Two professors from Arizona State University recently released a study of people's sense of fairness about child support determinations in the U.S. and England. The professors, who teach law and psychology, were interested in understanding the public's views on child support, custody and alimony as currently determined, and whether the legal rules ought to be changed.
A group of hotel housekeepers in another state recently filed a purported class-action lawsuit against Marriott International, claiming the hotel chain willfully -- or even intentionally -- exposed them to toxic chemicals without training or personal protective equipment. That in itself is a big deal; the fine for violating federal hazardous workplace chemical regulations is $10,000 per day per worker exposed.
When you think about child visitation rights, you normally think of married couples and divorcing parents. While that was primarily the case, today, that is not necessarily true. As more grandparents have become involved in the raising of their grandchildren, they are increasingly becoming a bigger part of visitation and custody disputes.
Despite a veritable avalanche of information about divorce across the Internet, the process remains confusing and chaotic for those who are contemplating such an action. In stressful times like a divorce's beginning, too much information can have an undesired effect -- it can worsen the confusion divorcing parties already feel.
Sometimes, employers and workers' compensation insurers don't agree with an employee's claim. They may believe an injury didn't actually take place at work, or that an illness wasn't caused by a workplace hazard. They may try to blame the sick or injured employee. They may even deny the worker was actually an employee and claim he or she is a contractor. Or, they may simply dispute the amount of benefits the worker deserves.
Generally, in Pennsylvania, the Workers' Compensation Act does not allow for mental injuries stemming from the workplace. In other words, the legislature has been very hesitant to allow injured workers in Pennsylvania to claim a psychological injury related to work unless very specific factors are met. This makes sense that because it appears that the legislature did not want the common employee to be able to bring a claim for mental stress related to a "mean boss", or a very stressful job. If that were the case, the courts would be flooded with thousands of disgruntled employees who simply hate either their job or their immediate supervisor. Thus, the law requires a heightened standard for mental injuries stemming from mental stimuli at work. In other words, we are talking about injuries that are psychological in nature, and caused by some type of psychological stimulus. That heightened standard, which must be proved by an employee claiming this type of so-called mental-mental injury, is an "abnormal working condition."
As we've discussed before on this blog, the Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Act was passed in an effort to create a system that could give fair results when a worker was injured on the job, but which didn't require workers to sue their bosses.
If you were to take a serious fall after a local store neglected to clean up a spill, you might file a slip-and-fall accident claim in order to get compensation for your medical bills and other losses. If a drowsy driver slammed into your car, you could sue that driver and his or her insurance company. If you're hurt at work, though, do you have to sue your boss?