Tuesday, September 28, 2010

U.S. Supreme Court Audio Now in All Cases

This is just plain interesting though not just for workers compensation or Social Security disability matters. The United States Supreme Court is opening up its website so that visitors can listen to audio recorded arguments for its cases. That is a big change as in the past it has greatly limited this to making such recordings available much later. So if you want to hear the lawyers arguing a recent case that is important to you then give it a try. By the way often we hear questions and concerns coming from the court itself so it is not boring at all if the subject is of interest. In Colorado we already have this and it is fascinating especially in a workers comp case. For example here is the Colorado Supreme Court site from which you can seek more information.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Misclassifying Employees as Independent Contractors

The Denver Business Journal is reporting that the U.S. and Colorado are cracking down on businesses that misclassify employees as independent contractors. An independent contractor does not receive unemployment or workers compensation benefits. Most of us who represent claimants will question that an individual is an independent rather then an employee and it is wise to assume any claimant is an employee until the evidence is in. I would imagine that any government does not look with favor on those that try to avoid the requirements set by law. The definitions pertaining to what is an employee are at Colorado Revised Statutes 8-40-202.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Colorado Workplace Deaths in 2009 are lower

The Denver Business Journal is reporting that Colorado had fewer workplace deaths in 2009. The last time we had so few deaths was in 1998. My concern is that these statistics tell us nothing about why this is the situation. Are we safer in the workplace? Is the economy, unemployment and loss of many jobs to overseas sources leaving us with less employees? The good news is that deaths are down. The actual records for Colorado with a breakdown are here. Just to compare here are the figures for 2007 and for 2005.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Pinnacol's Recap of 2010 Legislation

Pinnacol at its website has neatly organized the 2010 legislation which it then reviews from its perspective. Included are links to each bill so you can read the bill itself. Pinnacol handles more workers comp claims then any other insurer in the state of Colorado. It certainly intends to be active in watching future legislative efforts and to be a voice for its point of view. The legislators noted are perhaps the most interested in fostering change in the system. How the political alignment changes after the coming elections may also affect future Colorado legislation in 2011. Injured workers are not as big or organized as business and insurance interests but should pay attention and support those legislators interested in change from their point of view.