Monday, April 13, 2015

Three important facts about Social Security Disability & Virginia Workers Compensation

There are at least three (3) important things to know about Virginia Workers' Compensation and Social Security Disability:

First, even though the worker has been found "disabled" by Social Security this is not binding on the Virginia Workers' Compensation Commission or the workers' compensation insurance company. If the treating doctor says you can do light duty work, the insurance company will continue to try to find you light duty work despite the decision by Social Security.

Second, in most instances workers who are on workers' compensation will have their Social Security Disability benefits reduced because they are also receiving workers' compensation payments. The formula is if a combination of Social Security payments and workers' compensation payments exceed 80% of what Social Security finds to be the worker's pre-disability wages, the Social Security payments will be reduced.

Third, in a settlement current Social Security rules allow the attorney for the injured worker to pro-rate the lump settlement over the worker's life expectancy. By using this formula the attorney can eliminate the offset.

For more information about Virginia workers' compensation call Jerry Lutkenhaus at (804) 358-4766 or 1(800) 256-8862 or visit our website at Virginia Workers' Compensation Lawyer.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Sexual Harassment in Virginia may lead to a Constructive Discharge Lawsuit!

In a recent case (Faulkner v. Dillon VLW 015-3-141) Ms. Faulkner alleged the defendant had sexually harassed her. The defendant was the owner of dry cleaning business in Bluefield, Virginia. As a result, she re-signed and commenced a lawsuit for constructive discharge in the United States District Court in Abingdon, Virginia.

Virginia has traditionally followed the "employee at will" doctrine. This essentially means an employer can discharge an employee for any reason that is not illegal. The Supreme Court of Virginia has never recognized constructive discharge as an exception to the employee at will rule.

Notwithstanding this, US District Court Judge Jones said there was a growing trend in the Circuit Courts in Virginia to recognize this exception. Judge Jones allowed Ms. Faulkner's claim to go forward as an exception to the "employee at will" doctrine.

For more information: contact Jerry Lutkenhaus at (804-358-4766 or 1(800) 256-8862 or visit our website at Virginia Workers Compensation Lawyer.