(c) 2015 Jon L Gelman, All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Federal Court Civil Action Stayed Pending Criminal Case

A civil action instituted by LM Insurance Corporation was stayed against a defendant employer pending a Federal criminal action. The application to stay the Federal civil action was made by the employer to the court following the issuance of multiple Grand Jury Subpoenas and the execution of a Search and Seizure Warrant against the defendant employer in his home and place of business.

The documents requested to be produced in the criminal investigation included workers' compensation records, wage and labor records, bookkeeping and other financial records.The allegations in the Federal criminal action mirrored the fraud allegations in the Federal civil action.

"Here, it is clear that the issues presented in this civil action and the government's criminal investigation substantially overlap as they relate to Defendants' conduct with respect to procuring workers compensation insurance. As to the status of the criminal action, although no indictments have issued, it appears the government's investigation has moved beyond the preliminary stages as a Search and Seizure Warrant has been executed and multiple Grand Jury Subpoenas have been served. The Subpoenas issued to Defendants Viteri and Yepez require an appearance before a Grand Jury on September 3, 2015.
"Weighing Plaintiff's interest in proceeding expeditiously against any delay resulting from a stay, it is noteworthy that the civil action is at a relatively early stage with very little formal discovery having been conducted. As a result, it does not appear that Plaintiff will suffer any undue prejudice by a delay in the civil proceedings. On the other hand, the burden on Defendants to simultaneously defend the civil action and respond to a federal criminal investigation, with the potential compromise of their Fifth Amendment rights, is significant.
"Finally, although the Court and the public share an interest in the “just, speedy and inexpensive” resolutions of civil disputes (see Fed.R.Civ.P. 1), that interest does not supercede the interests of the parties to this case. On balance, consideration of these factors weighs in favor of a stay of the civil action.

LM Insurance Corporation v FAV Transportation, L.L.C., Civ Action No. 14-5424 (MAS), 2015 WL 4915677, August 18, 2015

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

NLRB Rejects Northwestern University Football Payers' Bid to Unionize

Ryan Field, Northwestern's 49,000 seat footbal...
Ryan Field, Northwestern's 49,000 seat football stadium. ‪
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The NLRB has rejected a bid by the football players at Northwestern University to unionize. The decision, ironically, did not decide whether or not the football scholarship players were employees.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Senator Gillibrand: We Have a Moral Obligation to Care for 9/11 Heroes, Survivors & Their Families

As the Zadroga Act slowly journeys to expiration, Senator Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY) declared that, “We Have a Moral Obligation to Continue to Provide the Critically Needed Care and Compensation That Our 9/11 Heroes, Survivors and Their Families Deserve."

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Injured Workers Continue to Decline While Employer Costs Rise

Study Finds Benefits as a Share of Payroll Approach Lowest in Three Decades

Workers’ compensation benefits as a share of payroll for injured workers continue to decline even as employment grows and overall employer costs increase, according to anew report from the National Academy of Social Insurance (the Academy).

Lead: Bringing it Home From Work

NIOSH reports that homes may be contaminated by toxic substances such as lead when employees bring home the contaminates. Bystander exposure occurs when employees bring home toxic substances on their bodies, clothing or other objects. Lead affects the developing nervous system of children, and no safe blood lead level (BLL) in children has been identified:

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

CMS to Speed-Up MSP Collection Practices

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced that it intends to speed up its collections practices enforcing the Medicare Secondary Payer Act (MSP). CMS stated that such procedures are mandatory under the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014 or the DATA Act Public Law No: 113-101 (05/09/2014).

Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Plot Thickens As Uber Turns to Leasing Vehicles

Uber is about to change "the rules" yet again by now leasing vehicles to its drivers. While there is great uncertainty of how "employment status" will be interpreted going forward in the new sharing economy, one thing is for certain, the concept will continue to evolve and redefine the traditional workplace.