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Archive for August, 2014

Illinois Bill Would Limit Employer Liability for Travelling Employee Injuries

August 27th, 2014 at 10:34 am

employer liabilityA bill currently pending in the Illinois legislature would put limitations on an employer’s liability for injuries an employee receives while traveling on the way to work.

Senate Bill 2622, introduced by State Sen. Kyle McCarter (R, Lebanon), would not require employers to provide workers compensation benefits for an employee who becomes injured if the employee was not traveling for work purposes when the injury occurs.

The bill is aimed for employees who are required to travel in connection with their job. It says compensation for an injury that occurs while traveling will only be provided “if the injury arises out of and in the course of employment while he or she is actively engaged in the duties of employment.”

If it passes, the proposed law would cover incidents such as a recent workers’ compensation case that was appealed to the Illinois Supreme Court. The court ruled that just because a worker accepts a job that is a distance away from his or her home that does not mean the employee automatically becomes a “travelling employee”, nor is the employer is automatically liable for any injuries the employee may incur while traveling to and from work. The new bill was introduced a month before the court’s ruling.

Bill 2622 is part of a package of workers’ compensation bills, including Bill 2623, which addresses new injuries to previously paid body parts; Bill 2625, which addresses temporary disability payments for employees who have been terminated for just cause; and Bill 2626, which addresses wage calculations for employees who work less than 52 weeks per year.

If you or a loved one has suffered a workplace injury, you need an experienced Illinois workers’ compensation attorney to represent you and make sure you receive the compensation you are entitled to under the law.

Study Finds Many Undocumented Workers Stuck in Dangerous Jobs

August 6th, 2014 at 4:52 pm

undocumented workersA recent study conducted by Cornell University and Penn State University found that illegal immigrants who are working in high-risk or dangerous jobs are not paid a pay premium for working in those hazardous conditions.

The study, titled The Occupational Cost of Being Illegal in the United States: Legal Status, Job Hazards and Compensating Differentials, analyzed data from the U.S. Census’ Survey of Income and Program Participation. This survey provides information about visa and citizenship status. They also used data from Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries and the Department of Labor’s Occupational Information Network.

Not only do undocumented workers not receive a pay premium for working in dangerous conditions, but if they are injured, most are too scared to report the injury for fear they will be deported.

According to the study, one of the biggest problems is the language barrier that often exists when it comes to effective safety training. Another factor regarding undocumented workers in hazardous working environments is that many employers who hire illegal immigrants are not concerned that any safety hazards will be reported because the undocumented worker is afraid of losing their job if they do.

The research team said the evidence they found shows that undocumented workers are not employed in the most dangerous jobs – which are in mining and logging. Instead, they can be found at jobs in agriculture and construction, which can also pose serious health risks. Additionally, many undocumented workers are employed at jobs where they are exposed to dangerous chemicals or radiation, such as working in a dry cleaners or working as janitors in healthcare facilities.

Many state court decisions have ruled that an undocumented worker who is injured on the job is entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits. If you have been injured on the job, contact an experienced Illinois workers’ compensation attorney to find out what civil recourse you may have for compensation for pain and loss you have suffered.

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