Friday, September 19, 2008

The American Law Journal

Is the work injury the beginning of a problem--or the culmination of one? Are employers sometimes their worst enemy?

Sunday at 6:30 PM on CN8
The Comcast Network The American Law Journal presents "Workers' Compensation:

the Role of the Employer" with claimants' attorneys George Badey of Badey Sloan & DiGenova and Anthony Vellner of Vellner Law Offices. Respondent's counsel Andrew Greenberg of The Chartwell Law Offices and the Hon. Joseph Hakun round out this program produced at The Union League in Center City Philadelphia.

"Withdrawing to the foxholes, that's what I call it," Vellner says referring to both employer and employee once the comp process starts. "That's not the way it should play out . . . but often that is how it is." To some, the work injury is the final act. "Sometimes the work injury isn't the beginning of the problem," states corporate counsel Greenberg. "Sometimes the work injury is the culmination of the problem. But when there is a bona fide injury, employers often make the mistake of not checking up on employees, seeing if they are doing all right, showing proper concern. This can make a small problem huge." "From my perspective," responds Badey, "I often see the injury as the beginning of the deterioration of the relationship. There are good, solid, hard-working employees who suffer a work injury and there are employers who think 'oh, they are going to try and get money from our insurance company.' All of a sudden there were attendance problems and disciplinary issues that were never mentioned before."

"Mediation is playing a more vital role," says Judge Hakun, "although apologies or statements of concern {for the injured employee} are rare because we live in a culture that believes if you say anything, it's an admission."

Next week: "Social Security Disability--Is Your Doctor on Board?""The American Law Journal broadcasts every Sunday night at 6:30 p.m. on CN8, The Comcast Network and is available free on demand--click here for the website.

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