Social Security disability benefits provide a financial lifeline to those who are unable to work on account of their medical condition. For many Americans, these benefits last years, even decades, ensuring they have the stability they need to live a normal life. Yet, the program is meant to be temporary, providing cash benefits only until a disabled individual is unable to enter the workforce. The task can be challenging for disabled individuals, though, especially since going back to work could jeopardize their benefits and risk leaving them in a worse financial position.
Warmer weather has reached Michigan, which means so, too, has construction season. Like other employees in other fields, seasonal construction workers rely on their pay to support their families. Yet, since the construction industry differs significantly from professions that are office-based, many construction companies choose to take advantage of their employees, which leaves them with lost wages and unfair treatment.
Miller Cohen, PLC is proud to have represented Alphonse Maddin after he was fired by his employer simply because he valued his own life above that of his cargo. Mr. Madden was forced to abandon the trailer of his truck after the trailer's brakes froze. Mr. Maddin was facing subzero temperatures, with no heat in his cab. He had waited for several hours before his torso got numb, he had trouble breathing and he lost feeling in his feet.
Upon appeal, Judge Neil Gorsuch ruled that if Maddin wanted to keep his job, he was to remain with his trailer in subzero temperatures and wait indefinitely for a repair truck. Fortunately, Gorsuch was in the minority - the Tenth Circuit upheld a Labor Department ruling in favor of our client.
This week we were honored to stand beside Mr. Maddin once again as he told his story to the nation. Gorsuch's reasoning puts big business before worker safety. That kind of reasoning has no place on our highest court. Miller Cohen will continue to stand beside working people as we protect their rights in the workplace.
If it were not for the law, employees would be taken advantage of by their employers in an attempt to reap larger gains and expand their businesses. Yet, employment law exists, in large part, to ensure workers are afforded the protections they deserve. Some of these regulations pertain to one's working environment, while others deal with wages and hours. To see just how effective these laws can be, one need only look at one recent case against multi-media giant Disney.
Last year, Miller Cohen PLC attorneys were proud to have represented teachers, staff, and students who were exposed to deplorable conditions at DPS schools. Miller Cohen filed a lawsuit that brought public and legal attention to the suffering of so many. Schools were infested with rodents and insects; faculty and students were exposed to black mold and falling debris; classrooms were either freezing cold or sweltering; and other hazards to the safety, health, and well-being of our educators and students were being left un-remediated.
Many Americans have suffered an injury or illness that has left them on the sideline for a period of time. Most, though, are able to recover from their condition and return to work. Others, though, suffer for a long time, and their condition's effects can dramatically change their lives for years to come. This is especially true when an injury or illness leaves an individual unable to work. Such a situation can leave an individual fearful about how to pay medical expenses, pay the rent or mortgage and even put food on the table. Fortunately, those who have suffered a debilitating injury or illness may be able to recover Social Security disability benefits to help cover their losses.
While women have made tremendous strides in every professional field, there is still much to be done to bring workplace sexual harassment and discrimination to an end. Unfortunately, there is no type of workplace in Michigan or elsewhere that is immune to this type of bias. One misconception that some may have about sexual harassment, gender bias and employment law is that these types of concerns only come up in traditionally male-dominated fields, such as manufacturing or engineering.
In reality, bias and harassment can affect anyone in any workplace, even in white-collar fields such as advertising. A recent study focused on the advertising industry found that more than 50 percent of women working in this profession have experienced some form of sexual harassment. As Michigan's economy continues to evolve and focus more on technology and white-collar fields, many young women and men in the state will likely be working in a similar field at some point.
Like many areas of the law, Social Security Disability is often fraught with misconceptions. This is not surprising, because untangling all the different aspects of SSD benefits can be extremely confusing. If a resident of Michigan is suffering from a condition that leaves them unable to work, it may be time to get more information about Social Security Disability benefits.
Why is Social Security Disability so confusing for so many people? From the start, the process may be simply overwhelming. People applying may be in physical pain or emotional distress, or may be worried about how to make ends meet. It is not easy to quickly find out if an applicant has a qualifying disability, likewise it is often far from simple to even figure out the application process. Can you apply online? How long does the application process usually take? What types of materials and paperwork are needed to fully complete an application?
Getting fired from a job is almost always a traumatic experience for the person who has just been let go unexpectedly. Getting fired for an illegitimate reason can be even worse. Sometimes, a person who exposes wrongdoing or illegal activity in their workplace may be let go by an unscrupulous employer. Knowing the employment law options can help such workers assert their rights in the face of an employer's illegal action.
First, what exactly is a "whistleblower"? In general, a "whistleblower" is defined as someone who has taken some sort of step to expose illegal workplace activity. The illegal activity might be directed against the whistleblower, such as in a workplace discrimination case. Or, the illegal activity might not be directed at anyone in particular, but may still be a major problem, such as unsafe work practices that violate the law and threaten the safety of employees.
After applying for Social Security Disability benefits it is not unusual for applicants to initially have their claim denied. A claim may be denied for a variety of reasons, but it's important for disabled applicants not to give up in trying to obtain the benefits to which they may be entitled. One of the primary reasons that a SSDI claim may be denied is due to lack of evidence regarding the applicant's disability.
Fortunately, getting the right information about Social Security Disability can help turn this situation around for a disabled worker. If a local resident has a qualifying disability and their claim is initially denied, it may be extremely beneficial for that person to get more information about the appeals process. Doing so may provide an individualized strategy for a denied claim and an overall managing of the appeals process. Pursuing an appeal can complicated and time-intensive.