On March 25, 2019 the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board will complete its technology upgrade to all workers’ compensation courts throughout the state. This transition to mandatory, statewide virtual hearings caps off a year-long project by the Board to roll out virtual hearings across the State and make attorney check in through the virtual hearing system a requirement across the entire system. Lois Attorneys Christian Sison and Managing Partner Greg Lois discuss what this means for employers and carriers.
“I am honored and grateful for the recognition of my fellow New York attorneys,” says Greg Lois, coauthor of the LexisNexis Practice Guide and managing partner of Lois Law Firm LLC. “I have always measured the quality of my legal services by the results I achieve for my clients, and I think this recognition speaks to my long track record on behalf of employers.” Over his nearly twenty year career Lois has defended every industry and tried cases throughout New York and New Jersey, including venues ranging from Buffalo, New York to Atlantic City, New Jersey. “We succeed thanks to our trial-tested techniques, technology advantages, and exceptional communication and teamwork skills.”
Lois’s partners bring considerable expertise to the firm, with Joe Jones leading the New Jersey workers’ compensation defense practice throughout New Jersey. “With our specialized skills and resources, we can guide clients with the heart of a teacher while we aggressively defend their interests in any court proceeding,” says Jones. “Our trial attorneys are experienced and regularly try cases in all Jersey courts.” Continue reading Trial-tested Lois Law Firm Recognized by Peers
It has become increasingly common for national brands to place their own employees within retail stores. Examples include technology companies providing in-store employees to major technology retailers and makeup and perfume brands supplying counter employees to department store retailers. Often times the person selling cosmetics behind the counter at a national department store is actually hired by, paid by, and trained by the cosmetic company and not the retailer. If that worker is injured, whether or not the brand employee will be found to be an employee for workers’ compensation purposes of the retail store will depend on the nature of the employment. Continue reading Are Brand Employees Working Within a Retailer Eligible for Compensation Benefits from the Store?
In general, the Federal Employers Liability Act preempts the New York Workers’ Compensation Law unless the parties waive their federal rights and claims. The Board lacks the authority to rule on jurisdictional issues regarding federal claims (such as whether or not the claimant is an employee of the interstate entity. This is because WCL § 113, states that “[t]he provisions of [the New York Workers’ Compensation Law] shall apply to employers and employees engaged in intrastate, and also interstate and foreign commerce for whom a rule of liability or method of compensation may be established by the congress of the United States . . . provided that awards according to the provisions of this chapter may be made by the board . . . in case the claimant, the employer and the insurance carrier waive their admiralty or interstate rights and remedies.”
In a recent case, McCray v. CTS Enterprises, 166 A.D.3d 1356 (3d Dep’t 2018) the court reversed a Board panel decision finding that the Board lacked the jurisdiction to determine issues of employment for employees engaged in interstate railway work because federal law preempted the state workers’ compensation law.
Two employees of the same college are leaving work for the day. While using a crosswalk across a campus road one of the employees is struck by the second employee’s car, sustaining injuries. Can the injured employee sue his colleague for damages or is his civil action barred by New York’s exclusivity provision (Workers’ Compensation Law Section 11)? Continue reading Understanding the Exclusivity Provision Defense to Co-Worker Claims in New York
Partner Declan Gourley recently won an appeal that defines what a good faith effort and a “meaningful work search” is for a highly-qualified claimant. By winning this appeal, all money benefits were terminated! This decision illustrates the value of a carefully-prepared cross examination when challenging the validity of a work search conducted by the claimant.
The claimant, a registered nurse, sustained a work-related injury while lifting an oxygen tank on November 5, 2012. An IME was conducted by Dr. Pagano, who opined that the claimant had reached MMI and had no more than a mild disability. Dr. Pagano found that the claimant could return to work with a 50-pound lifting restriction. The carrier raised the issue of labor market attachment and directed the claimant to produce evidence of her search for work. At the next hearing, the WCLJ directed the carrier to suspend payments because the claimant did not attend a hearing held and failed to produce the directed work search evidence. Continue reading LOIS Attorneys Prevail on Appeal Regarding Meaningful Job Search