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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.

Appeals court sides with worker in black lung benefits case

By: Sheena Harrison

Published December 07, 2014 - 6:00am CST

The 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled last week that a doctor's testimony in a black lung benefits case may be disregarded when it disagrees with federal guidelines for the disease.

Kent State tries to get the word out on depression-related benefits

By: Matt Dunning

Published December 07, 2014 - 6:00am CST

Employers are unlikely to succeed in reducing the prevalence of depression and other mental disorders in the workplace without changing employee attitudes on the conditions themselves and the available treatments, experts say.

U.S. top court weighs pregnancy discrimination in UPS dispute

Published December 03, 2014 - 11:33am CST

(Reuters) — U.S. Supreme Court justices appeared unsure on Wednesday how to decide a case that could determine whether employers must provide accommodations for pregnant workers who may have physical limitations on the duties they can perform.

Disability agency settles EEOC lawsuit over deaf worker's accommodations

By: Judy Greenwald

Published December 01, 2014 - 2:07pm CST

A Detroit disability agency has agreed to pay $38,500 to settle a U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission lawsuit charging it with discrimination charges for allegedly failing to accommodate a deaf employee.

AIG promotes exec to CEO of life, health and disability

By: Mark A. Hofmann

Published November 14, 2014 - 12:15pm CST

Charlie Shamieh has been named CEO of life, health and disability insurance at American International Group Inc., effective in March 2015, AIG announced Thursday.

Lack of 'wet floor' sign entitles New Mexico nurse to higher disability benefits

By: Stephanie Goldberg

Published November 10, 2014 - 1:11pm CST

A New Mexico nurse who was injured when she fell on the job is entitled to an increase in disability benefits because her employer failed post a “wet floor” sign, the state Supreme Court ruled.

Injuries to workers with pre-existing conditions complicate disability claims

By: Stephanie Goldberg

Published November 09, 2014 - 6:00am CST

A pending Connecticut case will help determine how the state approaches apportionment of permanent disability benefits when workers with pre-existing or chronic conditions suffer debilitating injuries on the job.

Judge allows Honeywell wellness penalties to stand during EEOC lawsuit

By: Matt Dunning

Published November 04, 2014 - 10:21am CST

A federal judge has rejected the EEOC's request for an order temporarily barring Honeywell International Inc. from penalizing workers who refused to participate in its workplace wellness program.

Look beyond patients' medical needs: 'Magic' Johnson

By: Sheena Harrison

Published October 29, 2014 - 4:34pm CST

Former Los Angeles Lakers point guard Earvin “Magic” Johnson said health care professionals can help patients just by showing an interest in their lives.

Employers diverge on handling workers compensation claims

By: Sheena Harrison

Published October 29, 2014 - 2:14pm CST

Self-administration of workers compensation claims can be a favorable option for health care organizations to track how their workers are being treated.

Adding urine testing reduces opioid use and costs for comp patients

By: Stephanie Goldberg

Published October 14, 2014 - 4:02pm CST

In coordination with clinical monitoring and oversight, urine drug testing reduces the use of and amount paid for high-risk medications, including opioids, among injured workers, according to new studies by Helios.

EEOC suits contend wellness programs violate disability law

By: Matt Dunning

Published October 12, 2014 - 6:00am CST

The EEOC recently filed lawsuits against two Wisconsin companies that underscore the need for more clarity on rules that govern employers' use of financial incentives to motivate employee participation in workplace wellness programs.

Hydrocodone, oxycodone top opioids dispensed by Pennsylvania doctors

By: Stephanie Goldberg

Published September 22, 2014 - 3:08pm CST

Hydrocodone-acetaminophen and oxycodone-acetaminophen are the two most commonly dispensed opioids by physicians in Pennsylvania, according to a Workers Compensation Research Institute study.

2013 California workers comp reforms will define market for years to come

By: Bill Kenealy

Published September 14, 2014 - 6:00am CST

DANA POINT, Calif. — Legislative actions at the state and federal level will continue to define the California workers compensation market for years to come, according to experts monitoring the effect of recent workers comp reforms in the state.

Minn. company charged with requesting too much employee medical information

By: Judy Greenwald

Published September 09, 2014 - 3:03pm CST

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on Tuesday charged a power generation equipment company with violating the Americans with Disabilities Act by requiring an employee to submit overly broad medical release forms.

Aon Hewitt adding voluntary benefit options to private health exchange

By: Matt Dunning

Published August 28, 2014 - 9:57am CST

Aon Hewitt on Thursday said it is planning to add voluntary benefit plans to the menu of coverages available through its private health insurance exchange, largely due to rising employer demand for a wider variety of exchange-based benefit options.

EMT's disability lawsuit over counseling for affair reinstated on appeal

By: Judy Greenwald

Published August 20, 2014 - 2:17pm CST

A former emergency medical technician who was fired after she refused psychological counseling that was required by a supervisor concerned about her “immoral” sexual conduct.

Fired cop's award overturned because ADHD not severe, says court

By: Judy Greenwald

Published August 19, 2014 - 12:33pm CST

A terminated police officer who was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder was not sufficiently impaired to be protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act, said an appeals court.

Easing concerns about returning to work gets employees back on the job sooner

By: Stephanie Goldberg

Published August 17, 2014 - 6:00am CST

LAS VEGAS — Employees' expectations and fears about returning to work better predict how long they'll be out of work than other factors, including a clinical diagnosis.

Work-from-home policies for disabled employees need review after EEOC ruling

By: Sheena Harrison

Published August 17, 2014 - 6:00am CST

In the wake of a federal court ruling that telecommuting is a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disability Act, experts say employers should evaluate their work-from-home policies to determine how to handle disabled workers' requests.

Rules for providing equipment to employees who work from home still unclear

By: Sheena Harrison

Published August 17, 2014 - 6:00am CST

Employers who allow telecommuting as an accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act may be required to provide some equipment for an employee's home office, but there are no clear-cut rules regarding what an employer must provide, said Linda Batiste, principal consultant with the Job Accommodation Network in Morgantown, West Virginia.

Updated veteran hiring rules create challenges for federal contractors

By: Bill Kenealy

Published August 17, 2014 - 6:00am CST

Federal contractors face more scrutiny — and fines — for the way they search for and hire veterans because of a final U.S. Department of Labor rule that went into effect in March.

Return-to-work policies for workers with mental illness require sensitivity

By: Sheena Harrison

Published August 17, 2014 - 6:00am CST

Return-to-work policies for employees with mental illness such as depression or anxiety should include flexible scheduling and communication with employees to understand accommodations they need while recovering from such conditions.

Compliance needs drive employer interest in integration of benefits programs

By: Stephanie Goldberg

Published August 17, 2014 - 6:00am CST

To ensure compliance with federal and state laws and company policies, employers of all sizes are becoming more interested in integrating their leave, disability and workers compensation programs.

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