Vigilant Blog

News, trends and analysis in employment law, HR, safety & workers' comp

Showing posts for: Featured Worker’s Comp

Photo of Derek Glos
Feb 11 2020
Featured Worker’s CompWorkers’ Comp  

Demystifying the black box of L&I’s Workers’ Compensation

Dear Washington Manufacturer, Vigilant’s most recent Retro plan year is projected to earn a 30% premium refund. This is the result of obsessing and hard work. Over the next several weeks, our team will begin to deconstruct achieving a 30% refund, beginning with this letter from me on demystifying the “Black Box of L&I’s…

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Photo of Jackie Marks
Jan 14 2020
Featured Worker’s CompSafety and Health  

OSHA updates standards on amputation hazards in manufacturing

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a directive on December 10, 2019, updating its National Emphasis Program (NEP) focusing agency inspections on amputation hazards in manufacturing industries. These updates don’t create any new requirements for employers but focus agency enforcement on these hazards. Among other steps, the directive allows area…

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Photo of Karen Davis
Nov 13 2019
Featured Worker’s CompSafety and Health  

New hire fatality from wood chipper results in $67k penalty

A sole proprietor of a tree-trimming business was ordered to pay $66,986 in penalties after an employee was killed by a wood chipper on his first day on the job. A crew of four workers, including the new employee, met in the morning at the owner’s house. Two of the workers were…

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Photo of Karen Davis
Oct 23 2019
Featured Worker’s CompSafety and Health  

OSHA cites employers for poor emergency procedures after two fatalities

In two separate cases, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued six-figure citations against employers that failed to plan ahead for foreseeable emergency situations. The employers have 15 business days to comply with the citations, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or challenge the findings before the Occupational…

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Photo of Kandis Sells
Oct 08 2019
Featured Worker’s Comp  

Q&A: Duty to keep health insurance during workers’ comp is limited

Question: We have an employee out on leave to recover from a workplace injury. Are we supposed to keep her on our health insurance plan?   Answer: It depends on whether the employee’s leave is protected by federal or state leave laws in addition to workers’ compensation. State workers’ comp laws generally don’t require employers to…

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Photo of Jackie Marks
Oct 08 2019
Featured Worker’s Comp  

Employer pays $58K penalty after teen’s death

A Georgia company was found in violation of federal child labor laws prohibiting hazardous occupations for minors when it employed a 15-year-old to operate a power-driven weed cutter. Sadly, the teen drowned while cutting brush along a river. During its investigation, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) also found the…

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Photo of Karen Davis
Sep 25 2019
Featured Worker’s CompSafety and Health  

Employer sentenced after welder’s death

In the aftermath of a welder’s death on the job, an oilfield company pled guilty to a willful violation of federal safety standards requiring tanks to be cleaned before welding. The welder was 28 years old and had recently moved to North Dakota to work in the oil industry after serving in…

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Photo of Lorraine Hoffman
Sep 11 2019
Featured Worker’s CompDisabilityHarassment & DiscriminationTermination & Resignation  

Balancing competing employee interests can be tricky

An employer in Missouri is finding out the hard way that balancing the competing rights of employees can be complicated. In this case, a coworker with Tourette’s syndrome regularly and repeatedly shouted racial slurs at an African American employee. The employer tried to separate the workers so they didn’t have to work…

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Photo of Karen Davis
Aug 29 2019
Featured Worker’s CompSafety and Health  

Electronic injury & illness reporting to start in 2020 in Washington

Washington’s Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) has finally issued regulations requiring covered Washington employers to follow federal requirements and file annual injury and illness reports electronically with federal OSHA starting in 2020. As explained on OSHA’s Injury Tracking Application web page, the reporting portal will open again on January 2, 2020, and the…

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Photo of Lorraine Hoffman
Aug 29 2019
Featured Worker’s CompLeave LawsWage and Hour  

Q&A: Denying perfect attendance bonus to FMLA users can spell trouble

Question: We have a “no-fault” attendance policy, which means that if an employee doesn’t show up for a scheduled shift, they get a point. We’re careful, however, not to penalize, discipline, or terminate anyone for using protected leave (such as paid sick leave or FMLA). Instead, we incentivize employees. If an employee reaches the…

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