Workers nationwide, including in Iowa, are covered by the workers' compensation insurance system. The insurance is carried by employers with the understanding that injured employees cannot file claims against their employers. Benefits can be claimed from the insurance program regardless of who was at fault. In rare circumstances, employees may have viable claims against their employers. Such may be the case in a claim of toxic exposure that was filed by a man in another state.
Workers in the meat packing industry in Iowa and other states may have noticed that their safety has been the subject of several media reports in recent months. Many of the workplace injuries and deaths at meat packing plants are linked to unguarded machinery. However, a recent fatal incident at a meat plant in a neighboring state claimed the life of a truck driver.
When you're working a seasonal or short-term job, you know you're not a full-time employee. But does your employer call you an employee or a contractor?
On June 7, a 68-year-old retiree in Iowa who decided to spend the summer working at Adventureland was working his first shift at the Raging River ride. His job was to help riders exit the circular rafts at the end of their rides. The day turned tragic when he suffered fatal workplace injuries. Federal safety investigators determined that the employer failed to provide a safe workplace environment.
The workers' compensation court has limited authority that is expressed in a statute, and it may not exceed those powers. With the support of counsel, an Iowa man recently challenged the compensation court in a neighboring state alleging it exceeded its powers and acted without authority. The case relates to a claim filed by the worker who contends he suffered a workplace injury on Oct. 7, 2013.