trafficking. They are also responsible for training all employees to identify hazards and report them to management.
Likewise, OSHA must be notified within 24 hours of anyeye losses, employee who is hospitalized due to work injury or illness, or any loss of limb. This means they must report safety and health hazards, injuries, and use required personal protective equipment (PPE). If your company works with explosives, extreme heights, scaffolding, and flammables then daily meetings may be required before the start of the day.

Small employers that handle hazardous materials and conditions may be subject to the same OSHA laws as a large employer. Millions more may join them as more states consider giving employers the right to opt out of state workers' comp systems. Plans reviewed by NPR and ProPublica typically contain that information, but most are more than 50 pages long. However, when the MOST important career strategy is ignored all the others become meaningless. According to management the co-worker was having psychological issues requiring his participation in the company’s EAP program. Adding to Janie’s troubles are three co-workers who constantly undermine, find fault, criticize and trivialize her work product.
This site is designed to help every job applicant learn and protect, fight for and defend their rights on the job!
They make sure that employers provide a healthy work environment free from hazards that can harm a person.
Janie’s new hours are from 2am-10am and also working three Sundays per month from 10am-6pm. Obviously, not all hazardous situations can be prevented, so OSHA incorporates health and safety training standards to help employees do their job in the safest manner possible. The agency that provides the temporary employee is also partly responsible for initial training of hazards that may be involved with job placement and procedures for reporting hazards or injuries.
Schiller's job-related injury." But Schiller would likely recover within five years, Chalk ruled. This article will help you understand more about these standards and what the programs include. Schiller has hardly worked since, given persistent headaches, memory loss, disorientation and extreme sensitivity to bright light and loud sound. Her former manager knew this because he asked her if she had children in the job interview. He now has to post notes on the front door and refrigerator of his apartment, reminding him to take medications and keep appointments.
One month later Janie receives an extremely negative job evaluation, she always rated excellent previously. In case he is stopped by police, he carries a letter from his doctor that says he may appear drunk owing to a head injury. State law, you're irrelevant." Schiller was turned away by the state workers' comp agency and a state court, which cited a mandatory arbitration agreement in the Macy's opt-out plan. The 1974 law initially applied to pension plans but has evolved to include health care and other workplace benefits. Most of the 50 Texas plans obtained by NPR and ProPublica contain mandatory arbitration clauses. As NPR and ProPublica have reported, many employers prefer this opt-out alternative to workers' comp, because the state systems, employers claim, result in expensive and long-lasting benefits, costly litigation and delays in treatment of injured workers. When employers opt out, they avoid state regulation and write their own workplace injury plans, which make it easier to deny and cut benefits, control medical care and limit appeals of their decisions. But don't worry, employers contend, injured workers are still protected by a federal law — the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, or ERISA. He wants others to know what can happen to injured workers, despite the promised protections of ERISA.
Minick and his company, PartnerSource, dominate a cottage industry, writing and supporting opt-out-workplace injury plans and lobbying for opt-out legislation in other states.
But federal judges, under ERISA, must first determine whether employer decisions are "arbitrary and capricious" and can only reject benefits decisions if employers were unreasonable or did not adhere to their plans.
But ERISA didn't do much for Schiller, and NPR found the law doesn't provide the protections promised by opt-out promoters.
I mean I've gotten no, no justice." Most of the arbitration award paid legal fees, arbitration costs and existing medical bills.
They'd tell me point-blank, 'We're here to observe you, not treat you.' " Macy's did not respond to NPR's multiple requests for comment about Schiller's case.
Legal documents, including witness statements, medical records, depositions and internal emails, show Macy's was skeptical of Schiller's injury from the very beginning.
If Macy's had stayed in the state workers' comp system, Schiller could have appealed the company's denial of benefits to the Texas Division of Workers' Compensation and to state courts, where he would have expected an independent review of his case. ERISA blocks state action "because this is a federal question," says Richard Faulkner, an arbitrator and attorney in Texas who advised Schiller's attorneys.
State law, you're irrelevant." Schiller was turned away by the state workers' comp agency and a state court, which cited a mandatory arbitration agreement in the Macy's opt-out plan. So Schiller first went through an internal appeals process at Macy's, which is typical of opt-out plans in Texas and Oklahoma.
The federal law explicitly states that it does not apply to plans "maintained solely for the purpose of complying" with state workers' comp law.
These hurdles to going to court may explain why many employers include in their plans provisions that directly violate ERISA, according to Handorf. Injured workers also lose benefits in many plans in both Texas and Oklahoma if they don't report injuries by the end of their shifts or within 24 hours, even if supervisors are witnesses or the injuries initially don't seem serious. These provisions are "an impediment to bringing claims and really isn't what ERISA is designed to do," says Handorf.
So Minick and PartnerSource added a strategic benefit to 90 percent of the opt-out plans in Oklahoma. Minick says that any misuse or violations of ERISA will be addressed by federal regulators. Spokesman Michael Trupo says the agency "is aware of, and studying, the issues you note." Trupo also says the agency has never litigated a single case involving possible misuse or violation of the law by employers who have opted out of state workers' comp. The agency has not received a single complaint, Trupo adds, which "may be due, in part, to workers not knowing their rights under [ERISA]." ERISA requires employers to inform workers of those rights and of the process for filing complaints. Chalk also said medical records failed to show "any serious attempts to thoroughly examine, diagnose, and treat Mr.

Schiller's job-related injury." But Schiller would likely recover within five years, Chalk ruled.
Ted Lyon, Schiller's attorney, believes his client would have done far better if the case had gone to state court. Schiller "would have worked until he was 65, so that's a million and a half dollars at least," Lyon says. I mean I've gotten no, no justice." Most of the arbitration award paid legal fees, arbitration costs and existing medical bills.
Transcript RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: We return now to an ongoing NPR and ProPublica investigation of workers' compensation. That is now possible to do in Texas and Oklahoma, but NPR's Howard Berkes has found that federal law doesn't protect injured workers as promised. HOWARD BERKES, BYLINE: Fifty-four-year-old Kevin Schiller sits in the dark in his apartment outside Dallas, holding a doctor's note addressed to police.
Schiller was a building engineer at a Macy's department store five years ago when a mannequin fell 12 feet from a shelf. KEVIN SCHILLER: All I heard was a loud crack, and I found myself looking up on people looking down on me. BERKES: Stuttering, memory loss and confusion persist, along with headaches from bright light.
But Macy's downplayed the injury, according to legal documents including medical records, witness statements, internal e-mails and depositions. I have made $80,000 a year at times, and I'm going to give that up to be on a Social Security check or food stamps? But workers are still protected by federal law, they say - the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, or ERISA. BILL MINICK: ERISA comes in and says the benefits must be administered in the best interest of employees.
BERKES: Bill Minick and his company, PartnerSource, sell and service benefits plans that are alternatives to workers' comp.
BILL MINICK: And there are very detailed claim procedures that must be followed to make sure that the employee gets a full and fair review of their claim, including opportunity to appeal any denial of benefits, and then access to state and federal courts.
He wasn't able to appeal to the independent Texas Workers' Comp agency because Macy's had opted out of the state system. State court was cut off by mandatory arbitration, a feature of most Texas plans we've reviewed. BERKES: ERISA also strictly limits the role of federal courts when they consider benefits denials according to Karen Handorf, a former ERISA official at the Labor Department. KAREN HANDORF: You really have to show that it was irrational or contrary to the terms of the plan. BERKES: So employers will likely prevail no matter how unfair their plans may seem, as long as they don't violate the plans.
RICHARD FAULKNER: Consequently, you have to think long and hard about what exposures you may be generating for a client if you attempt to pursue some of these ERISA remedies because ERISA can be incredibly dangerous for an injured worker.
BERKES: So Schiller was stuck with the Macy's appeals process, where people paid by Macy's decide whether Macy's is fair. Employer-controlled are common in dozens of alternative injury plans in Oklahoma and Texas, where Jeffrey Dahl is an ERISA attorney.
JEFFREY DAHL: ERISA's been turned on its head, really, in my mind, because initially, it was passed for protection of workers, but it in fact has become a shield for employers that operate these ERISA plans. They also get nothing in Texas and Oklahoma if they don't report injuries right away, even if they seem minor at first or are witnessed by supervisors. Former Labor Department official Karen Handorf calls these rules - HANDORF: An impediment to bringing claims, and really isn't what ERISA is designed to do.
ERISA is based on the idea that you get your right to make the best claim you can for benefits. BERKES: But Bill Minick of PartnerSource says employers who defy ERISA risks sanctions from federal regulators. Department of labor has enforcement authority over that, so there are a variety of checks and balances in the process. RICHARD FAULKNER: The Department of Labor has civil and criminal authority that, if it chooses to exercise it, can go in, look at these things.
He also confirmed that the agency has never had an ERISA case involving this alternative to workers' comp. If Schiller's case made it to state court, he would have won big, says his attorney, Ted Lyon. TED LYON: He would have worked 'til he was 65, so that's a million and a half dollars at least. In addition to that, pain and suffering damages and the egregious way that they treated him. Most of it paid legal fees, arbitration expenses, medical bills and living costs, and most of it's gone. The arbitrator did find that Macy's was negligent and failed to thoroughly examine, diagnose and treat Schiller's traumatic brain injury. And after dealing with the whole process I went through and nowhere to go, I have gotten no justice. It hides cases like Schiller's, and protects employers like Macy's, which did not respond to NPR. We only know about Kevin Schiller because he decided to talk about the failed promise of ERISA protection.

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