Category Archives: Workers’ Compensation Reform

Death by Overwork: Is It Compensable?

Dangerously long working hours are a problem around the world.

Today we have a guest post from my colleague Jon Gelman of New Jersey.

Since the 1960s there has been serious social concern over health problems due to long working hours in Japan. Around that time the term Karoshi, or “death from over work,” became known.

Recent national statistics show that more than 6 million people worked for 60 h or more per week during years 2000 and 2004. Approximately three hundred cases of brain and heart diseases were recognized as labour accidents resulting from overwork (Karoshi) by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) between 2002 and 2005. Consequently, the MHLW has been working to establish a more appropriate compensation system for Karoshi, as well as preventive measures for overwork related health problems.

In 2001, the MHLW set the standards for clearly recognizing Karoshi in association with the amount of overtime working hours. These standards Continue reading

Prior results do not guarantee outcomes.

Partners Cathy Stanton And Edgar Romano Lobby Congress In Washington D.C.

Cathy Stanton and Edgar Romano with Congressman Eliot Engel (Representative from The Bronx, Rockland and Westchester).

Yesterday Paternack Tilker Ziegler Walsh Stanton & Romano partners Cathy Stanton and Edgar Romano were in Washington with the Workers Injury Law & Advocacy Group lobbying the United States Congress for the needs of injured workers.

Prior results do not guarantee outcomes.

Nannies, Baby-sitters, And Comp Coverage: Yes, We Still Have “Domestic Servants”

Today we have a guest blog from our colleagues Nathan Hammons and Charlie
Domer of Wisconsin.

Most families in Wisconsin have hired a baby-sitter or nanny to watch their children. The pay generally is in cash for a defined period of time. Does the situation create an employer-employee relationship, entitling an injured baby-sitter to worker’s compensation benefits?

Under the Worker’s Compensation Act, most employers in the state are required to provide worker’s compensation coverage for their employees. Employers of ‘domestic servants’, however, are completely exempt from the requirement. (Wis. Stat. §102.07(4)(a)1.) Unfortunately, neither the Act or Wisconsin courts provide a definition. So, what exactly is a domestic servant?

Significantly, the Department appears to treat the prevalent positions of in-home baby-sitter or nanny as exempt from the Act, which could expose the in-home “employers” to general negligence claims.

The name ‘domestic servant’ is antiquated. It brings up old images of butlers, maids, and other people toiling away in the mansions of royalty and the wealthy. Indeed, search Wikipedia for ‘domestic servant’ and you’ll be directed to ‘domestic worker’, the modern term and one that doesn’t imply inequality in the workplace. Without citation or authority, a Department publication indicated that it has “consistently ruled that persons hired in a private home to perform general household services such as nanny, baby-sitting, cooking, cleaning, laundering, gardening, yard and maintenance work and other duties commonly associated with the meaning of domestic servant, meet the definition of domestic servant intended by the Act.” Significantly, the Department appears to treat the prevalent positions of in-home baby-sitter or nanny as exempt from the Act, which could expose the in-home “employers” to general negligence claims.

Consequently, nannies Continue reading

Prior results do not guarantee outcomes.