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The Employment and Social Security Disability Blog

Over two-thirds of women have been sexually harassed

According to a study that was recently conducted, over two-thirds of women have reported experiencing some form of sexual harassment directed against them.

The study found that 77 percent of the women who responded reported experiencing some form of sexual harassment. Over 1 in 3 men, 34 percent, also reported harassment.

Can I get workers compensation and Social Security Disability?

It is a sad reality that even in the safest workplaces, employees in the Detroit still get hurt and at times get injured very seriously. When this happens, as other posts on this blog have mentioned, an employee may be able to get compensation through Michigan's workers' compensation program.

However, these benefits may not pay for everything and they also may not last forever. As such, someone who has been permanently injured in a work-related accident may need additional financial support. Fortunately, Social Security disability benefits are available in this sort of situation, provided of course that a person legally qualifies for them.

McDonald's workers striking over harassment

Workers at McDonalds planned a nationwide 10-city strike on September 18. Through the walkout, they are trying to push management to take stronger measures to combat sexual harassment. The lead organizers are women who took employment law action by filing complaints with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or EEOC.

Marvin Winans sued for wage violations

Federal and state wage and hour laws help assure that workers receive their legally-entitled wages and that improper deductions are not made. In a recently-filed federal lawsuit, a housekeeper sued Grammy-winning Rev. Marvin Williams and his Perfecting Church for employment law violations by requiring her to give 10 percent of her salary to the church and donate money for birthday gifts for supervisors and managers.

Perfecting Church employed her as a housekeeper from March 2012 through Jan. 2017. She was a member and employee of the church.

Nurse charges patient request is discrimination

A hospital seems to be an unlikely place for workplace discrimination. But, an African-American nurse charged that a Dearborn hospital violated federal and Michigan employment law when it prevented her from treating a patient who objected to her race.

The nurse was a 10-year employee of the hospital when she was working the night shift and assigned to care for two patients in a hospital room on October 2, 2017. After examining both patients and leaving the room, she heard one patient say he did not want her treating him because of her race.

Administrative offset may reduce SSDI benefits

Workers with disabilities rely on Social Security to help meet their financial needs. However, the government can withhold Social Security Disability payments and other important benefits under an administrative offset program.

Under this program, the government may apply benefits to pay a recipient's debts such as federal student loans, late taxes and unpaid child support. Money may be taken from SSDI, some other Social Security benefits, tax refunds, federal wages, retirement and military pay, and federal programs that are not excluded from this program.

What Is Worker's Compensation?

Hamm.jpgIn Michigan, it is a no-fault system that compensates injured workers. Worker's compensation is regulated by the states and varies from state to state. In Michigan, workers are covered from the point they pull into their employer's designated parking lot until they drive out of their employer's designated parking lot at the end of their shift. Worker's compensation covers injuries that occur "during" and "in the course of" employment. In other words, the injury must occur during your working hours and while you are working. However, breaks and lunches are included because it is in the best interest of the employer for their employees to have breaks and lunch. There are certain injuries not covered including but not limited to those stemming from a fight, horseplay, sports played on break, and if the injured worker was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If the injury is deemed to be compensable, the benefits include lost wages, medical treatment and potential vocational rehabilitation. If a worker is denied worker's compensation benefits, they can file for other benefits such as short term disability, sickness and accident benefits, long-term disability benefits, extended disability benefits, disability retirement, etc. However, even if worker is denied and is receiving other benefits, they should still file for worker's compensation due to the fact they would receive approximately 20% to 40% more in lost wages on worker's compensation.

Limiting worker speech

An employee's right to speak does not end when they get a job or report to work. Employment law has some protections that covers certain speech, but workers also need to know its restrictions.

The First Amendment protects speech from government intrusion and applies to public employers. It or other federal laws also govern some private employers and actions.

Disability expert testimony before U.S. Supreme Court

Expert testimony can play a vital role in determining whether a person is eligible for Social Security Disability benefits. In fact, the US Supreme Court agreed to rule on an appeal involving these witnesses. At issue is whether vocational expert testimony, without complying for a request for supporting information, is sufficient evidence that other jobs were available to an injured worker.

This case involves an applicant who worked in construction as a carpenter and laborer. He received training as a bricklayer and carpenter and completed one year of college. In 2005, he quit working and claimed that he suffered from degenerative disc disease, Hepatitis C and depression.

Michigan Supreme Court lets whistleblower case go forward

This month, the Michigan Supreme Court declined to examine a Michigan Court of Appeals opinion that permitted a case under the state's whistleblower laws to proceed. The case appears to have expanded what it means to "report" under the Michigan Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA). It therefore has the potential for having an impact on employees in the state, as well as practitioners of employment law.

The Supreme Court's 3-2 denial of review in McNeill-Marks v. MidMichigan Medical Center - Gratiot was handed down on June 15 in a brief order. Justice Zahra, on the other hand, wrote a lengthy and detailed dissent as to why the court should have granted review in the matter. Chief Justice Markman joined in the dissent, while Justices Wilder and Clement did not participate in the decision.

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