Cause of Work-Related Miscarriages

According to the Mayo Clinic, around 10-20 percent of all pregnancies end in miscarriage. Sometimes miscarriage is the result of abnormalities or complications that cannot be avoided. Other times, they are the result of injury or illness. In this post, we will discuss the common causes for work-related miscarriages, and what women need to know about their legal rights.

Causes for Work-Related Miscarriages

Research shows that there are several occupational factors that can increase the risk of miscarriage. These factors include:

  • Shift work
  • Long working hours
  • Demanding physical workload
  • Lifting, standing, or walking for extended periods of time
  • Exposure to harmful chemicals
  • Exposure to toxins (mold, carbon monoxide, etc.)
  • Workplace stress or harassment
  • Workplace accidents (slip and fall, hazardous conditions, etc.)
  • Workplace violence or physical harm

Any of these factors can increase your risk of having a miscarriage. If you have suffered a miscarriage and believe that it was work-related, you should contact a workers’ compensation attorney to discuss your legal rights.

Miscarriage and Workers’ Compensation

If you are injured in a work-related incident, or suffered a miscarriage as a direct result of your work environment, then you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits could include compensation for:

  • Medical care
  • Temporary or permanent disability benefits
  • Job replacement costs
  • Death benefits

The type of benefits you qualify for will depend on the incident, your status as an employee, and your ability to establish that your injuries were the result of your occupation.

Contact a Workers’ Compensation Attorney

There is no easy way of resolving cases involving the loss of a child. At The Law Offices of George S. Henderson, we understand the delicate nature of miscarriage-related claims. Our attorneys are dedicated to helping you protect your legal rights and get the benefits you deserve.

Sources:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/pregnancy-loss-miscarriage/symptoms-causes/syc-20354298

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3699369/

Know Your Rights When Working on Black Friday

Every year on Black Friday we hear stories about the insanity experienced by shoppers. What we don’t often hear about is what those working in retail face as they prepare for, and manage, the onslaught of customers.

With Black Friday just around the corner, here is what you need to know about your rights when working on the busiest shopping day of the year.

Is Working on Black Friday Really Dangerous?

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), working on Black Friday can be hazardous. In 2008, one retail worker was trampled to death by a crowd of customers. Since 2010, an unusual website titled “Black Friday Death Count” continues to tally the injuries and deaths reported among shoppers and employees. So far, the website lists 10 deaths and 111 injuries since 2010.

Know Your Rights When Working on Black Friday

If you are working on Black Friday this year, here are some important things for you to remember:

  • If you are working “overtime”, check with your employee handbook to review policies that might apply to you. If you are entitled to overtime pay, make sure you get it.
  • OSHA developed crowd management safety guidelines following the 2008 death of a Wal-Mart employee. Make sure that you and your employer follow these guidelines.
  • Your employer is responsible for ensuring a safe work environment. That includes ensuring that:
    • All employees are properly trained
    • Security guards are on-site, if needed
    • Employees have adequate gear for the job (shoes, braces, etc.)
    • Unruly customers are dealt with in a timely manner
  • Remember that you are not legally obligated to place yourself if a dangerous situation. If your work environment spirals out of control, let your boss know and remove yourself from the situation.

For more specific information, contact The Law Offices of George S. Henderson to discuss your rights.

 

Sources:

https://www.monster.com/career-advice/article/policies-in-place-to-keep-retail-workers-safe-during-black-friday-frenzy

http://blackfridaydeathcount.com/

 5 Facts about Ageism in the Workplace

Two out of every three workers ages 45 to 74 report experiencing some form of age discrimination in the workplace. There are common misconceptions that older workers are uneducated, less healthy, less skillful, or less productive than their younger peers. Not only are these misconceptions largely untrue – they are also damaging to the individuals and the businesses involved.

Age discrimination, or ageism, is a form of discrimination that is prohibited by law. Under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA), ageism is illegal at any point in the employment process. Let’s take a look at ageism and what the law says.

5 Facts about Ageism in the Workplace

Check out these 5 facts about ageism in the workplace:

  1. In 2009, a U.S. Supreme Court ruling established that plaintiffs must meet a higher burden of proof for ageism as compared to other types of discrimination.
  2. 8 out of 10 Americans 50 and older want Congress to strengthen laws preventing ageism in the workplace.
  3. A common misconception is that ageism begins when workers turn 50. Research shows, however, that ageism most commonly occurs between the ages of 45 and 74.
  4. There is a gender difference in perception of ageism. Around 72 percent of women 45 to 74 report experiencing ageism. Only 52 percent of men between 45 and 74 report experiencing ageism.
  5. The most common type of ageism reported is not getting hired. About 19 percent of AARP survey respondents report not getting hired due to ageism. Another 12 percent report being skipped for a promotion, and 8 percent report being laid off or fired.

The most important thing you should know about ageism is that you can take action if you have been discriminated against. Talk to an attorney about your legal rights, filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), or filing a lawsuit.

Facts about LGBTQ Discrimination at Work

American culture has shifted in recent years with a greater focus on equality. Many states have implemented laws prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation. Unfortunately, an unsettling number of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) employees still experience discrimination at work.

Let’s take a look at some statistics about LGBTQ discrimination at work:
• Around 20 percent of LGBTQ Americans have experienced some form of discrimination during the application process.
• Around 22 percent of LGBTQ Americans have not been equally paid or promoted as compared to their peers.
• 27 percent of transgender Americans report being not hired, being fired, or being overlooked for promotion.
• In 2015, 80 percent of transgender employees report having been harassed or mistreated on the job.
• LGBTQ employees report offensive or harassing jokes in the workplace at the following rates:
o 62 percent heard lesbian or gay jokes
o 43 percent heard bisexual jokes
o 40 percent heard transgender jokes

What the Law Says about LGBTQ Discrimination at Work

Federal law does not protect LGBTQ Americans from discrimination at work. Currently, 28 states have no protection from discrimination, meaning that employees could be fired for being lesbian, gay, or bisexual. Thirty states have no protection against discrimination based on being transgender.

Because federal and state laws often do not include specific protections, many companies have implemented protections and benefits. Some of these include:
• In 2017, 91 percent of Fortune 500 companies had implemented non-discrimination policies including sexual orientation.
• In 2017, 83 percent of Fortune 500 companies implemented policies including gender identity.
• Around 21 percent of U.S. companies offer LGBT-inclusive family leave.
• Around 23 percent of U.S. companies offer LGBT-inclusive paid adoption leave.

While efforts may be leaning in a positive direction, there is still a great deal of work to be done in order to ensure that American workplaces are fair, equal, and safe for everyone.

Sources:

https://www.rwjf.org/en/library/research/2017/10/discrimination-in-america–experiences-and-views.html
https://www.catalyst.org/knowledge/lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender-workplace-issues

2017 Workplace Equality Fact Sheet

Toxic Exposure at Work – What are Your Options?

Every day, thousands of workers across the United States are exposed to chemicals and toxic substances. Construction workers, miners, welders, farmers, factory workers, and those in the aerospace industry are just a handful of the occupations that can lead to toxic exposure at work. Working around harmful chemicals or toxic substances may be part of your job, but your employer has the responsibility of ensuring that you are safe from toxic exposure that could injury you or make you ill.

Toxic Exposure at Work – What are Your Options?

If you have been exposed to harmful chemicals or toxic substances at work, and as a result you have experienced an injury or illness, you may be able to pursue a workers’ compensation claim. In order to file a claim, you must be able to prove that you suffered toxic exposure at work while in the course of performing your duties, and that your injuries are a direct result of the exposure.

Some helpful steps in this process include:

  • File a report with your supervisor (California law prevents your employer from retaliating for any reports you file).
  • Provide the date and time of the exposure, and the names of any witnesses present.
  • Seek medical attention for your injuries, and inform your healthcare provider that this was due to toxic exposure at work.
  • Contact a workers’ compensation attorney to discuss your situation and find out more about your legal rights.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and California law have strict regulations related to chemicals and toxic substances in the workplace. If you have been injured due to an unsafe workplace, a workplace accident, or toxic exposure due to negligence, contact the Law Offices of George Henderson today. We can help ensure that your legal rights are protected throughout the claims process and beyond.

Facts About Hate Crimes in the Workplace

Hate crimes are one of the most disturbing categories of crime in the United States. These crimes are motivated by bias based on someone’s race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religious beliefs, or national origin. One of the most common venues for hate crimes is, unfortunately, the workplace.

How Common are Hate Crimes?

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), around 6,000 hate crimes occur each year in the U.S. The Bureau of Justice Statistics has estimated that the number may be closer to 250,000, as there is a gap in reporting by local and state law enforcement agencies, and often victims will not file a complaint.

Hate Crime Laws and Prevention

Currently, 45 states have specific laws regarding hate crimes. Most hate crimes fall under the jurisdiction of state laws, and will be prosecuted by the district attorney. California Penal Code 422.6 PC is the state law governing crimes based on violating someone’s constitutional rights.

Some hate crimes can be prosecuted as a federal offense depending on a variety of circumstances. There are several federal laws offering protection against hate crimes. These include:

  • The Civil Rights Act of 1964 (18 USC 245) – It is a federal crime to harass, threaten, or injure someone engaging in a federally protected activity on the basis of their race, color, religion, or national origin.
  • The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009 (18 U.S.C. § 249) – provides federal support for law enforcement battling hate crimes.
  • Fair Housing Laws (42 U.S.C. § 3631) – Prevent interference in fair housing based on race, ethnicity, religion, sex, disability, or national origin.
  • The Damage to Religious Property, Church Arson Prevention Act (18 U.S.C. § 247) – Prohibits intentional damage, destruction, or defacement of property based on its religious nature or affiliation.
  • Conspiracy Against Rights (18 U.S.C. § 241) – Unlawful for two or more people to conspire against any person to violate their constitutional rights.

Learn more about hate crimes in the workplace and your legal rights by contacting the Law Offices of George Henderson today.