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Safe + Sound Week

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Logo for Safe + Sound Week, August 13-19
Logo for Safe + Sound Week, August 13-19

Across the United States this week and around the world, over 200 organizations – including small businesses, non-profits, and our armed forces – are set to participate in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Safe + Sound campaign (Safe + Sound), an initiative to raise awareness of effective workplace safety and health programs.

Through work-based discussions and activities, Safe + Sound provides an opportunity to demonstrate a strong commitment to safety and to participate in a dialogue focused on finding solutions to workplace safety and health issues. There is a range of ways organizations can participate in Safe + Sound. The 1,800 events worldwide include safety webinars, toolbox talks, roundtable discussions, and more.

Outreach efforts such as Safe + Sound, along with enforcement and compliance assistance, reflect the Trump Administration’s strong commitment to protecting the health and safety of American workers. In addition to the critical goal of preventing workplace injuries and illnesses, establishing a culture of workplace safety benefits job creators and workers by:

  • Increasing worker satisfaction: Safety-conscious job creators can help workers stay engaged in their work, which can lead to other benefits, such as reduced absenteeism, increased productivity, and improved employee retention.
  • Improving productivity: By preventing accidents, workers can stay safe and businesses…

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Arbitration – Beware of Toyota’s Abusive Agreement

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Today’s post comes from Leonard T. Jernigan, Jr. at the Jernigan Law Firm.

Nearly every consumer contract seeks an agreement to use arbitration before going to the civil court of justice (jury trials). Arbitration is supposed to be quick and easy. It isn’t. It can be expensive and unfair, depending on who the arbitrators are and how they are selected.

Toyota has taken arbitration to a new and dangerous level by not only requiring arbitration as the exclusive process to be used, but also requiring that if you lose the claim you could be ordered to pay Toyota’s attorney’s fees. A family member recently bought a car from Toyota (Fred Anderson Raleigh LLC) and I was asked to review the arbitration agreement. The purchaser waives a right to trial by jury (see Seventh Amendment to the U.S. Constitution), agrees to binding arbitration (no appeals), and agrees not to participate in any class action lawsuit. Rules of the American Arbitration Association (AAA) must be used. Each side must pay its own costs, but it’s possible that the prevailing party can be awarded “full costs and attorney’s fees.”

I have a feeling Toyota has some expensive attorneys and at $300 an hour (or more) it would not take many hours to rack up a sizeable bill. Is the average consumer going to be able to take the risk that if the case is lost, for whatever reason, he or she will pay Toyota’s attorney’s fees? Arbitration is bad enough (to be…

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Civil Immunity under the Workers’ Compensation Act

Today’s post was shared by The Jernigan Law Firm and comes from

Today’s post comes from Anthony Lucas at the Jernigan Law Firm.

Under the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act, there are a few instances where the Act specifically precludes or limits civil liability for certain actors. Not surprisingly, two of the three listed below are related to reporting actions related to fraud in the workers’ compensation system. The third is related to medical malpractice.

With respect to workers’ compensation fraud, the Act provides civil immunity to any person who in good faith reports information about another person making a false statement or representation of a material fact for the purpose of obtaining or denying any benefit or payment, or assisting another person to obtain any benefit or payment. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 97-88.2. The Act also provides civil immunity to any person who in good faith reports information about a healthcare provider submitting charges for health care not furnished; or fraudulently administering, providing, and attempting to collect for inappropriate or unnecessary treatment or services; or violating the Self-Referrals statute N.C. Gen. Stat. § 97-88.3. In both cases the key to immunity is reporting in “good faith.” Malicious and knowingly false reporting can lead to adverse consequences.

Apart from immunity for reporting fraud, the Act provides employers with civil immunity from damages for malpractice by a doctor the employer furnishes to treat the injured employee….

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Amusement Park Injuries: Riders Beware

Today’s post was shared by The Jernigan Law Firm and comes from

Today’s post comes from Anthony Lucas at the Jernigan Law Firm.

Recently I visited Walt Disney World with my family and we rode several rides. Some of the rides were a little rough, but never did I think about the rides breaking or me getting hurt. However, when I returned home I saw on the evening news a story about a roller coaster in Japan malfunctioning leaving 64 people stuck upside down for two hours which got me to thinking about amusement park injuries.

In 2016, the most recent year for data from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were 30,900 amusement park ride-related injuries that resulted in an emergency room visit. Furthermore, since 2010 there have been at least 22 fatalities caused by amusement park rides, including one in 2017 when a teenager was killed when a Fireball ride collapsed in Ohio and another in 2016 when a 10-year-old boy was decapitated on a waterslide at a Kansas waterpark. Prior to this injury, the operators ignored multiple reports of safety issues related to the slide.

A few safety tips for amusement park riders from are to:

  • Read and obey all posted rules and restrictions.
  • Make sure the ride is appropriate for the rider.
  • Securely latch all restraints and use grab bars.
  • Take frequent breaks if you’re riding high gravitational force rides.
  • Stop riding before you get excessively tired.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Never ride under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Don’t board a ride if it looks…

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U.S. Department of Labor

Today’s post was shared by US Dept. of Labor and comes from

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) today announced two new policy directives focused on ensuring equal employment opportunity and protecting Americans’ religious freedom. The equal employment opportunity directive calls for more comprehensive reviews of contractor compliance with federal anti-discrimination laws, and the religious freedom directive protects the rights of religion-exercising organizations.

By law, federal contractors are required to take affirmative steps to ensure equal opportunity in their employment processes. OFCCP enforces federal laws that prohibit federal contractors and subcontractors from discriminating on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, and status as a qualified individual with a disability or protected veteran. In addition, contractors and subcontractors are prohibited from discriminating against applicants or employees because they inquire about, discuss, or disclose their compensation or that of others, subject to certain limitations. The Agency’s directives provide guidance to OFCCP staff and federal contractors regarding enforcement and compliance policy and procedures.

Through the directive issued today, the Department announced that it is implementing a comprehensive compliance initiative, which seeks to ensure compliance with equal employment opportunity and anti-discrimination…

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My Next Move for Veterans

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Describe your dream career in a few words:

Examples: doctor, build houses

There are over 900 career options for you to look at. Find yours in one of these industries:

Administration & Support Services

Answer questions about the type of work you might enjoy. We’ll suggest careers that match your interests and training.

Still not sure? Check out careers in these groups:

Are you a veteran looking for work?
My Next Move for Veterans helps you find a civilian career similar to your military job.

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Abraham Lincoln Never Went to Law School

Today’s post was shared by The Jernigan Law Firm and comes from

Today’s post comes from Leonard Jernigan at the Jernigan Law Firm.

I recently ran across a book entitled The Book of Lists written by David Wallechinsky, Irving Wallace, and Amy Wallace. It was published by William Morrow and Company in 1977. One list caught my attention in particular. It was a list of 13 distinguished lawyers who never went to law school. Many individuals used to study law on their own or work as an apprentice with a lawyer for several years. “Honest Abe” was too poor to attend an expensive law school, but he nevertheless became one of our greatest leaders and an excellent trial lawyer.

Some say that the idealistic young people who go to today’s law schools seeking to learn about justice quickly become obsessed with “anxiety, alienation, and grueling competition for grades, class rankings, and journal positions” (quoting Joseph G. Allegretti in The Reflective Counselor, page 48), and these obsessions carry over into the profession and lead to self-defeating behaviors. We may want to re-evaluate the role of law schools in training lawyers.

The complete list is quoted below from page 35 of The Book of Lists:

  1. Patrick Henry (1736-1799), member of the Continental Congress, governor of Virginia
  2. John Jay (1745-1829), first chief justice of the Supreme Court
  3. John Marshall (1755-1835), chief justice of the Supreme Court
  4. William Wirt (1772-1834), attorney general
  5. Roger B. Taney (1777-1864), secretary of the treasury, chief justice of…

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