I spent part of a “nearly summer-like” Sunday putting up Christmas decorations last weekend, so it’s time to talk about some holiday season workers’ compensation topics.
More falls when you fallback? If you are like me, you probably feel a little off the Monday after a time change. But does feeling a little off lead to more work injuries or accidents?. Studies say that while losing an hour of sleep during the spring ahead leads to more injuries, falling back in the fall doesn’t lead to more injuries. Experts believe this is because the fallback means people don’t lose sleep. (Parents of young children and pets may beg to differ about an extra hour of sleep)
I would imagine that these programs could become more popular due to business concerns over alleged labor shortages. If you can’t find workers to do jobs, you can always try coercing injured workers with the prospect of losing their workers’ compensation benefits and their job for refusing a volunteer assignment.
I went off on these arrangements last year. In short, their benefits are oversold and they create lots of practical problems for injured employees. They also re-enforce the power imbalance between injured workers and employers.
Walmart announced last week that it started a pilot program where store employees will deliver packages from stores on their way home from work. If this practice is adopted company wide and adopted by the retail industry as a whole, it will change the nature of retail employment.
Delivery jobs tend to be more physically demanding than retail clerk jobs and can also subject employees to DOT requirements. If package delivery becomes an expected part of retail employment, retail jobs will have more physical and occupational requirements. This could mean in the future that retail jobs may not be a fallback option for workers from other physically demanding occupations who become unable to do their old jobs because of injuries or health problems.