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November 2010 Archives

Lawsuit May Extend Care for Disabled Under ADA

A lawsuit filed on the behalf of eight people who have severe disabilities may prevent their age based medical care coverage from ending. The plaintiffs involved in the lawsuit are in danger of exceeding the age limit or have exceeded the age limit of a medical program for children. The lawsuit argues that any discontinuance of medical care would be a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Mother Files ADA Lawsuit Against School for Failing to Ban Perfume

The mother of a 17-year-old Indiana high school student has filed a lawsuit against her son's high school because the mother claims the high school has failed to protect her allergic son from perfume. The lawsuit was filed as a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and was filed on November 12.

Social Security Disability Claimants Grow Frustrated Over Delays

The growing backlog of Social Security Disability claims and the long time period to process claims have attributed to an increasing number of violent threats against judges who hear Social Security disability cases. Members of Congress heard about the rising number of threats from a Senate subcommittee field hearing on Monday.

Department of Labor Fines Farm for Child Labor Law Violations

A farm outside of Yuma, Arizona has been fined $48,000 in civil penalties for violating child wage and hour laws under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Officials from the United States Department of Labor found seven children between the ages of 9 and 13 working during the farm's summer okra harvest. The fine against the farm was announced Wednesday.

The Americans with Disabilities Act celebrates its 20th anniversary this year

The Americans with Disabilities Act celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, but several large employers, which should be well aware of the law, continue to violate the Act. The EEOC recently filed suit against Wal-Mart for violating the ADA when it terminated a long-time employee who requested an accommodation for his disability. The Plaintiff, a cancer survivor with limited function in his right arm due to cancer related surgery, worked as a forklift operator for 12 years. He performed his job well and received outstanding performance evaluations (including an outstanding evaluation on the last day he worked).

Goldman Sachs Settles Family Medical Leave Act Lawsuit

Goldman Sachs recently settled a lawsuit based on violations of the Family Medical Leave Act. The lawsuit was filed by a former female vice president who alleged she was forced on a track with the company that offered fewer opportunities for advancement after having her first child in February 2005. The former vice president claims she was also fired after she chose a part-time work schedule after becoming pregnant.

Police Officer Fired for Testifying in Overtime Lawsuit

A Los Angeles police officer was awarded $4 million in a Fair Labor Standards Act case against the Los Angeles Police Department. The jury concluded that the officer was fired in retaliation for testifying against the Los Angeles Police Department in a different labor dispute case.

Medical Insurance while collecting Social Security: Medicare vs. Private Insurance

One of the associated benefits with collecting Social Security Disability benefitsMedicare - 11.10.10.png is that the disabled individual is eligible to participate in Medicare after receiving Social Security benefits for 24 months. For a large portion of individuals, this is a valuable benefit because many times the disabled individual is not able to afford private health insurance or in some cases have reached the lifetime maximum benefit paid by their plan. Sometimes however, an individual does have private insurance, whether provided by their spouse's employment or they are able to afford the premium. In those cases, the question becomes how the private insurance and Medicare work together.Medicare is divided into four parts: A, B, C and D. Medicare Part A is considered hospital insurance and pays for inpatient care at hospitals and subsequent inpatient stays at skilled nursing facilities. Part B covers doctors' services and other services and supplies not covered by Part A. Part C allows people with Parts A and B to choose to receive all services from a provider organization under Part C. Finally, Part D is the medication provision.The essential parts are A, B, and D. Part A is essentially free for everyone and was paid for through taxes. Enrollment is automatic and participation does not require a monthly premium. Part B also has automatic enrollment, and there is a monthly premium. Most disabled individuals have the premiums deducted directly from their monthly benefit check. While enrollment is automatic, individuals can opt out of the program by completing the necessary paperwork. Part D requires an individual wishing to participate in the plan to enroll during the enrollment plan and pay a monthly premium. Social Security will not automatically enroll an individual in Part D.For those with private insurance plans, it is important to determine how your plan fits with Medicare coverage. No single plan covers all kinds of health services and sometimes gaps left by one can be filled with the other. For instance, most private plans do not cover nursing home stays, but Medicare will cover inpatient treatment at a skilled nursing facility if it follows an inpatient hospital stay. It is important for an individual with both Medicare and private insurance to notify Medicare of the private insurance and ask the private insurer what types of services are included with the plan.

Family Medical Leave Act Now Applies to Nonparents

Recently, the United States Department of Labor nodded its head to the fact that children are often taken care of by adults who may not be their biological parents. Now no matter their relation, caregivers who live in the same household as the child may take time off to care for a sick child or tend to an infant.

Court Makes Landmark Decision in Social Security Disability Case

The state Supreme Court of South Carolina decided a landmark case for the state. The decision will ensure larger and more equitable Social Security disability income for workers who face career-ending injuries. Because of the decision the permanently injured worker from the case will receive hundreds of dollars more every month in benefits.

Alan Olson Argues Bad Faith Bonus Denial Claim to Wisconsin Supreme Court

Today was a good day for Wisconsin employees. My brain is still in overdrive fromSC pic - 11.4.10.jpg the rapid-fire questions during my oral argument to the Wisconsin Supreme Court in Madison. This case involves our client, "Deanne," who sought to enforce her former employer's ("the Bank's") duty to pay bonus money that she had earned during the year preceding her termination, pursuant to an incentive pay plan (the "Plan"). The Bank refused to pay Deanne because it terminated her employment at the start of scheduled Plan payments. Deanne's former boss claimed that Deanne was terminated because she lied that she had no knowledge of a co-worker's plan to leave the Bank with its customers. In reality, Deanne was fired in order to stop her receipt of earned bonus pay. The Bank's executives admitted during depositions however that no one had ever reached the conclusion that Deanne was involved with taking clients or customers from the Bank. In fact, the sole piece of information upon which the Bank based its termination decision was a misstated phone conversation overheard by a third-party. Deanne testified that she was not even asked by the Bank about the co-worker's plans to leave or to take clients. Upon terminating Deanne, her boss unilaterally contacted payroll and reversed the direct deposit of her earned bonus pay. He stopped Deanne's pay schedule without review by the Oversight Committee as dictated in the Plan document.

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