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Federal guidance on wellness incentives receives qualified welcome

By: Matt Dunning

Published April 26, 2015 - 6:00am CST

Health benefits experts say there are some holes that need to be filled and clarifications that need to be made in long-awaited federal rules that would govern the use of financial incentives in workplace wellness programs.

Wearables may not be so bad for insurers after all

Published April 26, 2015 - 6:00am CST

Wearable devices have created new risks and liability concerns, but in our latest In Focus video, we explore some of the ways insurers are beginning to use these tiny technological gadgets to their advantage.

Health care support firm gets OK to fund benefits in its captive

By: Jerry Geisel

Published April 16, 2015 - 3:04pm CST

The U.S. Labor Department has given final authorization to Healthcare Services Group Inc., a Bensalem, Pennsylvania-based provider of management and other services to health care companies, to fund voluntary medical, life and short-term disability benefits through its New Jersey-based captive insurance company.

Revised settlement offer filed in NCAA concussion lawsuit

By: Bill Kenealy

Published April 16, 2015 - 11:48am CST

Lawyers representing the NCAA and a group of former football players who are suing the association for head injuries in U.S. District Court in Chicago have presented a new settlement offer to a federal judge.

Patient transport helps build bridge back to work

By: Stephanie Goldberg

Published April 16, 2015 - 11:22am CST

Providing injured workers with nonemergency transportation services can improve outcomes and return-to-work times.

Work from home not always the answer for a disabled employee

By: Judy Greenwald

Published April 14, 2015 - 8:46am CST

A federal appeals court ruling that telecommuting was not a reasonable accommodation for a disabled Ford Motor Co. worker under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act is a significant victory for employers.

U.S. Supreme Court revives pregnant worker's case against UPS

Published March 25, 2015 - 10:32am CST

(Reuters) — The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday revived a woman driver’s pregnancy discrimination claim against package delivery company UPS Inc. by sending the case back to a lower court.

EEOC revising rules on financial incentives for wellness programs

By: Matt Dunning

Published March 20, 2015 - 2:10pm CST

The EEOC on Friday signaled that it has completed a set of rule revisions to address practical conflicts in the regulations governing the use of financial incentives in workplace wellness programs.

Jewel-Osco gets stiff fine in unique EEOC case

By: Judy Greenwald

Published March 10, 2015 - 10:59am CST

A federal court-imposed fine of $400,000 against the Jewel-Osco supermarket chain to compensate the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for attorneys' fees in connection with the chain's alleged failure to comply with a consent decree is unusually large and likely reflects the effort the agency exerted in the case.

Refusing driving accommodations bars employee's ADA lawsuit

By: Judy Greenwald

Published March 09, 2015 - 3:15pm CST

An employee who refused to agree to a reasonable accommodation offered him by his employer to compensate for his inability to drive cannot proceed with his disability discrimination charge, a federal appeals court said Monday in upholding a lower-court ruling.

Grocer Jewel to pay $400,000 for allegedly breaking EEOC deal

By: Judy Greenwald

Published March 06, 2015 - 5:06pm CST

The Jewel-Osco supermarket chain has been ordered to pay $400,000 in attorney’s fees and costs for allegedly violating a consent decree obtained by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in connection with its leave policy, the agency said Friday.

Disability support firm sued over firing disabled workers

By: Judy Greenwald

Published February 27, 2015 - 1:05pm CST

A Phoenix disability support services company is being sued by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for allegedly discriminating against disabled employees by refusing to provide them with reasonable accommodations, the agency said.

Workers disability bias cases reinstated

By: Judy Greenwald

Published February 26, 2015 - 2:49pm CST

Two appellate courts have separately ruled against employers — Sears Roebuck & Co. and an Ohio hospital — in disability discrimination cases holding that they failed to accommodate disabled workers.

Workplace mental health stigma persists

By: Matt Dunning

Published February 25, 2015 - 12:21pm CST

A growing number of employers have observed a persistent if not worsening workplace stigma associated with mental and behavioral health issues, according to a recent study by the Disability Management Employer Coalition.

Coca-Cola finds captive insurer most efficient way to fund benefits

By: Jerry Geisel

Published February 04, 2015 - 10:41am CST

BOCA RATON, Fla. — For The Coca-Cola Co., the advantage of funding employee benefit risks through its South Carolina-based captive insurer is very straightforward.

Goodyear worker due disability benefits for hearing loss

By: Stephanie Goldberg

Published February 03, 2015 - 12:31pm CST

A worker for Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. in Tennessee is entitled to workers compensation benefits for his high-frequency hearing loss despite there being no mention of “this type of injury” in the American Medical Association’s Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, the Tennessee Supreme Court ruled.

Social media provide treasure trove of disability claim dispute tools

By: Matt Dunning

Published February 01, 2015 - 6:00am CST

PHILADELPHIA — Social media, mobile technology and other forms of electronic technology can be powerful tools to defend against disability insurance claims.

Mental illness disability claims require specialized input

By: Matt Dunning

Published January 23, 2015 - 4:40pm CST

PHILADELPHIA — More often than not, effective management of disability insurance claims related to mental illness requires a specialized understanding of the comorbid relationships they share with physical medical conditions.

9/11 responder can keep PTSD workers comp benefits

By: Bill Kenealy

Published January 22, 2015 - 2:50pm CST

An appellate court in New York has upheld workers compensation benefits awarded to an upstate New York police officer who suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder after responding to the 9/11 attacks in New York City.

Injured worker's disability benefits stopped after treatment plateaus

By: Stephanie Goldberg

Published January 22, 2015 - 2:23pm CST

A woman who reached maximum medical improvement after treatment for a work-related injury is no longer entitled to temporary total disability benefits despite ongoing treatment authorized by the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, the state Supreme Court has ruled.

Beheaded woman's husband to receive workers comp benefits

By: Stephanie Goldberg

Published January 21, 2015 - 2:58pm CST

The widower of an Oklahoma worker who was decapitated by her co-worker is entitled to death benefits and lifetime weekly workers compensation benefits, an administrative law judge has ruled.

Social services provider to pay $309K to settle bias claim of worker with MS

By: Judy Greenwald

Published January 06, 2015 - 1:00pm CST

An Illinois nonprofit social services provider has agreed to pay $309,000 to a former employee who suffers from multiple sclerosis to settle U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission charges that it discriminated against her by failing to make reasonable accommodations.

EEOC to focus on hiring barriers, pregnancy bias, ADA and wellness in 2015: Report

By: Judy Greenwald

Published January 05, 2015 - 2:07pm CST

Hiring barriers, pregnancy discrimination, required accommodations to the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the question of voluntary participation in wellness programs will be among significant developments related to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 2015, a law firm analysis says.

ADA accommodations go beyond cubicle, ergonomic adjustments

By: Kevin Curry

Published January 04, 2015 - 6:00am CST

Employers are used to thinking of ergonomic accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act, but an ADA leave of absence is also considered an accommodation. Kevin Curry, national practice leader and senior vice president of sales and marketing at Reed Group Ltd., offers guidance for firms to evaluate employee requests for such leave, as well as how to comply with their obligations under ...

Depression in the workplace remains problematic, costs employers billions

By: Matt Dunning

Published December 07, 2014 - 6:00am CST

Depression among workers is costing U.S. employers billions, but few companies have devised strategies for effectively reducing the financial and operational effects of depressive illness.

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