DOL Withdraws Guidance on Independent Contractors

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The Trump administration has withdrawn guidance issued by the Department of Labor under President Obama that had tightened restrictions on joint employment and independent contractors. The move may give only the semblance of respite though, because the enabling regulations are still in place and so is established case law on the subject. The move only affects guidance that the DOL had issued to clarify regulations that were also codified during the last administration. In other words, for now the regulations remain in place and if the administration wants to tackle those, it would have to start from scratch in the…
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How to Avoid Inheriting an Old Workers’ Comp Claim

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One of the biggest shocks for an employer is to find out that a workplace incident aggravated a pre-existing injury that was sustained at one of the worker’s prior employers. Some people are serial workers’ comp claimants who may or may not be involved in filing fraudulent claims or malingering (stretching an injury claim out long after they can return to work). And some people, who have been injured at work while employed elsewhere, can re-injure that same injury, forcing your workers’ comp coverage to pay for an injury that may not have been sustained by someone who had not…
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Many Small Businesses Can’t ID Workers’ Comp Fraud

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Fraud eats away at workers’ comp costs for all businesses, but it hits small businesses the hardest as they may not have the resources to identify bogus claims. According to a new study by workers’ comp insurer Employers Holdings Inc., about 20% of small-business owners are not sufficiently prepared to identify workers’ compensation fraud. It’s estimated that at least 10% of claims are fraudulent, so identifying those illicit claims would keep your workers’ comp claims in check and reduce your workers’ comp premiums. Claims fraud happens when an employee tries to gain workers’ comp benefits by falsely stating that an…
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Telecommuting Not Required for ADA ‘Accommodation’

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A federal appeals court recently ruled that telecommuting is a reasonable accommodation for disabled workers, but employers do not have to honor such requests if they have business or strategic reasons for not permitting such arrangements. The April 2015 decision by the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in the EEOC v. Ford Motor Co. is an excellent illustration of how employers can deal with requests for telecommuting as part of your obligation to accommodate disabled workers. If you are amenable to telecommuting and an employee requests it, you have an easy situation, but if you do not want employees…
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