When is a Functional Capacity Evaluation Discriminatory?

Functional capacity evaluation, or FCE, is an assessment performed by qualified personnel to test if a returning worker is fit to work after an injury. Many employers choose to implement FCEs to ensure that the injured worker can perform their job without compromising their own safety and the safety of their colleagues. Furthermore, FCEs can be an effective tool in guarding against those who might be feigning their sickness to acquire leave benefits or workers’ compensation.

FCEs are designed to scientifically and objectively measure a worker’s abilities and limitations when it comes to performing specific tasks. When performed in an unscientific and subjective manner, however, these tests could be discriminatory, and thus unlawful.

According to the website of Cary Kane, LLP, anyone who feels that they have been discriminated at work with these tests might be eligible to file a complaint at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). But how can you know if an FCE is discriminatory? According to the EEOC, an FCE might be in violation of the law if:

  • The test elicits information about a disability, for instance, by asking disability-related inquiries, which could be in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. These may include questions about an employee’s disability and how they become disabled, and requests to provide medical documentation relating to their disability.
  • The test is “medical” in nature, which means it was done to reveal a worker’s mental and/or physical impairments. The EEOC weighs the validity of an FCE based on a variety of factors, including how invasive the test was (i.e., if it involves inserting catheters), whether it was administered and interpreted by a medical professional, and whether it was conducted in a medical setting and with medical equipment.

Furthermore, according to the EEOC, employers are only entitled to ask disability-related question or conduct medical examination to workers if they have a reasonable belief that it is “job-related and consistent with business necessity.” For instance, an employee working as a crane operator might be asked with disability-related inquiries if the medication he is taking for his hypertension makes him feel lethargic and unable to concentrate.


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What Bankruptcy can and can’t Do for You

People dealing with financial hardship can choose to file for bankruptcy to help them realign their finances and get back on track. According to the website of attorney Ryan J. Ruehle, LLC, with bankruptcy, people have the option to protect their most important assets while trying to restore their finances; and one of the ways on how bankruptcy does it is by eliminating or discharging certain types of debts.

Bankruptcy helps alleviate financial problems by wiping out unsecured debts, or debts not backed by an underlying asset (collateral). Credit card debts, including late payments and overdue, are just some of the many examples of dischargeable debt. Other common types of dischargeable debts are the following:

  • Medical bills
  • Utility bills (past dues only)
  • Debts in collections
  • Loans from family, friends
  • Auto accident claims, excluding those involving DUI

However, it is very important to note that not all debts are dischargeable under bankruptcy protection. Here are some types of debts that a bankruptcy filing cannot wipe out:

  • Domestic support obligations, such as spousal support and child support
  • Secured loans, or loans backed by an asset. This also means that if you fail to pay for a secured debt, bankruptcy cannot prevent a secured creditor from repossessing the property tied to it
  • Tax debts, unless they satisfy certain conditions
  • Fines caused by violating the law
  • Debts associated with claims of personal injury or wrongful death caused by your negligence (ex. drunk driving)

Furthermore, some debt categories are dischargeable depending on the type of bankruptcy filed. Chapter 13 bankruptcy, for instance, can eliminate some types of debts that a Chapter 7 bankruptcy can’t eliminate. These include certain debts arising out of property settlement between divorcing spouses (for instance, debts assigned to you on a joint credit card with your ex), malicious or willful damage to property (but not willful injury to another person), and debts incurred to settle non-dischargeable taxes.

Bankruptcy is a powerful tool that can help you work towards financial freedom. You only need to understand more about your circumstances in order to choose which type of bankruptcy best suits your situation.


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Car Accidents – Who is at Fault?

Proving someone else’s fault during a car accident is an immensely challenging task. If you have been involved in a car-related incident, the decision whether you or someone else is at fault can tremendously affect both parties involved. Apart from the financial damages the party at fault is obliged to pay, they may also be subject to criminal liability that could affect their personal and professional lives.

Memphis car accident attorneys would probably tell you that proving that someone else is at fault in a car accident would help injured victims deal with the financial damages brought about by long recovery period and lost time at work. But although proving someone else’s fault in an accident is typically a challenging task, here are some scenarios wherein you can be sure that the other party is almost always to blame:

  1. If you were hit by a left-turning car – In most cases, left-turning drivers are required to give way to drivers going straight. However, if the driver coming from the other direction is moving past the speed limit or has just run a red light, he/she might be at fault
  2. If you were rear-ended – Laws require drivers to be extra vigilant when hitting the road, and that includes maintaining a safe distance wherein the driver can safely apply brakes when the car in front suddenly stops, regardless of the reason

The website of the Woodson Law Firm says that although some road-related incidents are purely accidental, most cases have been a result of another party’s negligence. Distracted driving and driving under the influence, for instance, account for a majority of car-related accidents in the country. Other possible causes of accidents include defectively manufactured car components, and substandard wheels and tires. In such cases, the victim may have the right to seek damages from the negligent manufacturer involved.


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Bladder Cancer: Its Symptoms and Risks

The bladder is an expandable muscular organ found just behind the pelvic bone. It is responsible in collecting urine excreted by the kidneys before urination. When empty, this sac-like organ is about the size of a pear. As the ureters (the tubes connecting the bladder and the kidneys) drain the kidneys of urine, the bladder expands and its wall becomes thinner to accommodate the fluid. The bladder needs to be about a quarter full before a person feels the urge to urinate.

When cancer cells develop anywhere in the bladder, bladder cancer occurs. Individuals suffering from bladder cancer may experience one or more of these signs and symptoms:

  • Frequent and painful urination
  • Hematuria, or blood in urine
  • Back and pelvic pain

Most cases of bladder cancer can be detected early with procedures such as cystoscopy, or the insertion of a narrow tube through the urethra to visually inspect any abnormality in the bladder and to obtain a cell sample. Imaging tests may also help detect and stage bladder cancer.

Assessing your risk of bladder cancer depends on many different factors. Environmental factors, such as exposure to chemicals and smoking may increase your risk of the disease. Similarly, a personal or family history of cancer, older age, being white and being a man may also increase your risk of the disease.

Apart from the risk factors above, certain medications have also been associated with bladder cancer. Actos, for instance, is an anti-diabetic drug linked to the development of this disease. According to www.williamskherkher.com its maker had failed to adequately warn consumers and healthcare professionals about the drug’s risk of this type of cancer.

If you are at risk of bladder cancer and are experiencing any of the symptoms above, consulting with a doctor immediately may result in prompt diagnosis and successful treatment.


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Why Investing in the Trucking Industry is Worth the Risks

The fluctuating prices of oil, stringent clean air regulations, and fewer new drivers who are entering the profession are just among the many factors why some might think that investing in the trucking industry is not worth the risks. But amid these drawbacks, many still see the industry as among the soundest and most stable sector to invest into. Below are just some of the many reasons why several people are drawn to investing in this industry.

Continuous Demand

A report by the Wall Street Journal revealed that the trucking industry is operating near its 100% capacity, which means that the country relies heavily on trucks to deliver their final goods to the consumers. Trucking industry emulates a country’s economic activity. As manufacturing and consumer spending become livelier and stronger, the demand for trucking services also increases.

Improved Cash Flow

There are many innovative business solutions now in place that ensure a seamless and secured cash flow for trucking businesses. According to the website of TBS Factoring Service, freight factoring, for instance, allows trucking companies and drivers to be paid right away by a factoring company after you deliver the goods to the receiver. Because you don’t have to wait for a few weeks to receive your payment from the broker, you are able to move on to your next load without much delay.

Cheaper Natural Gas

Today’s natural gas boom makes it more appealing to invest into the trucking industry. Knox News reported that more and more trucking fleets are now switching to compressed natural gas (CNG), which is cheaper than diesel or petrol. An increasing number of CNG refueling stations are also being built to accommodate for fleets that use natural gas. Also, because CNG emits fewer pollutants, such as nitrogen and sulfur oxides, it is considered more environment-friendly than its conventional counterparts.

Just like in any other sectors, investing in the trucking industry has its own set of risks and rewards. By studying closely the dynamic landscape of the trucking industry, you will be able to learn more about the challenges and what needs to be done to overcome them.


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What You Need to Know about Defective Tires and Their Risk of Car Accidents

On Monday, August 10, BFGoodrich has issued a voluntary recall of eight of its BFGoodrich commercial light truck tire sizes after receiving reports that the affected tires may lose air pressure due to a defective sidewall, making the vehicles more prone to tire-related car accidents. The company said the recall affects approximately 129,000 tires, 104,000 of which were sold in the U.S.

This is just among the country’s many tire recalls initiated by some of the biggest tire makers after learning about design and manufacturing defects that pose inherent risk to property and lives. Tires are the car’s direct contact to the road. When damaged, it may compromise the driver’s control over the vehicle, which may result in disastrous accidents.

According to the website of lawyers Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, defective tires could be a result of one or more of these factors:

  • Faulty tire engineering
  • Defective tread design, which may compromise the tire’s traction or grip
  • Use of substandard materials, for instance, the use of a low-quality rubber and ineffective adhesive
  • Improper tire installation, for instance, improper tire mounting and rotation

According to the website of the LaMarca Law Group, P.C., being involved in a major car accident caused by a defective tire could cause a person to be badly injured. Apart from the injuries, patients would also have to face hefty medical bills and longer recovery period that may put a strain on their finances.

However, you should always keep in mind that even if a tire-related car accident is minor, for instance, if the accident left no visible mark of damage to your car, the website of McCutchen Buckley – The Law Firm says that it is not a bad idea to seek medical attention for any possible injuries you may have sustained unsuspectingly during the crash.


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What if I Die without a Will?

One of the ultimate goals of estate planning is to ensure that your loved ones will be financially secured in the event that something happened to you. While planning for your loved ones’ future upon your death may sound unappealing, the reality is that conflicts may arise among your family members if you fail to plan for your estate.

According to the website of Arenson & Maas, PLC, planning for your estate involves different issues; one of them is the creation of a valid will. A will is a legal document a person creates to indicate how they may want to distribute their properties at death. It is important to consult with a probate lawyer to learn about the different legal requirements each states has when creating a will.

If a person dies without a will, he/she is said to have died “intestate.” During intestacy, beneficiaries cannot dispute how the state would distribute the deceased person’s properties. Furthermore, you will have no control over who will receive what, and may even result in an outcome that is totally not in favor of what you wanted to happen.

The rules of intestate succession vary from state to state. In most states, for instance, the properties of an intestate person will be distributed in this manner:

  • Surviving spouse
  • Issues, or the children of the deceased
  • Parent/s, if the deceased has no surviving spouse or issues
  • Brothers and sisters of the deceased or their issues if there is no surviving spouse or parent
  • Grandparent/s. In many states, the deceased person’s property will be split into the surviving paternal and maternal grandparents and their issues
  • Uncles, aunts, and their issues
  • Commonwealth

Planning for your estate provides you great control over how you would want to secure your loved ones’ future; and so it is very important to consult with an attorney who knows well the intricacies surrounding this area of the law.


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