Employment discrimination claims are a challenge because almost all end up in Federal Courts where the law has favored employers. That’s why when an employee wins a claim, it’s important. When an employee wins a claim in the U.S. Supreme Court, it is an even more important victory because that decision will impact every employee who subsequently files a claim.
That’s why the decision on Monday, April 6, 2020 is so important. In Babb v. Wilkie, the Supreme Court ruled that “federal workers 40 and older are entitled to a personnel process ‘untainted by any consideration of age.’” In its 8-1 decision, the Supreme Court found that “it is conceivable that Congress meant for federal workers to have higher protection from possible age discrimination than workers in the private sector or who work for state and local governments,” but “that to get relief such as hiring, reinstatement or monetary damages, a worker still must eventually prove that the adverse employment action would not have been taken except for the worker’s age.” Every Justice joined in the decision, except Justice Thomas, who dissented.
The decision is a victory for every worker because the language of Justice Alito’s Majority Opinion is relevant to anyone who claims that their age was a factor in the decision to fire them. As the syllabus to the Opinion summarizes, “The plain meaning of §633a(a) [of the ] demands that personnel actions be untainted by any consideration of age. To obtain reinstatement, damages, or other relief related to the end result of an employment decision, a showing that a personnel action would have been different if age had not been taken into account is necessary, but if age discrimination played a lesser part in the decision, other remedies may be appropriate.
We fight hard for every employee wronged by an employer, whether injured at work or fired. Give us a call.
Clients new and old have been calling their attorneys, including our office, to either prepare their Wills, Living Wills, Powers of Attorney and other documents as they recognize that life is often fragile. While the logistics of planning are not convenient now, it is unfortunately a good time to draft these documents and avoid a situation where your family is fighting over what the language in a Will means, especially when that fight ends up in court.
And we are here to help you address your concerns, and to avoid the situation that arose in a recent Philadelphia case. In that case, known as Estate of Flores, the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas had to resolve a family fight over what Quintina Flores’ Will actually meant. Ms. Flores’ Will said that her youngest daughter would be the sole owner of her home. However, the Will also said that Ms. Flores “wished” that the property would never be sold unless all her children agreed. Of course, there was a dispute: Ms. Flores’ daughter wanted to sell the house, but her brother opposed the sale.
The Court ruled that the language in the Will was not clear, and determined that because the Will said that the daughter was the only owner, that language would override Ms. Flores’ “wish” that all her children agree to the sale.
Our office regularly prepares Wills, Powers of Attorney, Living Wills, Healthcare Authorizations and other testamentary documents. We work with our clients to assure them that the language in their documents is clear and reflects exactly what they want. Just give us a call at (610) 446-3457.
Once again, the Trump Administration is proposing changes to the Social Security Disability benefits program that could result in many people losing their SSDI and SSI benefits. Individuals who receive disability benefits are always subject to “continuing disability reviews,” which were originally intended to determine whether they still deserve compensation.
For many years, there have been only three categories of disabilities that were used to determine how frequently an individual is subject to a review. The reviews were infrequent and generally triggered by some change in condition that Social Security learned about.
The Administration is now proposing a fourth category for people for whom it “believes” medical improvement is “likely.” These reviews would occur every two years and would primarily apply to children and Step 5 recipients. Step 5 recipients typically suffer from debilitating medical conditions and cannot work.
The problem is that complying with disability reviews can be difficult, and requiring more frequent reviews appears to just be another attempt to push people out of receiving benefits.
We will monitor these proposed changes and keep you apprised.
We regularly represent individuals seeking Social Security benefits and can assist you throughout the process. You can call our office at 610-446-3457 to set up a consultation with one of our attorneys. We will explain the process, guide you and fight to get and keep the benefits you need.
The Commonwealth Court has, in another case in which Attorneys Dan Siegel and Christa High were appeals court counsel, eliminated yet another method used by insurers and employers to prevent medical providers who treat injured workers in Pennsylvania from being paid. In the case, Workers’ First Pharmacy v. Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Fee Review Hearing Office, the Court ruled that when a provider seeks payment for treatment or services under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, the insurer or employer may not claim that the care was not “causally related” to the injury. If it intends to dispute whether the treatment was related to the work injury, it must file a utilization review.
This is the latest in a series of appeals court victories for the Law Offices of Daniel J. Siegel, LLC that has yet again helped assure that doctors and other medical providers will be paid for the care they provide to injured workers. This also helps assure that doctors and other medical providers will be willing to provide the care these injured workers need.
Recovering from an automobile accident can be difficult and painful. It is even harder if your auto insurance company requires you to go to a medical examination whenever it wants and with a doctor it selects—or risk losing your benefits. No more. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently ruled that insurance companies cannot mandate that insureds submit to independent medical examinations whenever the insurance company wants because these policies violate public policy (essential fairness) and are “repugnant” to the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law (MVFRL).
In Sayles v. Allstate Insurance Company, the Supreme Court concluded that the auto insurance policy provisions mandating these exams were void, emphasizing that these impacted the insureds’ “significant privacy interests” because they set no limits.
We regularly represent individuals injured in motor vehicle accidents and can assist you. You can call our office at 610-446-3457 to set up a consultation with one of our attorneys. We will explain the process, guide you and fight to get you the benefits and recovery you need.