Showing 17 posts by Tyler J. Olney.
On October 2, 2020, the Michigan Supreme Court issued an opinion regarding whether Governor Gretchen Whitmer had the authority to declare and extend a State of Emergency and issue Executive Orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic. In a lengthy opinion, the Court held that the Governor did not have proper authority because the law upon which she relied is unconstitutional. Read More ›
The Safeguarding America's First Responders Act - New Federal Law Provides Access to Death Benefits Program for Families of Public Safety Officers who Die as a Result of COVID-19
There have been nearly seven million confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States, with over 200,000 confirmed deaths. In Michigan alone, there have been over 130,000 confirmed cases and roughly 7,000 confirmed deaths. Certain employees working in the health field, including first responders, have been impacted significantly by COVID-19.
In a previous article, we discussed the Emergency Rules and Executive Orders promulgated by Governor Gretchen Whitmer, creating a rebuttable presumption that COVID-19 is a personal injury arising out of and in the course of employment for first response employees. Read More ›
To date, the State of Michigan has over 66,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with roughly 6,000 deaths. While the curve appears to be flattening, the number of individuals who contract COVID-19 will undoubtedly continue to increase until effective treatments or a vaccination can be developed. As a result of this unprecedented pandemic, certain industries are likely to see an increase in the number of workers’ compensation claims filed in the state and around the country. Read More ›
The CARES Act Unemployment Expansion, Workers’ Compensation Wage Loss Offset, and Refusing to Return to Work During the Pandemic
The Unemployment Offset
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed by Congress with overwhelming bipartisan support and signed into law on March 27th, 2020. One feature of the CARES Act is the Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (“PUC”) program, which enhances weekly unemployment benefits administered by individual states by adding an additional $600 weekly supplement to an employee’s maximum weekly unemployment benefit rate. A related program created under the CARES Act, called the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (“PEUC”) program, extends the duration of weekly unemployment benefits by adding an additional thirteen weeks to the maximum recovery period each state otherwise allows. Read More ›
Michigan's Emergency Rules Give Personal Injury Presumption to "First Response Employees" with COVID-19
As you know, Governor Gretchen Whitmer recently declared a State of Emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of that response, Governor Whitmer, in conjunction with the Director of the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity, Jeff Donofrio, promulgated Emergency Rules (“Rules”) regarding workers’ compensation coverage for certain employees working in the health field, including first responders. We discussed the Rules in an earlier article, and we prepared this article in response to several questions we have received from clients in order to clarify some of the ambiguities in the Rules.
To read further on the Emergency Rules surrounding first responders from Foster Swift's Workers' Comp practice group, see more here.
Categories: COVID-19 and Workers' Compensation
Employee or Independent Contractor? The Appellate Commission Applies its Own Facts to Overturn Magistrate’s Decision
In July 2019, the Michigan Compensation Appellate Commission (“the Commission”) issued an Opinion in the case of Christopher Parshall v Worden & Company, Inc. In Parshall, the Commission reversed the magistrate’s factual determination that Mr. Parshall was an independent contractor and not an employee as defined by the Workers’ Disability Compensation Act (“Act”). To read more on this case and its classification of employee vs. independent contractor, see full article here.
The Michigan Court of Appeals recently issued a decision which addresses the rights of employers/insurance companies to obtain reimbursement for overpayments made to an injured worker. Iesha Fisher v Kalamazoo Regional Psychiatric Hospital and State of Michigan. The undisputed facts of the case are as follows. Plaintiff Fisher sustained a workplace injury and was voluntarily paid benefits. The employer initiated a recoupment action, alleging that it voluntarily paid Ms. Fisher three months of benefits at an improperly high rate. For more on this case and it's decision, see full article here.