Questions and Answers on Workers’ Compensation and What to Do If Injured

Questions and Answers on Workers’ Compensation and What to Do If Injured

It might surprise many to find that workers’ compensation has a long history. As far back as 2050 B.C., in the city-state of Ur, the law at the time was to provide compensation for injury received while working. Typically, this would be for the loss of a body part. Ancient Chinese, Arab, and Greek law all had versions of this system, with compensation schemes to accompany each body part lost.

Fast-forward thousands of years later, and workers’ comp is alive and well.Here are some frequently asked questions about workers’ compensation in the US and what you should know if you get injured.

Questions and Answers on Workers’ Compensation and What to Do If Injured

Q: Do all employers provide workers’ compensation?

A: Most states have laws that require every employer to purchase workers’ compensation insurance. Some states, such as Alabama and Wisconsin, allow for voluntary coverage. To find out whether it is mandatory in your state for employers to have workers’ comp insurance, go to this page on the US Department of Labor’s website. Most employers will have workers’ comp insurance as a protection against prosecution and threat of being sued. So there’s a good chance your employer has it.

In the US, employers that take part in the system are often protected from liability for injuries covered under workers’ comp. Although an employee can sue a third party that may be liable for their injury. Or they can sue an employer directly if the employee feels that the employer’s deliberate negligence caused the injury.

Q: What kind of injuries are eligible for workers’ comp?

A: The general answer to this question is that workers’ comp was designed to provide compensation for injuries sustained while on the job. Common workers’ comp injuries include the following:

  • Sprains and strains
  • Hearing loss
  • Slips or falls
  • Overexertion
  • Being struck by a falling object
  • Traffic accident injury
  • Machinery accident injury
  • Repetitive motion injury

There are exceptions, however. For example, injuries sustained while on your lunch break are not covered. Neither is travel to and from your work site. However, if your work dictates that you travel, such as a sales call, and you sustain an injury during that trip, then such an injury would be covered.

Q: What is covered by workers’ comp insurance? What kind of payout can I expect?

A: Workers’ compensation includes coverage of hospital and medical bills to treat your work injury. While the particulars may vary from state to state, the fundamentals covered are medical bills and related expenses. This may include counseling, acupuncture for pain management, wheelchairs. And/or other equipment to help you deal with your injury.
Depending on the type of injury received, you may be eligible for disability benefits. Disability benefits are meant to cover wages lost while you are unable to work due to your injury. There are four categories of disability.

  • Temporary total disability. This applies when your disability prohibits you from working at all during a temporary amount of time. For example, if your leg is broken, or a surgery is required where full functionality is expected once recovery is complete.
  • Temporary partial disability. This applies when your injury limits your work capacity but does not entirely prevent it and full recovery is expected.
  • Permanent total disability. To get permanent disability from worker’s compensation one must be entirely unable to return to your previous work. For example, if you were a train conductor, the loss of your eyesight while on the job would incapacitate you from returning to your duties.
  • Permanent partial disability. This applies when your injury partially hinders your ability to return to your former work.

Q: Should I hire a lawyer for my workers’ comp case?

A: You may be able to handle the case yourself, particularly if the injury is small, and the facts of your case are straightforward. However, not all situations are uncomplicated. And even in uncomplicated situations, tensions can arise that may make it easier for you to have your case handled by a lawyer.

5 Ways to Protect Your Startup in it’s First Year

Protect Your Startup in it's First Year

Startups and small businesses might discount their exposure to cyber liability issues because they do not have the depth and volume of information that is maintained by larger and more established companies. Verizon’s 2013 Data Breach Investigation report, however, contradicts this perception. A key finding in that report indicates that almost two-thirds of all data breach attacks are aimed at small businesses.

For a variety of reasons, almost 90% of all startup businesses fail within their first year. A startup can control many of the causes of failure, including procuring cyber risks insurance to protect against financial losses associated with a data breach attack. Startups can enact other policies and procedures to ward off a business failure, including:

5 Ways to Protect Your Startup in it’s First Year

  1. Establish guidelines for data sharing between personal and business devices that employees use to access the startup’s network.

A startup should carefully monitor and control its data security and encryption practices when it allows employees to use their own personal devices to connect to the company’s network. Those devices can pose a significant cyber attack risk, even to larger companies that have established robust data security procedures.

  1. Enforce effective data and privacy practices.

Data and privacy practices are an extension of personal device guidelines. Startups need to regularly monitor and analyze unusual data events, control applications and email, watch for inconsistencies in cloud data storage and web applications, and protect against malware incursions. Cash-starved startups might place a low priority on these tasks, but data or privacy losses can cost far in the long run and can be the primary contributor to a startup’s failure.

  1. Perform penetration tests.

Startups that do not have the resources to devote toward elaborate cyber security measures can perform regular penetration tests to simulate potential cyber attacks and to identify weaknesses in their networks. Penetration test components might include launching a series of phishing emails to determine how much information would be divulged by careless employees, or infecting networks with malware replicants to determine whether the networks would free up confidential data or other information in response to malicious code. A number of third parties offer relatively low-cost network penetration testing services.

  1. Create a data breach response plan.

A common axiom for all startups is to hope for the best but prepare for the worst. That preparation should include a data breach response plan that the startup can implement immediately upon detecting an unauthorized incursion into its network. A good plan will revolve around three priorities: understanding the startup’s data breach risk factors; assessing the type of information that the startup collects, uses, stores, and transmits; and developing the best incident response plan that incorporates those first two priorities. With respect to the first priority, a startup’s risk factors will typically involve its people, processes, and technology. Its information can run the gamut from superficial employee, customer, or vendor data, to detailed personal or medical files. Lastly, a good incident response plan will establish procedures to determine the data breach source, to assess the scope of the damage, to formulate response and protection plans going forward, and to resolve problems that arise with victims of the breach.

  1. Invest in Cyber Risk Insurance

No amount of controls can provide absolute protection against data losses and breaches of a startup’s networks. A startup that is the victim of a successful cyber attack will likely lose its clients, expose itself to ruinous lawsuits, and be faced with the embarrassing reality of having to communicate the situation with hard-won vendors and customers who placed their trust and faith in the startup. Insurance will not rebuild these relationships, but it will give the startup a financial safety net that it can use to begin the process of re-establishing itself as a trustworthy business partner.

Tips & Techniques to Help with Organisation of Paperwork

How much of your working day is spent dealing with paperwork? If you happen to put it off for an extra day or so, how much longer do you spend trying to get caught up?

Implementing and persevering with organisational systems when dealing with paperwork is crucial in the modern workplace. While it makes it easier to locate files if they ever need to be recalled, the deployment of effective filing systems serves to minimise the time spent processing the paperwork in the first place. Not only does management of paperwork allow employees to make better use of their time, but it contributes to a general sense of well-being throughout the office.

While the axiom “time is money” is a truism of business life, offices around the globe waste hours and hours due to inefficiently managing their paperwork. By implementing a few organisational tips – and spending very little capital – we can prevent paperwork becoming unmanageable in the workplace.

Digital technologies

Although office printers are, to an extent, a contributory factor to the endless reams of paper which clutter our offices, embracing electronic technologies in the workplace and making use of their full potential can drastically help with the organisation of paperwork. For instance, while most industrial printers have a built-in scanner, there are numerous mobile apps which allow you to scan documents using a smartphone or other device. Visit the App store to purchase these.

Making electronic copies of documents means that you only have to store bulky physical files when it is absolutely necessary. Backing up electronic files on multiple hard drives also counters against misplacement of the original files, and passwords can be used to protect sensitive information.

Filing

Regardless of whatever methods are employed to cut down on paper copies of files, the reality is that there is still a necessity for physical files in the workplace: it would often be impractical to shred material immediately, and businesses are often required by law to keep records for several years. Adopting a systematic and easy-to-follow filing system is crucial in the workplace, and one of the best ways to keep everything organised is by using cheap box files.

Box files are incredibly spacious and durable, and, often coming with a clip to keep papers in place, are ideal for storing A4 papers. Their dimensions make them portable, so it is practical to carry them to meetings, and they can also be locked to protect any sensitive information that is contained inside. Much more economical and less obtrusive than bulky filing cabinets, box files are an essential purchase for any business.

Shredding

Backdated paperwork takes up a lot of space. Once files have been digitalised or are no longer required they should be shredded in order to reduce clutter. Small businesses can purchase personal sized shredders, while dedicated companies offer professional shredding services for larger companies – saving employees even more time. The shredded documents can then be recycled, helping your company conform with environmental and ethical standards.

How to Make Money Blogging?

How to Make Money Blogging?

How to Make Money Blogging?

You like writing? Well, writing long copied captions on Facebook doesn’t count. People who have a creative hand for writing, you can probably take your blogging activity to a whole new level. Blogging is a lifestyle-friendly business, work from home, write about your interests and share your creativity with the world. For those who already have a blog or have made a decision to start one, following guide will help you set one up with ease and earn serious money as well.

  • STEP 1: Setting up a Blog
    The very first thing to do is to get a good domain name, since the domain name is going to be stuck with you forever and changing the domain name is like starting all over again. A good domain name should suggest the nature of your blog. Something of the form, yourname.com.
    After finalizing your domain name you need to get a cheap and reliable web hosting solution, that is, a WordPress Web hosting company, with 99.9% server uptime guarantee, all at an affordable price. Setup a WordPress on your blog, select a great theme.

 

  • STEP 2: Creating Content and Marketing
    The next step being marketing and making your blog popular. Have attractive titles, use pictures, select a nice theme and write attention-grabbing headlines and content. These are the basics. How do you really establish your blog? Install a Google Analytics Tracking to your site (Search Engine Optimization). Now who doesn’t want to rank higher and come up on the first page of the Google search page? You can even monetize your site through affiliate marketing, i.e., by advertisements of affiliate products on your site. The most important way to publicize your site is through these social media networking sites like Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

 

  • STEP 3: Security
    You wouldn’t want a sudden data breach on your blog, you use some of these tips to protect your website from any outside attack.
    (a) Use strong passwords for all entry points. You need to change the WordPress admin password generated by WordPress at the time of the installation. Even though this password is really strong (with uppercases and lowercases, symbols and numbers), but their ftp/cPanel password for that domain is not that strong.
    (b) Add CAPTCHA on your login page.
    (c) Use a .htaccess file in your wp-admin directory to limit access to certain IP directories only.
    (d) Protect access to your plugins directory by blocking access to these directories.
    (e) Never show the WordPress you’re using on your blog since it gives the attacker an upper hand in finding a way to break in.

 

Happy Blogging!

An Employment Lawyer to Protect Your Rights as an Employer

An Employment Lawyer to Protect Your Rights as an Employer

Even though it may not seem like it to you at times, you really do have a number of rights when you are an employer and have people working for you. While there are all kinds of laws on the federal and state level that define the rights of the employees, there are also steps that need to be taken at times to make sure you as the employer are being treated fairly and get the chance to have your case heard.

If you find yourself in a situation where you are not sure what the proper legal steps are to take and want to make sure you have the proper protections and representation, it is time for you to look for an employment attorney Austin offers so that you can make sure your rights are protected.

A Lawyer for Many Situations

As a business owner, there are all kinds of potential problems that you may find you need to have a better understanding of so you can be sure you are on the right side of the law.

Not only do you need to be concerned about labor disputes, but you must also be aware of the laws regarding issues such as harassment, discrimination, wrongful termination, overtime, employee and contractor agreements and much more.

It can be challenging for anyone to keep up with all of the laws to make sure things are done properly, which is why it is so important for you to turn to a lawyer that has employment law experience and understands all of these situations so that they can guide you properly and protect you.

Choosing a Good Attorney

No matter what size of business you may have or how many or few employees you have at any given time, having a lawyer working with you is going to be crucial right from the start. You want to make sure you consult an attorney whenever you have someone working with you or for you so you can be sure that contracts are established legally, payroll is done properly and all of the rights of the employees are being met at all times.

Take the time to look for an attorney that has vast experience in employment law so you can be sure you are getting someone familiar with all of the latest laws and statutes and can advise you properly on what steps you need to take.

Even though you may think you will never need a lawyer as an employer, it is always good to have one on your side for situations that may seemingly come out of nowhere. If you are looking for an Austin employment lawyer to work with your business, reach out to the office of Jack Quentin Nichols. Mr. Nichols has many years of experience in employment law and will be glad to meet with you and consult with you so you can be sure that all of your employment law needs are met properly.

Business Lessons to be Learned from Steve Jobs

Business Lessons to be Learned from Steve Jobs

There will never be another Steve Jobs, they say. A college dropout, who turned out to be one the most revolutionary personalities in the history of mankind, is a man who never quit. He believed in his ideas, he had a vision, he trusted himself when he could feel the whole world around him falling down.

A man who founded one of the world’s leading companies, Apple, in his parents’ garage and rescued his entire company out of a near bankruptcy emergency, Steve Jobs is a man of creativity and innovations. If you have an idea that could change how the world is functioning at this very moment, you’ve got to read the following few lines to pump yourself with motivation and zeal.

  • Love what you do, and do what you love
    In just about 10 years, Apple grew from what it was with just 2 people in his parents’ garage to a $2 billion company. Steve Jobs was fired from the company he co-founded in 1985 and just about 20 years ago, he returned Apple to its glory, by saving the company from bankruptcy, making it the greatest corporate comeback ever. As he said, he found what he loved, and never let it go. He was rejected, but always in love. Sometimes life is going to hit you with a brick, but don’t lose faith.
  • Never stop learning
    When Apple was developing its Macintosh, in the early days, the team consisted of people from all backgrounds- art, music, poetry, literature and history who were also the best programmers in the world. You surround yourself with the best of the people, and keep improving. “My job is not to be easy on people,” he once stated. “My job is to make them better.”
  • Think big and be different
    Why is the world always excited about a new Apple product? Because Apple has a history of providing its customers with an experience they’ve never had. Steve Jobs created a product, no one ever even dreamed of. The rule to success is, if you want your customers to buy, you should be able to sell it yourself first. If you haven’t found the best, keep looking and don’t settle for something inferior than what you are actually capable of.
  • Each day he looked into the mirror and asked himself, “If today was my last day on this earth, would I be doing what I have planned for myself?” If the answer was a no for too many days in row, he would say to himself, “CHANGE”.
    He believed that the most valuable resource is time. It is either now or never. Today is the day you influence someone. Today is the day you get up and work.