Missouri Lightens Burden of Proof Requirements in Workers’ Compensation Retaliation Claims Jul31

Missouri Lightens Burden of Proof Requirements in Workers’ Compensation Retaliation Claims...

In a recent decision, the Missouri Supreme Court has significantly lowered the burden of proof needed in workers’ compensation retaliation cases. The decision comes as a huge win for injured workers who were terminated as a result of their workers’ comp claims, allowing them to recoup their medical expenses more easily, which, in the past 10 years, have become 48% more expensive. Under the previous standard, an employee had to prove that filing a workers’ compensation claim was the “exclusive” reason the employer made an adverse action, such as termination. Now under this new ruling, an employee needs only to prove that filing a workers’ compensation claim was “contributing factor” in the employer’s decision. The decision represents a marked change in the proceedings of retaliatory discharge cases, as this new burden of proof standard is much lighter, and increases workers’ odds of bringing a successful claim. What’s more, this decision continues the current national trend of lightening the burden of proof. In Daugherty v. City of Maryland Heights, another relatively recent decision, the court decided that the Missouri Human Rights Act would be violated if discriminatory intent played even a mere “contributing factor however slight” in the discharge of an employee or in any other negative action against an employee. In subsequent years, courts have followed the example set forth by Daughtery, imposing the “contributing factor” standard in both public policy discharge cases and in retaliation cases. Now that it’s being applied to workers’ compensation retaliation cases, the “contributing factor” burden of proof will govern all common forms of employee versus employer litigation. With this decision on the books, it’s important for employers to carefully review with their legal counsel any and all adverse actions being contemplated in regards to workers claiming workers’...

A Century Of Refrigerators...

Since their invention in 1913, and since this Kelvinator advertisement first ran in 1955, refrigerators became more immensely colossal and more preponderant, and went from a luxury to an indispensability. It’s approximately infeasible to imagine life today without having somewhere to store your vegetables and a place to keep your remnants: In the 100 years it’s been around, the fridge altered our grocery shopping habits and our postures toward food. Appliance companies and advertisers wrought strenuously to transform refrigerators from “a pristinely incipient concept in luxurious living” to a circadian household object. They prospered in the 1960s, after years of fine-tuning its features to appeal to the middle-class housewife, writes historian Shelley Nickles. Besides ascertaining the fridges were spacious, facile to immaculate, and had adjustable shelving, designers even took care of minutiae such as including warmer compartments—so that the butter kept in them would be more facile to spread. Having magnetized the housewives’ attention and become affordable with conceptions such as regime-sponsored fridges kinetically circulating, the appliances made their way into middle-class homes. Buying too many perishable items suddenly became a minor concern. Buy one, get one free! Get more value for your money—purchase a more sizably voluminous container! As the number of fridge compartments incremented, so did the number of refrigeration-dependent foods and “supersize” deals offered in stores (or the other way around). Ultimately, grocery shoppers—mainly women—returned home with more food than they otherwise would have. Fridges enabled families to stock up, and the major weekend grocery haul was born. Now we have this: But while having a fridge to store all the groceries made it possible to preserve more on “deals” at the supermarket, it additionally enabled us to waste more later on. That is because the fridge operates much homogeneous to a time machine, but not without its limits. Sociologists Elizabeth...

LA Plans to Grant Amnesty for 744 Billboards Lacking Permits Jul29

LA Plans to Grant Amnesty for 744 Billboards Lacking Permits...

Why is Los Angeles considering amnesty for billboards? The city’s department of building and safety just conducted a citywide billboard survey, and it was consequently discovered that 744 billboards were without permits. Los Angeles is hoping to grant them legal, non-conforming status. The billboards are located throughout the city, but especially prevalent in East and South LA. The question of the billboards’ legitimacy is complicated owing to one California law, which states that billboards become legal after five years if they are not cited for violation of any local codes. Local authorities can rebut this if they can show that the billboard was not legally erected. The problem is that, even though there is a lack of permit, regulations regarding billboards have changed over time. Without knowing when any of the billboards originated, the city cannot identify whether the billboards violated the regulations that were in place when they were erected. “Any attempt to rebut the presumption of legality would be extremely labor intensive and would probably yield negligible results,” the city’s report concluded, which is the key reason the city is moving to legalize the billboards. The majority of the billboards are owned by Clear Channel, Lamar Advertising, and CBS Outdoor. The billboards were erected, however, by previous owners. It wasn’t until 1986 that the current city ordinances about billboard types, sizes and locations were adopted. In a potential twist, Lamar Advertising bought 484 of the non-permitted billboards from Vista Media. Three years before this sale, however, Vista Media had, in a lawsuit settlement with the city, agreed to remove billboard-lacking permits. It is currently unclear as to whether this could impact Lamar billboard amnesty. The city’s billboard survey additionally shows that another 791 permitted signs are now in a state of noncompliance because...

Inadequate Insulation Could Cause Your House to Become Stifling...

Believe it or not, inefficient air conditioning isn’t actually the reason why so many homes remain stifling, despite their owners’ best efforts. More than likely, it’s actually because of inadequate insulation. In fact, about 70% of U.S. homes are under insulated by Energy Star’s standards, resulting in higher rates of energy consumption because of increased heat gains and losses. Patrick Pitrone, President of USA Insulation — the country’s largest retrofit home insulation franchise — says that he and his team “have found that homes that are poorly insulated, or not insulated at all, can be returned to comfortably cool temperatures just by adding insulation to the walls and attic.” It makes sense. A house’s attic and walls make up about 80% of the surfaces that are exposed to the outside environment, so if a home is under insulated, hot air will naturally permeate the barrier and increase a house’s temperature. A poorly insulated home can even cause an air conditioner to break down. Homeowners put their AC units on full blast for long periods of time, in the hopes that they’ll compensate for the inadequate insulation. Naturally, this wears out the units’ mechanisms, and causes them to breakdown. “Adding insulation to your home saves money and improves comfort,” writes the U.S. Department of energy, adding that improved home insulation “is a sound investment that is likely to pay for itself quickly in reduced utility bills. Insulation inhibits heat flow through the building envelope of your home, saving money and improving comfort.” If your home is sweltering despite the best efforts of your air conditioning unit, you may want to consider having a professional assess and evaluate the condition of your home’s insulation before deciding to invest thousands of dollars into a brand new air...

Beard Reconstruction is the Newest Trend in Hair Transplants Jul23

Beard Reconstruction is the Newest Trend in Hair Transplants...

You’ve probably already heard of hair transplants options, but have you heard about facial hair transplants? According to one news source, more men are choosing to pursue alternative options instead of suffering from embarrassingly scant facial stubble. Innovative facial hair, made popular by the recent “Hipster” style trend, is becoming increasingly popular as men strive to perfect their “signature look.” It seems only natural that hair solutions would eventually turn into facial hair solutions, as hair is often replaced for aesthetic reasons. Traditional hair transplant procedures are usually used for covering up scarring or hair loss on the head. Now with facial hair transplants, men have more options for covering up scars, acne marks, cleft palate injuries, or simply to fill in a sparse beard or mustache. Transplant procedures require a “donor area,” or an area on the body which has healthy hair follicles, which are moved one follicle at a time into the desired area. This process, known as follicular unit extraction, appears to be a more advanced method of transplanting hair and reportedly results in more precise extraction with a shorter recovery time. As cosmetic surgeries become more popular, this method of hair replacement has garnered many patients in recent years. Nevertheless, it is worth noting that the process of transplanting hair isn’t a good option for everyone. The most obvious shortcoming is the fact that transplants can be quite pricey — ranging from $3,000 to $10,000, depending on how much hair needs to be moved. Furthermore, there is no guarantee that the procedure will be 100 percent successful. No, hair transplant-related deaths don’t exactly dominate the news, but a significant number of men and women have encountered problems throughout the process. When a transplant doesn’t work well, the patients are often left with jagged scars...