All posts by Kit Case

Seattle Times: Jorgensen Forge Closing After 78 Years in Business

A spokesman for Jorgensen Forge said the owners see “much more opportunity in redeveloping this land.” Some of the 110 union employees at Jorgensen Forge have worked there for decades and aren’t sure what comes next.

Kit Case, Causey Wright's Paralegal & Media Manager

From Sandwich Shops To Cotton Mills, Art That Honors The American Worker

Today’s post was shared by Jon L Gelman and comes from www.npr.org

A lot of very hard work is going on at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.

A muscled guy in an undershirt tightens a big bolt with his wrench; a farm worker bends almost in half, filling his sack with cotton; Rosie the Riveter rolls up her sleeve to tackle her factory job. They’re all part of an exhibition called "The Sweat Of Their Face: Portraying American Workers."

But not all the laborers are big and burly.

A forlorn young girl — she can’t be more than 11 or 12 — stands at a long row of spools of thread mounted on a big piece of complicated machinery. Photographer Lewis Wickes Hine wrote her name and height on the back of the picture: "Sadie Pfeifer, 48 inches high, has worked half a year." She had a job in 1908 at the Lancaster Cotton Mills in South Carolina. You can almost hear the noise, feel the heat.

"And there she is, this little girl, alone, facing an enormous machine," says Dorothy Moss, who curated this show with David C. Ward. She says Hine was a crusader, and his cause was to abolish child labor. "He would often disguise himself as a Bible vendor or newspaper deliverer, other professions, to get into these mills."

Hine put himself at risk to take these pictures, and, with the camera as witness, reforms and regulations were enacted. This exhibition showcases centuries of American workers. They are, as Moss says,"the people who were building this country, who may be on the sidelines, who…

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Kit Case, Causey Wright's Paralegal & Media Manager

CNN Exclusive: California launches investigation following stunning admission by Aetna medical director

Today’s post was shared by Jon L Gelman and comes from www.cnn.com

(CNN)California’s insurance commissioner has launched an investigation into Aetna after learning a former medical director for the insurer admitted under oath he never looked at patients’ records when deciding whether to approve or deny care.

California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones expressed outrage after CNN showed him a transcript of the testimony and said his office is looking into how widespread the practice is within Aetna.

"If the health insurer is making decisions to deny coverage without a physician actually ever reviewing medical records, that’s of significant concern to me as insurance commissioner in California — and potentially a violation of law," he said.

Aetna, the nation’s third-largest insurance provider with 23.1 million customers, told CNN it looked forward to "explaining our clinical review process" to the commissioner.

The California probe centers on a deposition by Dr. Jay Ken Iinuma, who served as medical director for Aetna for Southern California from March 2012 to February 2015, according to the insurer.

During the deposition, the doctor said he was following Aetna’s training, in which nurses reviewed records and made recommendations to him.

Jones said his expectation would be "that physicians would be reviewing treatment authorization requests," and that it’s troubling that "during the entire course of time he was employed at Aetna, he never once looked at patients’ medical records himself."

"It’s…

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Apprenticeship Programs in Washington State


See a list of active state-registered Apprenticeship Programs and Standards
 with links to the program standards for each of those programs.

To get the files in a different format, contact the Apprenticeship Section.

Get Oregon-approved standards (www.oregon.gov).

Federal programs in Washington

Many apprenticeship programs that exist in federal agencies, on Native American tribal lands, and for multi-state non-building trades apprenticeships are overseen by United States Department of Labor’s Office of Apprenticeship (DOL/OA) Las Vegas, Nevada.

 

For more information, contact:
US Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeship
Douglas Howell, Region 6 Multi-State Navigator 
600 South Las Vegas Blvd Suite 520
Las Vegas NV 89101
702-388-6396
Email: howell.douglas@dol.gov

Look up an apprenticeship program in our Apprenticeship Registration and Tracking System (ARTS).

You can also use ARTS to check on the status of an individual apprentice.

Photo by wwwuppertal on Foter.com / CC BY-NC

Kit Case, Causey Wright's Paralegal & Media Manager

Are Workers’ Comp Benefits Ever Taxable?

Today’s post was shared by Workers Comp News and comes from www.jdsupra.com

In the vast majority of cases, workers’ compensation benefits are fully tax exempt, at the federal, state and local level. But this is not always the case where the workers’ comp beneficiary is also receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.

Workers’ comp programs, which are run at the state level, provide benefits to people who suffer from work-related disabilities, stemming either from specific incidents or from conditions that develop over time, otherwise known as occupational injuries. The federal SSDI program compensates people with sufficient work histories who are deemed unemployable due to their disabilities, regardless of any connection between the person’s employment and the disability.

As is the case whenever a person with Social Security benefits receives supplemental income, a person’s SSDI benefit becomes taxable if the combined SSDI and workers’ comp income exceeds $25,000 (or $35,000 for joint filers).

To further complicate matters, if the person’s combined income exceeds this, then the workers’ comp award may also become taxable where the person is subject to the workers’ comp offset. This rule exists to prevent a person from receiving a combined amount from SSDI and workers’ comp in excess of 80 percent of the person’s prior earnings. In such cases, the Social Security Administration will reduce the person’s SSDI benefit until it meets the 80 percent threshold.

However,…

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Kit Case, Causey Wright's Paralegal & Media Manager

Workforce Development: Port of Seattle Seeks Mentors and Students for Internship Positions


mentoring

Mentors and internships help bridge the gap between school and employment.

 

It’s easy to become a mentor

Educurious and the Port of Seattle are building a network of mentors, especially professionals in the public administration, environmental, skilled trades, aviation or maritime fields. Find out more here, or contact Rose Carlson at rcarlson@educurious.org, call (206) 717-2295, or schedule a phone meeting here.

Ready to sign up now? Go to www.educurious-experts.chronus.com.

 

Career-connected learning

The Port is currently accepting applications for at least 44 college internships in 2018, and will start accepting applications for 80 high school summer internships soon. These paid positions will provide meaningful work and learning experiences, allow students to try out careers, develop skills and networks, and benefit from mentoring. To visit the application web page click here.

Kit Case, Causey Wright's Paralegal & Media Manager

Wearable Technology Assists Blind and Low Vision Travelers at Sea-Tac Airport

 

Aira

During a technology demonstration, Susan Mazrui, an Aria Explorer, shops for her daughter at a Sea-Tac Airport shop, with assistance over her cell phone.

The Port of Seattle recently introduced a pilot program for people who are blind or low vision that allows them to use a new technology to move more safely and independently through Sea-Tac Airport.

During the pilot program, there will be no cost to travelers to use the Aira service, which uses smart glasses and a cell phone mobile app to help them navigate from curb to gate.

This technology allows the user to speak to a certified live, human agent who can see the environment around the user in real-time. Agents then serve as visual interpreters for passengers to accomplish a variety of tasks in the airport—from viewing a flight information board to finding the cue line at a security checkpoint to verifying their luggage at a baggage carousel.

Sea-Tac is the first airport on the West Coast and is among the first airports in the nation to join the Aira Airport Network to provide this assistance. 

Welcome Johanna to the Causey Wright Team!

Johanna Gauthier has joined the Causey Wright team as our receptionist. You may have already had the chance to hear her cheery voice on the phone or meet her always-smiling face in-person.

After seven years working in the tourist maritime industry, Johanna is excited to explore a potential career within the legal field. The position of receptionist has afforded her the opportunity to get an in depth look at how the firm functions on a day to day basis, and learn the basics of workers’ compensation. During the lunch hour, she can be found performing her role as the Leader of the Crosswords, our daily team sport.

Next time you phone the office, say “Hello!” to Johanna.

Change Made in Social Security Offset Law in WA State

Washington State House Bill 1336, sponsored by Representatives Kirby, Sells, and Appleton, was passed by the Senate on March 2nd, 2018.  Governor Inslee signed the bill into law last week.  Brian Wright attended the signing ceremony, celebrating the conclusion of this process over the 2017 and 2018 regular sessions.

This change amends the statute that governs the offset of workers’ compensation benefits paid when an injured worker is also receiving Social Security disability or retirement benefits, as follows:

Sec. 1. RCW 51.32.225 and 2006 c 163 s 1 are each amended to read as follows:

(1) For persons receiving compensation for temporary or permanent total disability under this title, the compensation shall be reduced by the department to allow an offset for social security retirement benefits payable under the federal social security, old age survivors, and disability insurance act, 42 U.S.C. This reduction shall not apply to any worker who is receiving permanent total disability benefits prior to July 1, 1986. This reduction does not apply to workers who had applied to receive social security retirement benefits prior to the date of their injury or to workers who were receiving social security benefits prior to their injury.

(2) Reductions for social security retirement benefits under this section shall comply with the procedures in RCW 51.32.220 (1) through (6) and with any other procedures established by the department to administer this section. For any worker whose entitlement to social security retirement benefits is immediately preceded by an entitlement to social security disability benefits, the offset shall be based on the formulas provided under 42 U.S.C. Sec. 424a. For all other workers entitled to social security retirement benefits, the offset shall be based on procedures established and determined by the department to most closely follow the intent of RCW 51.32.220.

(3) Any reduction in compensation made under chapter 58, Laws of 1986, shall be made before the reduction established in this section. 

NEW SECTION.

Sec. 2. This act applies to claims with dates of injury on or after the effective date of this section.

Kit Case, Causey Wright's Paralegal & Media Manager

Dental Personnel Treated for Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis at a Tertiary Care Center — Virginia, 2000–2015

Today’s post was shared by Jon L Gelman and comes from www.cdc.gov

During September 1996–June 2017, nine (1%) of 894 patients treated for IPF at a single tertiary care center in Virginia were identified as dental personnel. Each patient presented for care during 2000–2015. Seven of the patients had died. This is the first known described cluster of IPF occurring among dental personnel. Although no clear etiology exists for this cluster, it is possible that occupational exposures contributed to the development of IPF.

During 2016, dentists accounted for an estimated 0.038% of U.S. residents (4), yet represented 0.893% of patients undergoing treatment for IPF at one tertiary care center, nearly a 23-fold difference. Dental personnel are exposed to infectious agents, chemicals, airborne particulates, ionizing radiation, and other potentially hazardous materials (5). Inhalational exposures experienced by dentists likely increase their risk for certain work-related respiratory diseases. For example, cases of dental technicians with pneumoconiosis, a restrictive occupational lung disease resulting from inhalation of dust, have been identified after exposure to either silica or cobalt-chromium-molybdenum-based dental prostheses (6,7). A case of pneumoconiosis was identified postmortem in an elderly dentist who died from respiratory failure (8). Examination of lung tissue at autopsy using scanning electron microscopy revealed particles consistent with alginate impression powders used during the dentist’s practice. Nine cases of…

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