Ebola Outbreak: Are You Prepared And Protected?

I have been carefully following the Ebola outbreak, both the cases in the United States and those around the world. I am saddened to see anyone suffer from this horrible virus, but the preventable infections, including the infection of multiple health care workers in Dallas, are particularly alarming. Health care workers are on the front lines of our fight against this deadly disease and their bravery should be recognized. They are an infected patient’s first point of contact with a hospital and are in close contact with infected patients during their struggle, often having to work with blood and bodily fluids, the primary methods of transmittal. 

The lack of preparation on the part of some of our healthcare institutions has been extensively covered in the news. According to reports from Dallas, the hospital where the first patient was admitted had a complete absence of protocols for caring for patients with Ebola. This lack of preparation has put thousands of people at risk of infection and at least potentially contributed to in the spread of the outbreak in the United States from one patient to at least three. But the failure lies not only with local hospitals, it is also due to a slow and uncoordinated effort by our Federal government.

Even if existing protocols had been followed in Dallas, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, admits that the Federal guidelines are inadequate. The Centers for Disease Control is revising its protocol for the treatment of Ebola patients, but the recommended steps will take time to fully implement. The CDC’s current protocol was originally developed by the World Health Organization for the treatment of infected patients in facilities in rural Africa, not in busy American hospitals.

Even before the comprehensive protocols are developed and implemented, our health care workers should to be trained on the basics and given the proper equipment for their own protection. For example, nurses must be trained in and practice the complicated and tedious getting in and out of hazmat suits. Training must happen quickly, as the situation could become dire – as of today we only have 4 hospitals in the United States that are fully equipped with a pre-trained staff. Those hospitals can treat a total of 9 Ebola patients. We are just not equipped for a large domestic Ebola outbreak.

Further, as this CNN video below explains, health care workers are not the only ones at risk. Because Ebola can survive on surfaces like doorknobs, tables and fabrics long after an infected person has touched them, many locations may need to be disinfected in the coming weeks as the true extent of the outbreak becomes known. Just last week a group of airline cabin cleaners at LaGuardia Airport went on strike because of the possible health risks of cleaning surfaces touched by Ebola-infected passengers. Like health care workers, the workers who are in charge of the disinfection process should follow the Federal guidelines once they are released.

 

In addition to the possibility of Ebola infection, working in extraordinarily difficult conditions is highly stressful and the complicated new procedures could lead to injury. We urge all workers to be extremely cautious when training on and implementing new procedures.

If you are a Health Care worker involved in an accident or occupational injury, please consult us regarding your financial and medical rights. Workers are entitled to know about their rights under the law, whether it is from a traumatic injury or from occupational conditions due to repetitive activity at work over time. There are deadlines to filing a claim so please contact Pasternack, Tilker, Ziegler, Walsh, Stanton & Romano, LLP as soon as you can.  

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Giving Back: Senior Partner Catherine Stanton Joins EAC Network Board

Catherine Stanton Joins EAC Network BoardAs reported in Newsday, Senior Partner Catherine M. Stanton has joined the Board of Directors of EAC Network. Catherine is a long-time supporter of EAC Network and was honored at the agency’s annual Light of Hope Luncheon in 2013 for her outstanding support. She serves on the event’s Committee each year and has always been an invaluable friend to EAC Network.

ABOUT EAC NETWORK

Founded in 1969, EAC Network is a not-for-profit human service agency with a network of 70 programs throughout Long Island and New York City. Last year, EAC Network helped over 57,400 people of all ages. Among those the organization assisted were children who have been physically or sexually abused, senior citizens needing support, people struggling with substance abuse and/or mental illness, youth in the foster care system, persons on public assistance seeking financial independence, adults and youth who are under or unemployed, individuals needing help to mediate disputes and families in crisis. For more information about EAC Network, please call 516.539.0150, visit www.eac-network.org, facebook.com/eacnet, or our Twitter handle @EACNet.

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Attorney Frank Francis To Lecture On Workers’ Compensation

Associate Michael “Frank” Francis

Associate Michael “Frank” Francis

Associate Frank Francis will be lecturing on October 22nd at a continuing legal education event hosted by The LGBT Bar Association of Greater New York’s Solo and Small Law Firm Practitioners Committee.  The event is entitled 10 Things Every Solo and Small Firm Practitioner Should Know About.

Event Details Are:

October 22nd and 29th
5:30 – 9:45 P.M.
Capell Barnett Matalon & Schoenfeld
225 West 35th Street, 16th Floor

Registration details will be provided by the organizers shortly.

The Wednesday, October 22nd session is eligible for 4 CLE Credits and topics discussed will be:

  • Wills, Trusts & Estates
  • Personal Injury
  • Workers’ Compensation
  • Family Law

The Wednesday, October 29th session is eligible for  4 CLE Credits and topics discussed will be:

  • Ethics
  • Negotiation
  • Criminal Law
  • Immigration

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Immigrant children lack legal representation, rights groups allege in lawsuit

Today’s post was shared by The Workers’ Injury Law & Advocacy Group and comes from www.oregonlive.com

Border crisis Demonstration

Demonstrators march near the White House after a news conference of immigrant families and children’s advocates. Meanwhile, in Seattle, a coalition of immigrant rights groups is suing the federal government over the lack of legal representation for minors during deportation hearings. (The Associated Press)

SEATTLE — A coalition of immigrant rights advocacy groups is suing the federal government over the fact that few minors have legal representation during deportation proceedings.

The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in federal court in Seattle on behalf of eight plaintiffs, all minors. The plaintiffs are from Mexico and Central America, and they range in age from 10 to 17.

At deportation hearings, immigrants must hire their own lawyers or find someone to represent them pro bono, while the federal government has attorneys arguing for them to leave the U.S.

The groups say as a result, thousands of immigrant children end up with no legal representation at deportation proceedings every year. And they say the issue could be compounded with the recent influx minors attempting to enter the country through the southern border.

The Justice Department and Department of Homeland Security did not immediately comment.

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Lawsuit Contends Surveillance Database Is Too Lax on Reporting Criteria

Today’s post was shared by The Workers’ Injury Law & Advocacy Group and comes from www.nytimes.com

WASHINGTON — Intent on not overlooking clues about any terrorist plots after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the government spread a now-familiar slogan: “If you see something, say something.” Less visibly, it built a national database to better harness reports of suspicious activity in the hunt for terrorists.

On Thursday, five California men opened a legal front over the recurring tensions between collective security measures and individual rights by filing a lawsuit that challenges the Suspicious Activity Reporting database. They contend that it is too easy for people engaged in innocuous activities to be put into the database and scrutinized as if they were a threat.

The plaintiffs include two white photographers who were confronted by security guards at a natural gas tank and by the police at a refinery; an Egyptian-American who tried to buy a large number of computers at a Best Buy store; a Pakistani-American who was looking around in a train station with his mother, who wore a Muslim head scarf; and a white Muslim convert who was looking at a flight simulator game on the Internet.

Each contends that he was added to the database for his behavior, although only two, according to previously disclosed government documents, have been able to prove it. The lawsuit argues that federal standards are too lax in allowing a security guard’s or a police officer’s report to be uploaded into the national database.

The Justice Department did not…

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Catherine Stanton Joins EAC Network Board of Directors

Senior Partner Catherine Stanton

We are happy to announce that Senior Partner Catherine M. Stanton has joined the Board of Directors of EAC Network. Catherine is a long-time supporter of EAC Network and was honored at the agency’s annual Light of Hope Luncheon in 2013 for her outstanding support. She serves on the event’s Committee each year and has always been an invaluable friend to EAC Network.

“I’ve inundated Cathy with invitations and pleas to join our Board for some time now,” jests Lance Elder, President & CEO at EAC Network, “and knowing she takes such commitments very seriously, I was overjoyed when she finally accepted to be a part of our team.”

Catherine is no stranger to the nonprofit world.  She is involved in Brandworkers’ International, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, and Public Justice. And from 2012-2013  she  served as President of Workers’ Injury Law & Advocacy Group (WILG), a national non-profit membership organization dedicated to representing the interests of millions of workers and their families who, each year, suffer the consequences of workplace injuries and illnesses.

“I was hesitant to join the Board at first because I wanted to make sure I could offer EAC Network the attention and dedication it deserves.  I’m glad I can finally prioritize an agency that means so much to me,” says Catherine.

ABOUT EAC NETWORK
Founded in 1969, EAC Network is a not-for-profit human service agency with a network of 70 programs throughout Long Island and New York City. Last year, EAC Network helped over 57,400 people of all ages. Among those the organization assisted were children who have been physically or sexually abused, senior citizens needing support, people struggling with substance abuse and/or mental illness, youth in the foster care system, persons on public assistance seeking financial independence, adults and youth who are under or unemployed, individuals needing help to mediate disputes and families in crisis. For more information about EAC Network, please call 516.539.0150, visit www.eac-network.orgfacebook.com/eacnet, or our Twitter handle @EACNet.

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Patient Access To Physicians Notes: An Experiment of Psychological Importance

Today’s post was shared by Gelman on Workplace Injuries and comes from well.blogs.nytimes.com

Photo Today’s post is shared from the NYTimes.com  What would happen if all workers’ compensation patients had access to all their treating physician’s records including pschiatric care? Would such access assist in limiting and increasing litigation for continued medical care and the need for medical treatment?

David Baldwin wasn’t sure how he had come across the other day in group therapy at the hospital, near the co-op apartment where he lives with his rescue cat, Zoey. He struggles with bipolar disorder, severe anxiety and depression. Like so many patients, he secretly wondered what his therapist thought of him.

But unlike those patients, Mr. Baldwin, 64, was able to find out, swiftly and privately. Pulling his black leather swivel chair to his desk, he logged onto a hospital website and eagerly perused his therapist’s session notes.

The clinical social worker, Stephen O’Neill, wrote that Mr. Baldwin’s self-consciousness about his disorder kept him isolated. Because he longed to connect with others, this was particularly self-defeating, Mr. O’Neill observed. But during the session, he had also discussed how he had helped out neighbors in his co-op.

“This seems greatly appreciated, and he noted his clear enjoyment in helping others,” Mr. O’Neill wrote. “This greatly assists his self-esteem.”

A smile animated Mr. Baldwin’s broad, amiable features. “I have a tough time recognizing that…

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More than $1.6M in unpaid overtime for 1,543 workers in the Gulf Coast recovered by US Labor Department

Today’s post was shared by US Labor Department and comes from www.dol.gov

News Release

WHD News Release: [07/10/2014]

Ongoing initiative reveals evasive pay practices in the temporary staffing industry

HOUMA, La. — B & D Contracting Inc., a labor recruiting and staffing agency that caters to oil field services and maritime fabrication facilities along the Gulf Coast, has agreed to pay $1,660,438 in back wages to 1,543 current and former employees. An investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor found that the company engaged in improper pay and record-keeping practices that resulted in employees being denied overtime compensation in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The employees were assigned to client work sites throughout Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama to work as welders, pipe fitters and shipfitters.

Investigators from the Wage and Hour Division’s New Orleans District Office found the company mischaracterized certain wages as per diem payments and impermissibly excluded these wages when calculating overtime premiums, denying employees earned overtime compensation.

"Temporary staffing agencies serve valuable and legitimate business needs in today’s economy," said Dr. David Weil, administrator for the Wage and Hour Division, "But employers may not manipulate these arrangements and use evasive pay practices to avoid paying workers their rightful wages."

"The labor violations we found in this case are not unique to B & D Contracting Inc.," said Cynthia Watson, regional administrator for the…

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