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Workers' Comp Articles from 2020
(Beginning with most Recent) 

In this issue:




Psychiatric Workers' Compensation Disability Claims in a Pandemic Environment

Michael D. Sanders

There are scores of workers on the front lines fighting the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. Stress, in general, is high. And, due to current circumstances, some workers are now being subjected to greater stress than ever before. Thus, we suspect there may soon be a surge in psychiatric workers’ compensation claims – based on anxiety disorders, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (“PTSD”), and other psychiatric sequelae...




Impact of Executive Orders on Reduction and Termination of Benefits

Alicia W. Birach

Jack Nolish, the recently appointed Director of the Michigan Workers' Disability Compensation Agency, issued a directive this week limiting employers' ability to terminate or reduce benefits during the period the Stay Home, Stay Safe Executive Order (EO 2020-21) and Executive Order 2020-20 are in effect...




Updates to Workers' Compensation Issues Raised by Coronavirus and New Emergency Rules for "First Responders"

Michael D. Sanders

As set-forth in our earlier March 20, 2020 and March 30, 2020 Legal Updates, that first set of Emergency Rules created a irrebuttable and absolute presumption that certain “first response employee(s)” have sustained a “personal injury that arises out of and in the course of [their] employment” if the employer directed them to be quarantined due to a confirmed or suspected exposure to COVID-19, or if they had been diagnosed with COVID-19 by any one of a number of different delineated methods.




Michigan's Emergency Rules Give Personal Injury Presumption to "First Response Employees" with COVID-19

Michael D. Sanders

As you know, Governor Gretchen Whitmer recently declared a State of Emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of that response, Governor Whitmer, in conjunction with the Director of the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity, Jeff Donofrio, promulgated Emergency Rules (“Rules”) regarding workers’ compensation coverage for certain employees working in the health field, including first responders...




The Workers' Compensation Issues Raised by Coronavirus Pandemic and Michigan's Newly Promulgated Emergency Rules for "First Response Employees"

Michael D. Sanders

The novel Coronavirus (“COVID-19”), now classified as a full blown pandemic by the World Health Organization, is projected to continue spreading across Michigan and the United States over the next few months... 




Is an Employee Injured before December 19, 2011 Obligated to look for Work?

Alicia W. Birach

The Supreme Court of Michigan recently issued a decision addressing a plaintiff’s obligation to make a good faith job search where the injury arose prior to the 2011 amendments to the Worker’s Disability Compensation Act...




Appeals Court: J-1 Visa Employee at MSU Ineligible for Workers' Compensation

Michael A. Cassar

In May 2019, the Michigan Court of Appeals decided Kuhlbert v Michigan State University. This case examines several interesting workers' compensation issues...




Employee or Independent Contractor? The Appellate Commission Applies its Own Facts to Overturn Magistrate’s Decision

Tyler J. Olney

In July 2019, the Michigan Compensation Appellate Commission (“the Commission”) issued an Opinion in the case of Christopher Parshall v Worden & Company, Inc. In Parshall, the Commission reversed the magistrate’s factual determination that Mr. Parshall was an independent contractor and not an employee as defined by the Workers’ Disability Compensation Act (“Act”)...




What is a Good-Faith Job Search Effort? Michigan Legislature Considers New Bill

Michael A. Cassar

MCL 418.301(5) sets forth the four requirements a claimant must satisfy in order to qualify for workers' compensation wage loss benefits. The claimant must...




Employee Fraud Not a Condition for an Employer's/Insurer's Recoupment of Overpayment

Tyler J Olney

The Michigan Court of Appeals recently issued a decision which addresses the rights of employers/insurance companies to obtain reimbursement for overpayments made to an injured worker...




Michigan Considers a Statutory PTSD Presumption Among First Responder

Michael A. Cassar

On April 17, 2019, three Michigan State Representatives introduced House Bill No. 4473 to the Michigan House of Representatives Committee on Insurance. With the introduction of this bill, these legislators seek to have Michigan join several other states across the nation that have enacted, or are considering, workers' compensation legislation that creates a rebuttable presumption that a first responder's post-traumatic stress disorder ("PTSD") arose out of and occurred in the course of their employment...







Grand Rapids






St Joseph


Foster Swift Collins & Smith, PC E-Newsletters are intended for general information for our clients and friends. This newsletter highlights specific areas of law and is not legal advice. The reader should consult an attorney to determine how this information applies to any specific situation.

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