AT&T subcontractor employee denied workers’ compensation

Nineteen-year-old Derek Mims jumped at the opportunity to work installing cable fibers for multinational telecommunications conglomerate AT&T Inc., and got hired by Georgia-based Synchronicity LLC. However, when he got injured, he had issues with the company not paying workers’ compensation benefits due to misclassification as an employee. Others also said they had issues with their wages through the company.

Ansco & Associates of Atlanta president George Summers said they are no longer using Synchronicity as a subcontractor, noting on Thursday, December 1, “Our understanding from what they have told us is that they [Synchronicity] were embarrassed this has come up.” Ansco & Associates is AT&T’s main contractor.

A Synchronicity official denied there had been payment issues with their workers.

According to the complaint, Mims had been trying to place a large drill on a Ditch Witch when his glove got stuck in the machine, crushing his fingers. He then filed a workers’ compensation claim with Synchronicity but was anxious that the company would not honor it because he was treated as a contractor.

Filing a workers’ compensation benefits claim can be a tedious and time-consuming process; with the help of our attorneys at Scudder Seguin, PLLC in Raleigh, your application process might speed up a little bit. Get in touch with a qualified member fo our legal team by calling our offices today at (919) 851-3311.

State audit says development is needed on workers’ compensation oversight

The North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act mandates companies in the state carry workers’ compensation insurance coverage unless their companies are classified as exempt. This law is important in the sense that an employee or a family member is assured of benefits if a worker gets injured or is killed on the job.

Furthermore, the law requires that any employer who has three or more employees working for him or her to provide workers’ compensation insurance coverage at no cost to the employee. Despite these laws, a 2012 series of articles in The News & Observer of Raleigh showed around 30,000 companies in the state were operating without workers’ compensation insurance coverage.

Regarding this matter, State Auditor Beth Wood said, “The fact in the commission’s response is that it does not know how many businesses do not carry workers’ compensation insurance and it will not know until it has the capacity to match and investigate all non-exempted businesses to businesses that carry workers’ compensation insurance.”

We recommend you consult the Raleigh employment lawyers at Scudder Seguin, PLLC to ease the process of filing for workers’ compensation benefits in the state. Speak with a qualified member of our legal team right away by calling our offices today at (919) 851-3311.

Mine worker allegedly cut from workers’ compensation benefits

Raleigh County, West Virginia resident and mine worker Thomas Arlan Elmore filed a lawsuit against Panther Creek Mining LLC, Blackhawk Mining LLC, and Tony Osborne—all mining operators in Kanawha County—on Thursday, October 20 in Raleigh Circuit Court. The claim was that they had failed to provide him with reasonable accommodation and that they had cut off his workers’ compensation benefits following a workplace injury.

According to the lawsuit, Elmore, who had been a miner since 2006, acquired work-related injuries at the American Eagle mine on January 8, 2016. He then asked for reasonable accommodations and medical and financial support. He then started receiving workers’ compensation benefits immediately after that.

Elmore claims that he was fired from his job on April 1, 2016 and that his benefits program stopped on April 30, saying that his company retaliated against him and violated his rights to receive workers’ compensation benefits.

Our attorneys at Scudder Seguin, PLLC have been serving workers who have been injured in Raleigh or other areas in North Carolina by helping them obtain their much-needed workers’ compensation benefits. Get in touch with a qualified member of our legal team by calling our offices today at (919) 851-3311

Medical payments per workers’ compensation claim stagnates in NC

There was little to no change in medical payments per workers’ compensation claim in North Carolina after 2009, an 18-state study conducted by the Workers Compensation Research Institute showed. The stagnation followed growth that averaged 6% to 7% per year from 2004 to 2009 at all claim maturities.

WCRI’s Executive Vice President Ramona Tanabe said the decrease is reflective of the 2013 interim changes in the state’s fee schedules. She noted “Hospital costs had been a key driver of medical payments per claim in North Carolina and prices paid to nonhospital providers were lower than typical. Administrative and legislative changes since 2013 addressed those issues.”

House Bill 92, which passed in 2013, mandated that reimbursement for all workers’ compensation medical care should have its basis in Medicare methodology. Proposed fee schedule rules were announced in November 2014 and were passed in February 2015. Phase-by-phase decreases for hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers were implemented in April 2015, and changes in reimbursement for professional services took effect in July 2015.

Contact our attorneys at Scudder Seguin, PLLC when you need someone to provide legal services in Raleigh or another area of North Carolina. Call us at (919) 851-3311 if you need help with filing for a workers’ compensation benefit claim today.

Effects of workers’ compensation systems shown in recent WCRI report

In a new set of studies released by the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI), researchers studied factors regarding medical payments per claim in state workers’ compensation systems. The report, called CompScope Medical Benchmarks, also studied the effects of legislative and regulatory changes on the cost of each claim.

Ramona Tanabe, WCRI executive vice president, said the reports are a great help in studying the differing workers’ compensation systems in different states. She noted, “They also help identify where medical payments per claim or utilization may differ from other states.” For instance, in the state of California, the impact of Senate Bill 863, including the 2013 and 2014 fee schedule changes, caused medical payments per claim to decline by 3% in 2014, after having dropped by 4% in 2013.

Your employers in Raleigh and other areas of North Carolina are required by the state government to carry workers’ compensation insurance to provide financial assistance to employees or workers injured on the job. If you are injured in a workplace accident, do not hesitate to ask for legal assistance by filing for workers’ compensation benefits with our attorneys at Scudder Seguin, PLLC 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.

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.

NC General Assembly confirms appointments for workers’ comp panel

The North Carolina General Assembly has confirmed the appointments that North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory made to the North Carolina Industrial Commission, the agency which handles workers’ compensation issues.

The Senate gave unanimous approval on Thursday, June 16 to Bill Daughtridge, a former member of North Carolina’s House of Representatives and McCrory’s secretary of administration, and Linda Cheatham, who was given another term to serve. The House has already approved their appointments. On Thursday, the House also confirmed the appointment of former Rep. Fred Steen to North Carolina’s unemployment benefits appeals panel, but his appointment is still lacking Senate approval. Steen is currently serving as McCrory’s chief legislative lobbyist.

The attorneys at Scudder Seguin, PLLC handle workers’ compensation cases for our clients in Raleigh and other areas of North Carolina. We have the legal resources and technical skills to serve our clients aggressively and effectively. Call our offices at (919) 851-3311 to speak with a qualified member of our legal team today.

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