Work Comp & Employment Law Insight

Latest from Work Comp & Employment Law Insight

On January 16, 2019, the Supreme Court of South Dakota published its opinion in Skjonsberg v. Menard, Inc., 2019 S.D. 6. This decision, which provides favorable language for Employers and Insurers, has potential ramifications on the bad faith environment in South Dakota. In Skjonsberg, Cassandra Skjonsberg (“Claimant”) injured her right foot while working for Menard, Inc. (“Employer”). Claimant’s workers’ compensation claim was eventually denied, causing her to file a Petition for Hearing with the Department…
The National Workers Compensation Defense Network (NWCDN) is hosting its 2018 Fall Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota on September 27, 2018.  Boyce Law Firm, LLP is the only South Dakota law firm that is a NWCDN member. The 2018 Fall Conference event is open to all NWCDN member firms and their invited guests.  The NWCDN never charges its guests for attendance at its Conferences.  The all-day conference will be conducted on September 27, 2018 at the…
In January, the South Dakota Supreme Court issued Harvey v. Regional Health Network, Inc., 2018 SD 3, 906 N.W.2d 382, wherein it affirmed summary judgment for the employer and dismissed the terminated employee’s claims for slander, malicious prosecution, intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress (I/NIED), wrongful termination, breach of contract, and punitive damages. Harvey, who worked at a nursing home, claimed her termination was premised upon false reports of resident abuse by two coworkers…
Let’s take a moment to consider this hypothetical scenario: John Smith is at work for the Widget Company working on the assembly line. Mr. Smith has been working for about 10 hours when he faints, causing him to fall and hit his head on the ground beneath him. The Widget Company gets Mr. Smith to an emergency room where several tests are run to determine the cause of Mr. Smith’s fainting spell. A review of…
The first decision of 2018 involves a permanent total disability claim heard by Judge Thronson. This is the first decision we have seen from Judge Thronson following a hearing. There were a number of issues presented at hearing and the Department found in Claimant’s favor on all of them. The first issue was whether the work injury was a major contributing cause of Claimant’s condition. Frankly, this part of the opinion is difficult to understand.…
When hiring a new employee, many employers request that a potential employee sign what is often referred to as a “Release,” which is used to initial a background screening process. However, there are strict federal rules to which an employer must comply when obtaining this information. Section 604(b)(2) of the FCRA specifically provides that “…a person may not procure a consumer report…for employment purposes with respect to any consumer, unless— (i) a clear and conspicuous…
I hope this finds you doing well. I have received many inquiries over the last couple of weeks on when temporary disability benefits are owed. I think that the confusion comes from the mislabeling of the benefits. There is a difference between TTD and TPD benefits, even though the amount may be the same. TTD is paid when the employee is ordered completely off of work. If there is a compensable claim, benefits are owed…
Considered by many scholars to be the most comprehensive source on mediation, Christopher W. Moore in The Mediation Process describes the steps to active listening in the following manner. First, the mediator must listen to what the party is saying and determine the emotion the party is feeling. Is it frustration? Anger? Fear? Second, select the word or words that reflect what the interviewee is feeling. Care must be taken not to minimize the feeling…
South Dakota is a rural, expansive state with many smaller towns throughout. There are very few major health care providers within the state. There are also very few doctors that will perform independent medical examinations within the state. On occasion, we are forced to ask a claimant to travel outside his community to have the IME performed. The question then becomes what time and (more importantly) place are “reasonably convenient for the employee” to attend…
Likely the most important skill for a neutral to possess when trying to resolve a workplace dispute, or any dispute for that matter, is the ability to actively listen. While it might be logical to conclude that speaking and listening equally share the communication spotlight, this is not the case. Recent U.S. Department of Labor studies have shown that over half of all communication is accomplished through listening. Listening is more than just waiting for…