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Medical Marijuana, Workers’ Comp & 84 Lumber

84 Lumber Company – The Commercial

For those readers that saw this year’s Super Bowl, I’m sure you enjoyed a game that will be talked about for years to come. In addition to the classic comeback by New England, many people have also been talking about one of the commercials that aired during the game. The commercial from 84 Lumber Company was certainly one that got a lot of attention, and in this writer’s opinion, was the top commercial from the game.

For those that missed the 84 Lumber Super Bowl commercial, the full version is below (note only the first 1:30 aired during the game).

 

84 Lumber was also in the news recently here in New Jersey for something different and that is the topic of today’s blog….

84 Lumber, Workers’ Comp, Medical Marijuana and a New Jersey Worker

A New Jersey man that was injured while working for 84 Lumber will have his medical marijuana paid for by his employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. This was the ruling issued by a New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Judge, in what appears to be the first decision of its kind in our state according to nj.com.

The 84 Lumber worker first suffered a hand injury while working for one of the company’s New Jersey locations back in 2008. In 2012, he was awarded a settlement covering his hand injury. At the time of the 2012 settlement, the worker was receiving prescriptions for a number of painkillers, including Oxycodone tablets and lidocaine patches. However, when these medications were not relieving his pain, the worker was referred to another doctor.

This new doctor that the worker was referred to was licensed to prescribe medical marijuana. He diagnosed the worker with neuropathic and complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) of the left hand. This doctor thought that the injured worker would be an ideal candidate for medical marijuana since the treatment has proven successful for neuropathic pain.

Has a new precedent now been established when it comes to New Jersey workers’ compensation law?

This is certainly the question being asked by New Jersey employers, New Jersey workers’ compensation lawyers, workers’ comp insurance companies, and of course, the state’s workers. The short answer is that time will tell, but here’s a few bullet points related to the subject (we find that readers appreciate bullet points) :

  • The recent decision is not necessarily binding on other courts because it is a Division level court decision. However, it will be carefully studied by other judges around New Jersey since there are so few decisions when it comes to medical marijuana for workers’ comp treatment.
  • from the judge’s ruling “the effects of the marijuana, in many ways, is not as debilitating as the effects of the Percocet. The pharmacy records show that, ultimately (Watson) was able to reduce his use of oral narcotic medication.” With the nation’s painkiller epidemic, this part of the decision is critical as alternatives to narcotic medications will certainly be getting a closer look in the coming years.
  • The price of one ounce of medical marijuana ranges from $425 to $520 for an average of $489 in New Jersey (plus sale’s tax).  At those prices, New Jersey’s medical pot is the most expensive in the nation. (NJ State Health Dept.) Without payment through workers’ comp insurance, it is unlikely that many New Jersey workers will find this treatment affordable.

Stay tuned for future updates here on our blog.

Elizabeth, New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Lawyers

Our workers’ comp lawyers give personal attention to all of our clients. If you or a loved one has been injured while working , call us today at 908-352-2323 or send us email by clicking here to evaluate your case.

Our workers’ compensation lawyers serve clients throughout New Jersey, including the cities of Newark, Elizabeth, Jersey City, Hackensack, and Morris, Bergen, Hudson, Union and Middlesex counties. Our New Jersey Lawyers have offices in Elizabeth, New Jersey and New York City.

At Mintz & Geftic, WE WILL FIGHT FOR YOU!

Sources:

NJ.com

Philly.com

Wage Theft & WalMart: Truck Drivers Win Lawsuit

Walmart & Wage Theft – Score one for the little guys!

A federal jury ruled that Walmart intentionally failed to pay hundreds of truck drivers in California the minimum wage. The jury in this wage theft lawsuit awarded the workers $54 Million in damages.

In addition to the $54 Million in damages awarded, Walmart might also be on the hook for additional penalties. The retail giant could wind up owing the truck drivers $150 Million, according to one of the wage theft lawyers representing the workers.

The court ruled that Walmart violated the law when it did not pay its truck drivers for certain tasks. These unpaid tasks included the drivers waiting in line to load or unload their cargo, having to spend time filling out mandatory paper work (trip slips) and washing and fueling their trucks.

What is Wage Theft and What Are Your Rights?

Wage theft is an illegal practice of not paying workers for all of their work. Examples include the following:

  • violating minimum wage laws
  • not paying workers for overtime or forcing workers to work off the clock
  • not allowing workers to take meal and rest breaks
  • forcing workers to work through break time
  • taking workers’ tips

One more common example is employee misclassification. Employee misclassification occurs when employers improperly label workers as independent contractors, rather than employees. In addition to being a common wage theft technique, this practice also allows businesses to avoid covering their employees with workers’ compensation insurance.

While this recent lawsuit involving Walmart occurred in California, workers are being victimized by wage theft every single day around the country. In New Jersey, it is important that workers understand their rights.

New Jersey workers that are victims of wage theft may be entitled to recover multiple years of back wages. In addition, employees are entitled to bring actions on behalf of their co-workers in court as class actions or collective actions.

 

Mintz & Geftic – Recent Success

In 2016, Mintz & Geftic’s Bryan H. Mintz, along with co-counsel, obtained a $1.5 million settlement against a New Jersey food distributor alleging violations of New Jersey’s Wage & Hour laws.  That case involved allegations that truck drivers for the food distributor worked more the forty (40) hours per week with no overtime pay.

If you think that you or a loved one might be the victim of wage theft, please contact our wage theft lawyers today. We can provide a free consultation and help you understand all of your options.

 

 

Elizabeth, New Jersey Wage Theft Lawyers

Our lawyers give personal attention to all of our clients. If you or a loved one might be a victim of wage theft, call us today at 908-352-2323. You can also send us email by clicking here to evaluate your case.

Our workers compensation lawyers and wage theft lawyers serve clients throughout New Jersey. This includes the cities of Newark, Elizabeth and Jersey City. Our lawyers serve clients in Morris, Bergen, Hudson, Union and Middlesex counties. We have offices in Elizabeth, New Jersey and New York City

 

Thanksgiving: Best and Worst Times to Travel

The cold air has settled in, the last of the leaves are falling from New Jersey’s trees, the Giants are playing well and the Jets are thinking about next season….it must be the week of Thanksgiving!

Getting the chance to spend quality time with loved ones while enjoying some turkey and pumpkin pie always makes this week a joyous time. However, as New Jersey’s premier car accident law firm, we at Mintz & Geftic also know that holiday weekends bring about some of the most hazardous conditions on our roadways. This Thanksgiving will certainly be no exception according to most travel and auto accident experts.

AAA Travel is projecting that nearly 1.25 million New Jersey residents are planning a Thanksgiving trip of at least 50 miles. With 48.7 million people expected to travel across the country–the country is expecting the highest travel volume since 2007.

While this number includes people choosing to fly to visit family for the holiday, driving is still the primary choice for most New Jersey drivers. In fact, more than 89 percent of all travelers are expected to travel by car, meaning 1.1 million New Jersey drivers will be taking to the New Jersey Turnpike, the Garden State Parkway and our other roadways in the coming days.

Best and Worst times to Drive on Thanksgiving Weekend – New Jersey Accident Lawyers

The following is a breakdown of expected traffic for each day of the upcoming Thanksgiving weekend. This data incorporates reports from both Google Maps and Waze.

Tuesday: Peak traffic from 4-8 p.m. Huge increase in usage starting from 1 p.m. until the end of the day, fewer users than usual in the morning.

Wednesday: If you need to leave on Wednesday, hit the road around 6am to avoid traffic delays. Peak traffic is from 3-7 pm, but large increase in drivers starting from 11am through the end of the day.

An increase of 63% in accident alerts from Waze Users on this day. This includes rear-end collisions, serious injury accidents, truck accidents and other crashes due to the increased traffic.

Thursday: Driver behavior and car accident reports similar to a weekend day and not a work day.

Friday: Driver behavior and car accident reports similar to a weekend day and not a work day.

Saturday: Per Google’s data, this is the worst day to return home after Thanksgiving. Their traffic data indicates Saturday at 4pm is the busiest time, where traffic jams and accidents are increased.

Sunday: Worst day to travel after Thanksgiving according to Waze. They report that traffic jams increase by 240 percent and both car accident and truck accident reports are increased.

Monday: If people can take Monday off, traffic volume is much lighter waiting the extra day and traveling on Monday.

Bottom-line, avoid traveling Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday if at all possible. Otherwise, please travel safely and always remember to Put Down the Cellphone

We wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving and safe travels this weekend!

 

Elizabeth, New Jersey Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyers

Our New Jersey Accident Lawyers give personal attention to all of our clients. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, truck accident or bus accident, call us today at 908-352-2323. You can also send us an email by clicking here.

Our New Jersey car accident injury lawyers serve clients throughout New Jersey and New York, including the cities of Newark, Elizabeth, Jersey City, Hackensack, and Morris, Bergen, Hudson, Union and Middlesex counties. We have offices in Elizabeth, New Jersey and New York City.

Our Elizabeth, New Jersey accident lawyers represent clients who are suffering with serious injuries. This includes those  with traumatic brain injury, multiple fractures, spinal cord injury, burn injury and other personal injuries as a result of an accident. Please contact us today for a free consultation so we can help evaluate your case.

New Jersey Bill for Breastfeeding Moms

“Research shows that if 90 percent of families exclusively breastfed for 6 months, almost 1,000 infant deaths may be prevented annually and $13 billion would be saved in medical costs each year” (U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services)

As many of you already know, our slogan at Mintz & Geftic is “We Will Fight For You!”

As Elizabeth, New Jersey accident lawyers, we fight for the victims of car and truck accidents that suffer with catastrophic injuries like traumatic brain injury, spinal cord damage or burns.

As Elizabeth, New Jersey medical malpractice lawyers, we fight for the patients that endure hardships related to medical mistakes like surgical errors, birth injuries and emergency room negligence.

As Elizabeth, New Jersey workers’ compensation lawyers, we fight for the hardworking men and women of New Jersey that are injured while working from a slip and fall or construction accident.

Finally, and most importantly; as parents, grandparents, sons and daughters, we always fight for the moms and children of New Jersey. For this reason, we are happy to share the news that a bill has been proposed by New Jersey lawmakers that, if passed, would protect the rights of breastfeeding mothers in the workplace.

The proposed bill (New Jersey Bill A2294) seeks to amend an anti-discrimination statute dating back to 1945 to include breastfeeding among a number of categories, such as race, religion, disability, sexual orientation and more— that must be treated equally. It would protect nursing mothers from discrimination in getting a job, while at work, in securing housing, joining a club, accessing a loan or mortgage, or doing other business.

The new legislation would require New Jersey employers to provide a proper location (other than a bathroom stall) and a “reasonable break” for breastfeeding mothers to pump during work hours. The New Jersey bill would also make it a civil rights violation to fire a woman because she is breastfeeding during work hours.

Breastfeeding can lower breast cancer risk, especially if a woman breastfeeds for longer than 1 year. (breastcancer.org)

The medical evidence is overwhelming when it comes to proving the benefits of breastfeeding for both the mom and baby and finally the laws are starting to recognize this.

As New Jersey accident lawyers, we always support laws that protect New Jersey drivers from suffering injuries in car accidents. Whether it was the mandating of seatbelts decades ago, or more recently, limiting cellphone use while driving; evidence has clearly shown these steps help to save lives.

As New Jersey workers’ compensation lawyers, we always support regulations that can help make the workplace safer and prevents slip and falls or any other work-related accidents for the workers of New Jersey.

Along these same lines, we strongly support this newly proposed bill that will protect the rights of working moms throughout the Garden State while also helping to reduce the number of infant deaths.

 

Elizabeth, New Jersey  Lawyers

 If you or a loved one has been suffered injuries in a car accident, truck accident or while working, please call us today at 908-352-2323. If you prefer contacting our accident lawyers via email, please click here.

Our car accident lawyers, truck accident lawyers, personal injury lawyers and workers’ compensation lawyers serve clients throughout New Jersey and New York. This includes the cities of Newark, Elizabeth, Union and Jersey City. We cover Morris, Bergen, Hudson, Union and Middlesex counties. Our accident lawyers have offices in Elizabeth, New Jersey and in New York City.

WE WILL FIGHT FOR YOU!