Your employer is required to maintain a safe workplace for you to do your job. If you have concerns about workplace safety, you have a right to have them taken seriously and acted on. Understanding how the law works can help you decide what to do.
OSHA Regulates Workplace Safety in Great Detail
OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, is the part of the federal government that administers laws regulating how employers must make their workplaces safe. The purpose of these regulations is to prevent on-the-job injuries. They are specific and detailed, such as:
Whatever industry you work in, your workplace is regulated meticulously to ensure its safety, and the applicable OSHA regulations are crystal clear.
Discuss Unsafe Conditions with Your Employer First
If you believe your workplace may be unsafe, the OSHA complaint process is designed to make sure that your concerns are acted on, that unsafe conditions get fixed, and that you get back to work as soon as possible:
However you choose to raise concerns, your employer is not allowed to penalize you or fire you for doing so—but many do anyway. Experienced workplace safety attorneys can help you understand your rights under OSHA laws to be restored to the position you had before complaining, as well as options you may have to receive compensation through the courts.
The Minnesota Court of Appeals handed workers a loss when it ruled that the food manufacturer Jennie-O does not need to pay its workers for the time it takes to put on and take off their production-line uniforms. The ruling upholds a similar finding in Hennepin County District Court that the Minnesota Fair Labor Standards Act does not apply to the workers for the practice, known as “donning and doffing” if they are paid overtime at 40 hours per week rather than 48 hours as set by state law.
The case has been in the pipeline for about six weeks and according to the Star Tribune, this ruling could potentially end the dispute. The case has been closely watched in the Minnesota business community because a ruling in favor of the workers could have far reaching effects.
For example, would employers then be required to pay workers for the time spent turning on their computers, or setting up and breaking down a work station.
The class-action covered approximately 13,000 past and current employees, so the loss does have far reaching effects. And this is not the first time the issue has been raised in Minnesota. Two years ago a similar suit against Gold’n Plump Poultry resulted in a $1.2 million out-of-court settlement that effected approximately 3000 employees.
The Minneapolis Attorneys at Lord and Faris understand this is a complex issue for employers. At the same time we understand that Minnesota’s economy depends on treating and paying workers fairly.
A Minnesota soldier is taking on Citibank in federal court, accusing the bank of penalizing military personnel by placing student loans into “mandatory forbearance” which can add hundreds of dollars in interest over the life of a loan. The suit claims the bank illegally altered the terms of her loan as she was preparing for deployment to Iraq. The suit seeks class action status and, if certified, could affect thousands of U.S. military personnel who took out loans before deployments to combat zones. The suit also comes on the heels of reports of banks and other lenders violating federal law designed to protect military personnel.
Citibank denies it has done anything wrong and insists that forbearance is a benefit because it relieves soldiers from making payments while on active duty. The bank claims that the unilateral decision to move loans into mandatory forbearance gives service members “additional time and flexibility to repay their debts.”
Forbearance may be a benefit, but it is a benefit that lenders and borrowers should have the ability to negotiate. And the issue in the Citibank case is just that–whether a lender can unilaterally change the terms of a loan when a service member is called up to active duty. In the case of the Minnesotan, she was forced to arrange loan payments from a combat zone and returned from Iraq with a larger debt burden than before she left.
The Minneapolis MN injury attorneys at Lord & Faris support our military personnel and believe every consumer should be given an opportunity to negotiate for the best deal possible, whether for student loans or home mortgages. If you or someone you love has been placed in mandatory forbearance after being called for active duty, contact our offices for a free consultation.
Workplace injuries involve their own unique set of laws and procedures which is why if you or a loved one has been injured at work you want our experienced Minnesota workers compensation attorneys handling your claim. Our team of workers compensation professionals will help you deal with both your employer and insurance companyso that you can focus on recovering from your injuries.
In Minnesota it is illegal for an employer to fire an employee for filing a workers compensation claim, yet many people who are involved in a workplace injury are still afraid to report the claim. If an employer does fire an employee for making a workers compensation claim, that employee may have additional claims against the employer, which is why you should turn to our knowledgeable Minneapolis workers compensation lawyers to help protect your rights in the event of a workplace injury.
Many people also think that if their injury was caused by negligence that they are not entitled to workers compensation benefits. This is not the case. However, workers compensation claims still involve dealing with insurance companies, which can mean the usual tactics of denying or delaying a claim in order to avoid paying out legitimate benefits to an injured employee. Our dedicated workers compensation attorneys will aggressively investigate your claim and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf.
Of course one of the worst things that can happen is that you or a loved one becomes permanently disabled as a result of a workplace injury. If that happens, other rights under other laws are triggered, in addition to navigating social security and disability benefits. This is just one more reason why our experienced Minnesota workers compensation attorneys are the ones to turn to after a workplace accident.
If you or a loved one has been injured on the job , we can help you by handling the investigation, negotiation, and if need be, litigation of your workers compensation claim. We are skilled at dealing with employers, insurance providers, and governmental agencies. We will do all that we can to help you and your family experience the peace of mind in knowing that we are working hard for you. You deserve to receive your entitled benefits, in full.
At some point you’ve likely heard a horror story or two about how dealing with Medicare claims can be a bureaucratic nightmare, especially when it involves settlement proceeds from a personal injury lawsuit. A new report backs up a lot of those stories of nightmarish inefficiencies leading to a new call for Medicare reform.
One example includes a story of a Medicare demand letter in a 2009 personal injury case. In the letter Medicare demanded reimbursement for $1.59 out of a $4500 settlement. In another example Medicare inadvertently closed its file on a man who brought a wrongful death suit after his wife died in a case of alleged medical malpractice. Lawyers for the families were forced to restart the process of reimbursing Medicare for the woman’s care, which caused a delay in the settlement of the wrongful death suit by about three months until she received Medicare’s final demand for payment.
The heart of the challenge comes from the fact that currently Medicare is slow to respond to verification requests from attorneys handling personal injury cases while also refusing to tell attorneys just what Medicare is owed in a particular case. The result is an institutional gridlock that costs taxpayers and individuals money and time.
New reform legislation proposes a series of changes to Medicare to alleviate these challenges, though that legislation is a long ways from passage. In the meantime, rest assured that if you or a loved one has been injured that the attorneys at Lord & Faris have the experience necessary to not only settle your case fairly, but to deal with the current hang-ups caused by Medicare delays.
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Address: Lord & Faris Law Firm, 111 Third Ave South, Suite 110, Minneapolis, MN 55401. Phone: 612-333-5673 Lord & Faris Law Firm
Lord & Faris Law Firm
The Law Firm of Lord & Faris is a Minneapolis and St. Paul based personal injury law office that works for individuals and families throughout Minnesota including the following cities: Minneapolis, St. Paul, Plymouth, Burnsville, St. Louis Park, Golden Valley, Edina, Bloomington, Eden Prairie, Eagan, Richfield, Maplewood, Roseville, Brooklyn Park, Maple Grove, Blaine, Lakeville, Woodbury, Duluth, Coon Rapids, Lino Lakes, North Oaks, Stillwater, White Bear Lake, Minnetonka, Apple Valley, St. Cloud, Plymouth, Rochester, Wayzata, Excelsior, Chanhassen, Chaska, Mankato, Marshall, Hibbing, Brainerd.