Cook County to mandate employers to provide paid sick leave

On Wednesday, October 5, the Cook County Board of Commissioners put into law an ordinance that will mandate employers throughout Cook County, Illinois to give their employees paid sick leave. The county is adopting the Chicago Paid Sick Leave Ordinance, which was passed by the city in June 2016 and which will go into effect the same day as the ordinance approved in Cook County: July 1, 2017.

According to the provisions of the ordinance, employees all over Cook County will accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours they work for a company. Employees have the chance to obtain five days of paid sick leave per year, or more days, if their company decides to provide greater benefits.

Our lawyers at Scudder Seguin, PLLC provide legal services for our clients in Raleigh and other areas in North Carolina. We are the ones to turn to if you have problems regarding your workers’ compensation benefits if you were hurt in a workplace accident. Call our offices today at (919) 851-3311.


Welder sues Nestle Purina over burn injuries after dust explosion

Andre Buschmann, welding supervisor for Arizona Equipment Fabrication, filed a lawsuit against pet food company Nestle Purina PetCare over severe burn injuries he suffered after a September 2014 dust explosion at the company’s manufacturing company in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Because of the incident, Buschmann sustained third-degree burns to his face, head, neck, ears, and back. He also incurred bruising, hearing loss, and dangerous smoke inhalation during the explosion and is plagued by post-traumatic stress disorder.

According to the United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), dust explosions frequently occur in industrial settings. The agency said under the right conditions materials that could produce an explosive environment include lots of dust, compact spaces, oxygen, and an ignition source. Buschmann said an investigation made by the Arizona Division of OSHA revealed that Nestle Purina did not secure the elevators before he and the other welders started working on the area. The federal agency fined Nestle Purina $5,000 for the issue.

Buschmann’s wife, Joy, is also a plaintiff in the lawsuit, with the lawsuit claiming, “Joy Buschmann has been deprived of the support, services, love, companionship, solace, and affection of her husband by reason of the nature of her husband’s injuries.”

Our workers’ compensation lawyers at Scudder Seguin, PLLC provide legal assistance to individuals who have been hurt in workplace accidents in Raleigh and other areas of North Carolina. Speak to a competent and aggressive member of our legal team by calling our offices today at (919) 851-3311.


North Carolina strengthens prosecution of employers who misclassify workers

Misclassified workers are those who employers tag as contractual or independent contractors instead of their own employees. Workers in this category do not have the opportunity to obtain the benefits of regular employees, such as workers’ compensation, unemployment insurance, and overtime pay.

A welcome development to the state is the renewed vigor by the Employee Classification System of the North Carolina Industrial Commission to prosecute employers who misclassify the status of their workers. To do so, the Commission is coordinating with other state agencies so they can undergo their own investigations to determine whether a certain employer is breaking the law. Actions that can be prosecuted include owing unemployment taxes, neglecting to pay for the overtime work of employees, or failing to obtain workers’ compensation insurance.

In the event of an accident at your workplace in Raleigh or another area of North Carolina, seek the legal help of our attorneys at Scudder Seguin, PLLC by calling our offices today at (919) 851-3311. Speak with a qualified member of our legal team as soon as you can about your options.


Jordan Russell to join Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Commission

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin announced on Thursday, September 15 that Jordan Russell will fill a spot on the three-member Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Commission. Russell is a lawyer who worked as policy director and counsel under Oklahoma House of Representatives Speaker Jeff Hickman,

Russell will serve as substitute for the remainder of Dr. LeRoy Young’s term. Young said during the third week of September that he will be relinquishing his post to spend more time practicing medicine. Russell’s appointment is up for confirmation by the state Senate when it resumes session in 2017.

The workers’ compensation system is extremely important in every state, as it determines ways to keep employees safe and capable of paying living expenses. Our workers’ compensation attorneys at Scudder Seguin, PLLC provide legal assistance to people who need legal help when it comes to filing for workers’ compensation benefits in Raleigh or other areas of North Carolina. Speak with a qualified member of our legal team by calling our offices today at (919) 851-3311.


UPS driver attacked and bitten by four dogs on the job

Ronald Robinson, a UPS driver, was delivering a package to a house on South Wedgewood Drive in Washington, North Carolina on Tuesday, September 13, when he was attacked by four dogs. The attack resulted in his hospitalization.

According to Beaufort County Animal Control, Robinson cried out for help once the dogs started biting him, and when two men came to his rescue, the dogs proceeded to attack them. A neighbor reported that one of the dogs bit one of the men in the face. The four dogs have since been quarantined and will continue to be held in captivity for at least the next 10 days.

The attorneys at Scudder Seguin, PLLC have a great deal of experience when it comes to handling cases in practice areas such as workers’ compensation, permanent disability, temporary disability, and workplace injuries. We are prepared to help you in Raleigh and other areas of North Carolina. Call our offices today at (919) 851-3311 to discuss your legal options.


Workers’ compensation costs vastly differ from Medicare rates

According to a new report released by the Workers’ Compensation Research Institute (WCRI), workers’ compensation costs for surgical procedures differ greatly from Medicare rates for common procedures.

The report analyzes data from 33 states that make up 87 percent of workers’ compensation benefits that are paid in the United States. WCRI economist and study co-author Dr. Olesya Fomenko said the report also discovered that hospital outpatient payments are significantly different from each other depending on the state. Costs range from 69 percent below the study-state median in New York to 142% above the study-state median in Alabama in 2014.

Average workers’ compensation payments and Medicare rates for common procedures are even further apart. Costs range from as low as 27% ($631) below Medicare in New York and as much as 430% ($8,244) above Medicare in Louisiana.

The workers’ compensation lawyers at Scudder Seguin, PLLC provide legal services for our clients in Raleigh and other areas of North Carolina and handle the filing and appealing of workers’ compensation claims. To see how we can help you obtain benefits for workers who are injured in a workplace accident, call our offices today at (919) 851-3311.


Employers should anticipate issues faced by aging employees

At present, Baby Boomers and Gen Xers are on their way to the retirement stage, though this does not mean that their ranks are disappearing in the workplace. United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor statistics data showed that the number of workers aged 55 years old and higher is expected to increase in the country within the next six years, while the number of younger workers are expected to decrease.

This news is good for business owners and members of the upper echelon of the company because workers of age have far more experience in the field, and their insights can lead to significant achievements for the company.

However, this occurrence should prepare the employer for issues concerning the aging worker, namely, filing for workers’ compensation and other insurance claims, because this is the age when workers are susceptible to illnesses and disability. As a matter of fact, St. Louis, Missouri-based Safety National Casualty Corp. discovered that average claim cost was 73% higher for workers aged 45 or older, compared with workers who are younger.

Our competent and hardworking workers’ compensation lawyers at Scudder Seguin, PLLC, with our ample legal knowledge and pool of resources, can help people who want to file for workers’ compensation benefits in Raleigh. Get in touch with a qualified member of our legal team by calling our offices today at (919) 851-3311.


OSHA fines Tyson Foods over $260,000 for workplace violations

The United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) discovered the multinational meat and poultry processor Tyson Foods Inc. exposed workers to amputation hazards and high levels of carbon dioxide and peracetic acid without providing them with protective equipment.

OSHA responded to a report of a finger amputation at a Tyson chicken processing facility in Texas. The inspectors identified two repeated and 15 serious violations and proposed the company pay $263,498 in fines. The investigation found that the employee amputated his finger when it got stuck in an unguarded conveyor belt while he was working in the debone area. He was trying to take out chicken parts that got stuck in the conveyor belt.

Our attorneys at Scudder Seguin, PLLC, provide legal services for our clients in Raleigh and other areas of North Carolina and handle workers’ compensation benefit cases. Get in touch with our attorneys by calling our offices today at (919) 851-3311 so that you can discuss your case with a knowledgeable and experienced member of our legal team.


Meeker vows wage enforcement if elected labor commissioner

66-year-old Charles Meeker said he will dedicate himself to prosecuting employers who violate the state’s wage and benefit rules if he is elected to serve as the next North Carolina labor commissioner. Meeker was the mayor of Raleigh for close to a decade, from 2001 to 2011.

In an interview with The Daily Reflector, Meeker discussed what he plans to prioritize for his campaign. Specifically, he promises to do much of what Cherie Berry has failed to do: help workers collect unpaid wages. Meeker said he will also focus on streamlining the department so that its 350 employees will work efficiently and effectively, which he can accomplish by listening to the concerns of the employees. He will serve as challenger to North Carolina’s incumbent Republican labor commissioner Cherie Berry, who was initially elected in 2000.

North Carolina’s workers’ compensation program is designed to protect the welfare of workers who have sustained injuries in a workplace accident. If you or a family member has the experience of being hurt on the job, get in touch with our attorneys at Scudder Seguin, PLLC by calling our offices today at (919) 851-3311.


Employee killed when crushed by granite slab

A worker lost his life on Monday, July 25 during a workplace accident at the Raleigh, North Carolina-based natural stone, quartz, stainless steel, and porcelain sinks distributor Cosmos Granite & Marble. The accident occurred when he was hit by a 600-pound slab of granite that fell from a truck.

According to a spokesman for the North Carolina Department of Labor, on Tuesday, July 26, the employee was placing granite slabs onto a truck using a lifting device when the incident occurred. One slab was not properly positioned on the device and fell from it. When the worker tried to stop the slab, it landed on top of the worker and killed him.

In North Carolina, lawmakers are working toward regulations and policies that are designed to protect workers should they experience the misfortune of a workplace accident. The attorneys at Scudder Seguin, PLLC are excited to see progress being made, but we are saddened to hear of this tragedy. Our condolences are with the family and friends of the victim as they mourn their loss.