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Lakeland Legal Issues Blog

Facility closing may result in loss of Social Security Disability

The closing of a mental health facility in West Palm Beach County Florida cost people more than just their jobs. In addition to the 350 jobs that were lost, 150 severely mentally ill people lost access to their Social Security Disability payments. The hospital served as a designated payee, or manager, for those considered too severely disabled to manage their own finances. Many of the patients also lived in housing provided by the facility.

Unmanageable debt was the reason cited for the facility's closing down. After the closing announced last month, patients were notified that their disability payments were being cut off. This could also result in a loss of access to Medicaid and food assistance.

No to FMLA request results in employment discrimination lawsuit

Achieving a balance between work life and family responsibilities has long been a challenge for people in Florida and around the country. When a child or family member is injured or ill, it typically falls to the female member of the household to care for that family member. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was passed into law to protect men and women who need to take leave from their jobs to care for an ailing family member. A woman in Florida has brought a gender-based employment discrimination claim against her employer, the Polk County Sheriff's Department.

Her husband, also a sheriff's deputy, was seriously injured in the line of duty as he was struck by a hit-and-run driver while assisting an injured motorist. The woman was, at the time of her husband's accident, a tactical flight observer with the sheriff's office. The position involved accompanying pilots on airborne assignments.

Employment discrimination is an ongoing problem

Having a job provides a person with a means of supporting him or herself as well as a feeling of accomplishment, and it usually contributes to one's perception of value to society. Experiencing employment discrimination in any form in Florida may do untold damage to a person's self-esteem. There are laws that protect a person from discrimination in the workplace.

A former employee of the Fort Myers City Police Department came forward with an employee discrimination case against a superior. The charges included multiple counts of discrimination, including charges of sexual and racial discrimination. In one instance, the woman claimed she had been subjected to uniform inspections, including one in which she was told to zip up her skirt in the presence of other officers.

Workers' compensation can assist families of injured workers

It is no secret that traffic congestion in Orlando is a serious issue. A major highway project on Florida I-4 has been underway for the past few years. Working on such a project, indeed any construction project, is not without risk. It is hoped that adequate safety measures are in place and enforced to protect the workers on the job. When an accident happens, workers' compensation can provide assistance to the affected family.

The I-4 project has not been without its share of accidents. In the most recent one, one person was killed and another seriously injured when a concrete beam fell off a piece of equipment. The beam pinned one worker and struck another in the head. The man who was pinned later died as a result of his injuries.

How does the ADA protect you when you have HIV or AIDS?

As someone who is employed in Florida and has either HIV or AIDS, you may have questions about your privacy and other rights as they relate to your condition and profession. The Americans with Disabilities Act is what outlines your privacy and other rights in the workplace as an American living with HIV or AIDS, so the more you understand about how it protects you, the more likely you will be to identify any instances of discrimination or harassment.

According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, you can expect a reasonable degree of privacy when it comes to your condition in your work environment, and, in most cases, you do not need to disclose the fact that you are HIV-positive, or that you have AIDS. There are, however, several circumstances under which your employer may lawfully inquire about your condition.

Moving patients a common cause of injury in health care

When you work in a health care setting in Florida, you face numerous work-related hazards, and many of them can lead you to develop serious, and in some cases, lifelong, aches, pains and ailments. At Kaylor, Kaylor & Leto, P.A., we recognize that one of the most significant injury risks you face working in health care comes from transporting heavy patients. We have helped many nurses and other health care professionals who suffered injuries on the job pursue appropriate recourse to help them move forward.

According to Healthcare Business & Technology, today’s nurses, in particular, are prone to experiencing back and musculoskeletal injuries while at work, and they report more than 35,000 such injuries that are bad enough to keep them from working every year. Many of these injuries arise because of the strain shifting and relocating immobile patients places on health care workers’ bodies, but, unfortunately, moving patients around is a largely unavoidable part of the job.

Are you facing discrimination due to your sex?

Florida residents like you expect to be treated fairly as an employee at your place of work. But what happens if that isn't the case? We at Kaylor, Kaylor & Leto are here today to discuss what discrimination might look like at your workplace and what you can do about it.

Discrimination based on sex is unfortunately still an issue that many people face in the modern workplace. It can come in many different forms. For example, there is still a wage gap between men and women who have the same skills, same experience, and hold the same job titles. This has been a trending topic of discussion as of late, with many women breaking the unspoken rule to not ask other employees what their salary or pay rate is in order to determine whether or not they are being underpaid.

What are 3 ways you can lose Social Security disability benefits?

There is a lot of misinformation about Social Security disability benefits. One common misconception about them is that, once you start receiving Social Security Disability Insurance, you will continue to do so forever. This is not true, though; several different circumstances can lead to you lose your benefits eligibility.

Just what types of factors can impact your ability to continue receiving disability assistance from the U.S. Social Security Administration? If the administration approves you for disability benefits, know that any of the following circumstances could potentially impact your continued eligibility.

What should I be careful of when working in an office?

A great deal of attention is focused on dangerous industries when the topic of workers’ compensation comes up. You can be hit by a cement truck in construction or crushed by heavy machinery working in manufacturing. However, industries known to be dangerous are not the only ones in which Florida workers are injured. You can sustain a job-related illness or injury in any workplace setting.

The office seems like a nice, harmless place to work. On the contrary, the Albert Einstein College of Medicine states that those who work in offices are up to 2.5 times more apt to be disabled in a fall than people who work in other industries. There are numerous ways you can be in a workplace accident at the office, in fact. The following situations outline other common office accidents:

  • Falling off a chair while climbing it instead of a ladder
  • Tripping over electrical cords or supplies left in walkways
  • Getting hit on the head by a heavy object falling out of a cabinet
  • Being injured by office machinery
  • Suffering from eye strain or repetitive motion injuries
  • Being exposed to harmful chemicals from cleaning or pest control supplies

Appeals for disability benefits

When you apply for Social Security Disability in Florida, you may expect the Social Security Administration to provide these benefits. However, sometimes the SSA might deny your claim. At Kaylor, Kaylor and Leto, P.A., we know it is important for you to know how you can appeal this decision. 

When you first get a denial from the SSA, you may not understand why this administration denied your claim. You can usually ask to access all of the documents related to your claim so you can see which records the SSA looked at. Sometimes your claim may have missing medical documents. In other situations, there may be an error about your disability. Once you understand why the SSA denied your claim, you may decide to file an appeal.

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