News roundup: compensable harassment, Bush health-care, Iraq vets, new blogs, and more

January 23rd, 2007 by Julie Ferguson

Unwelcome sexual advances factor into compensability award – Judge Robert Vonada of PA WC blog points us to the a recent PA Supreme Court decision that awarded workers comp to a miner based on sexual harassment that aggravated the claimant’s pre-existing PTSD. (RAG (CYPRUS) Emerald Resources, L.P. v. WCAB (Hopton), Appeal of: Ronald A. Hopton) The unanimous decision by five justices reverses a Commonwealth Court ruling, which had denied benefits to the claimant. in it article Pa. High Court Rules Unwanted Advances Are Abnormal Working Conditions, offers more details on the case.
A Bush health-care proposal – Joe Paduda offers a preview of a major new health-care initiative that will be announced by Bush in tonight’s State of the Union speech. Joe’s assessment in a nutshell? “The hole in the US health care insurance and delivery systems is way bigger than the patch provided by Bush’s plan.”
Iraq vetsThe New England Journal of Medicine features a grim but excellent photo essay on Caring for the wounded in Iraq – be warned, the photos are graphic. Medical advances are keeping more vets alive, despite profound injuries. These are the vets that will be returning to the work force.
A dim view of mandatory arbitration – In Mandatory arbitration: stupid employer tricks, attorney Jay Shephard of the delightfully-named blog Gruntled Employees discusses the reasons why employers may want to consider mediation rather than compulsory arbitration as a method of alternative dispute resolution. In reading this piece, we can see where such an agreement might also factor negatively into workers comp negotiations.
Cheer up – you made it through Blue Monday. We learn from Management Issues that yesterday was the most depressing day of the year:

“Cardiff University psychologist Dr Cliff Arnall has singled out today on the basis of a mathematical equation where [W + (D-d)] x TQ M x NA where W = weather, D = debt, d = money due in January pay, T = time elapsed since Christmas, Q = time since failed New Year’s resolutions to quit smoking, drinking etc, M = general motivational levels, NA = the need to take action.”

If it quacks like a duckThe Museum of Questionable Medical Devices catalogs medical quackery throughout the ages.
New weblog discoveries
Ergonomics in the News – a good blog featuring a variety of ergonomic-related posts, such as Confronting driver distraction and The Aging Workforce – Physical Changes Require Ergonomic Intervention
Employment Law Colorado is the blog of attorney Peter Mullison. A sampling or recent posts include On the job injuries and Colorado Posting Requirements. Mullison offers a free copy of the American Bar Association’s new book Guide to Workplace Law in exchange for the best employment law questions submitted by the end of the month.
California Employee Rights Blog – is a blog by attorneys James J. Peters and Sara R. Peters. A sampling or recent posts include Terminated while on FMLA and “Side Effects” of California’s new minimum wage law.