A Word From Our Sponsor On Workers Compensation Benefits

Working with an insured to make sure they have provided correct information for their workers compensation coverage is very important. If they have provided false information it could result in heavy fines or worse. Your insured needs to understand that this coverage benefits them as well as their employees.
If an employee has to file a claim for workers compensation benefits, the procedure is pretty straightforward. The first thing the employer will want to do is file a first report of injury which will go to the insurance company and likely the state labor commission as well. From there it will be up to the employee to file any further paperwork. However, the insurance company or labor commission may have additional questions for the employer.
Each claim filed could have an effect on your insured’s premium. And the insurance company will be likely be reviewing each claim filed on an ongoing basis to prevent any fraudulent claims or payments. The goal of the insurance company will be to get the employee back to work as quickly as possible but not before they have been cleared by their doctor to return to work.
Workers compensation seems like it is a simple insurance coverage on the surface. However, when you dig into the interworking of how the coverage works it is not that simple. And to add to the confusion it is one of the most highly regulated insurance coverages.

A Word From Our Sponsor On Workers Compensation Benefits

Working with an insured to make sure they have provided correct information for their workers compensation coverage is very important. If they have provided false information it could result in heavy fines or worse. Your insured needs to understand that this coverage benefits them as well as their employees.
If an employee has to file a claim for workers compensation benefits, the procedure is pretty straightforward. The first thing the employer will want to do is file a first report of injury which will go to the insurance company and likely the state labor commission as well. From there it will be up to the employee to file any further paperwork. However, the insurance company or labor commission may have additional questions for the employer.
Each claim filed could have an effect on your insured’s premium. And the insurance company will be likely be reviewing each claim filed on an ongoing basis to prevent any fraudulent claims or payments. The goal of the insurance company will be to get the employee back to work as quickly as possible but not before they have been cleared by their doctor to return to work.
Workers compensation seems like it is a simple insurance coverage on the surface. However, when you dig into the interworking of how the coverage works it is not that simple. And to add to the confusion it is one of the most highly regulated insurance coverages.

After Report on Nepotism, State Courts Change Hiring Practices

The state court system put changes in its hiring practices into effect on Tuesday, a day after the State Commission on Judicial Conduct reported that the protocol at an appellate court promoted a culture of nepotism.

Beginning immediately, the state’s chief administrative judge, A. Gail Prudenti,, said, job openings in the state’s four appellate divisions will be publicly advertised. Judge Prudenti also said that applicants for all vacancies will be vetted by hiring panels, court employees will be required to disqualify themselves from the hiring process when relatives apply for jobs, and court employees will not be allowed to supervise relatives or their spouses’ relatives.

On Monday, the commission issued a report in the case of Luis A. Gonzalez, the top judge in the appellate division that covers Manhattan and the Bronx, who had been accused of giving jobs to friends and relatives.

While the report cleared Justice Gonzalez of wrongdoing, it found that hiring at the court had mostly “been a closed process for decades,” one that “requires an acquaintance, friend, relative or some other connection to the court in order to know about and apply for an open position,” thereby diminishing “public confidence in the fairness and impartiality of the courts.”

The commission recommended the changes that were adopted. Similar safeguards were already in place in the rest of the court system, outside the appellate divisions, said David Bookstaver, a court spokesman.

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Bar Owner Loved by Patrons, but Not by Broadcasting Service

The hard-core fans of Gaelic football were already there by noon last Saturday, hoisting pints and watching Crossmaglen play Garrycastle in the All-Ireland club final, on multiple screens at the Irish Pub on West 54th Street in Manhattan.

“This game is on network TV in Ireland now, and we’re getting the signal on a 90-second delay,” said Eugene Rooney, 64, who has been an owner of the bar since 1980.

Unlike other Irish bars where patrons must pay to watch this type of broadcast, Mr. Rooney’s establishment does not charge anything. The reason is a recent court decision that Mr. Rooney won, allowing him to avoid paying for a broadcast feed of games that are shown free in Ireland.

He uses technology to have sporting events streamed online to the bar from a television at a friend’s apartment in Dublin.

“As far as I know, I’m the first bar owner in New York to do this,” Mr. Rooney said. “You can see I don’t have a big crowd — I need a cover charge here like I need a hole in the head. People don’t want to pay to watch a game that they know is on free TV in Ireland.”

Mr. Rooney’s practice is lauded by his patrons, but not by Premium Sports, a San Francisco-based company that offers a broadcast package that includes overseas matches in sports like soccer, rugby and Gaelic football. Premium buys the United States broadcast rights for overseas games, which it then provides as closed-circuit feeds, mostly to bars.

Premium says it also has the right to charge patrons for games in its packages that are broadcast free overseas.

Two years ago, Mr. Rooney became something of a test case, fighting Premium in federal court in New York. He won a lawsuit, allowing him to continue to receive his friend’s feed free and avoid having to pay Premium.

Shane O’Rourke, a co-owner of Premium Sports, would not comment on legal aspects of the case, but said he planned to appeal.

“We’re not going to walk away and lie down,” he said. “If this case stood, you’re talking about billions of dollars of business being given away.”

The case is an important one for Irish bars in New York that do some of their best business on weekend mornings by offering live simulcasts of sports matches abroad.

Bar owners often pay considerably for the broadcasts, usually from providers who own the American rights to the games. Then they either set a door charge or sometimes the broadcast provider offers bar owners games free and sends its owns workers to collect a fee from customers.

This went on for years at Mr. Rooney’s bars – he is part-owner of the Old Castle bar on Seventh Avenue, which also shows Irish games – but two years ago, he grew tired of Premium Sports’ charging his customers for games available free in Ireland, he said.

Mr. Rooney set up his friend in Dublin and his bars in New York with $3,000 in equipment to stream television signals online. The technology is not perfect — the picture in bars is not crystal clear and periodically freezes.

In February 2010, before a rugby match between Ireland and England, Mr. Rooney told Premium not to bother trying to collect a door charge for a game that was offered free on Irish television. By the time Premium learned that Mr. Rooney was continuing the practice with another match later that month, the company filed a lawsuit against Mr. Rooney for theft of signal.

Premium pulled its service from his bars, and Mr. Rooney countersued for breach of contract. He hired a lawyer, Joel Cristoph, and an expert to testify that there was a delay between the game in his bar and the live broadcast in Ireland.

That delay figured strongly in the decision announced on March 1 by Judge Katherine Forrest of United States District Court in Manhattan. She ruled that because Mr. Rooney did not intercept a signal illegally, but instead used a broadcast sent to him from Dublin and then showed it at his bar with a delay of a minute or two, the bar version was technically a rebroadcast, and not an interception or a violation of communications law.

Mr. O’Rourke, who owns Premium Sports with his brother Michael O’Rourke, said that the decision was a blow, but added that other clients have not followed Mr. Rooney’s lead.

Of Mr. Rooney, he said: “He’s acting like the hero — and I’m sure he is, to people who don’t think you have to pay for anything — but if no one ever paid for these games, no one could afford to broadcast them anymore.”

Mr. Rooney — who immigrated in 1970 from County Mayo on a soccer scholarship to college, flunked out and began working in bars in New York — said he never guessed that the case would cost him $25,000 in legal fees to fight. But he has no regrets.

“I’m not rich, but I could afford it,” he said. “I’m not gloating, nor will I go and advertise that I have the games for free. But I have to say, it is satisfying.”

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