Jury Duty: The Maintenance of Liberty

Last week, I was called for jury duty. I went, I waited, I saw the movie, I waited, I listened to the Judge’s presentation, I waited, I answered the questions…mistrial. (The defense witnesses were in the hall and had spoke with some members of the jury panel.)

I spoke with a number of individuals during the wait time.

Thanks to all employers who give their employees time off with full pay for jury duty. These individuals seemed less bothered by their civic duty.

Thanks to all individuals who showed up to fulfill their civic duty.

This includes the man who was there at 8 a.m. after working the 11-7 shift.

It includes the mother who had her older daughter watching her younger son for the first time. (Yes, she was on her cell phone as often as possible.)

I didn’t speak with anyone who didn’t have other things to do. Yet they cared enough to show up.

To paraphrase Winston Churchill: The jury system has come to stand for all we mean by justice. The scrutiny of 12 honest jurors provides defendants and plaintiffs alike a safeguard from the arbitrary perversion of the law.

WORKERS COMPENSATION AND THE FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE ACT

INJURED WORKERS OFTEN TELL ME THAT THEY HAVE RECEIVED A NOTICE THAT THEIR EMPLOYER IS GOING TO RUN FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE CONCURRENTLY WITH THEIR TIME OFF DUE TO THEIR ON-THE-JOB INJURY.
THE FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE ACT (FMLA) IS A FEDERAL LAW THAT APPLIES IF YOUR EMPLOYER HAS 50 OR MORE EMPLOYEES WORKING WITHIN 75 MILES OF YOUR JOB SITE FOR AT LEAST 20 WORK WEEKS IN THE CURRENT OR PROCEEDING YEAR. IT APPLIES WHEN THE WORKER HAS WORKED FOR ONE YEAR AND WORKED 1,250 HOURS IN THE PRIOR 12 MONTHS. ALTHOUGH THE FMLA GRANTS LEAVE IN A NUMBER OF INSTANCES, FOR PURPOSES OF WORKERS COMPENSATION, IT APPLIES IF THE WORKER HAS A SERIOUS HEALTH CONDITION.

THERE IS GOOD NEWS AND BAD NEWS WHEN THE FMLA LEAVE AND WORKERS COMPENSATION IS RUN AT THE SAME TIME.

IT IS NOT BENEFICIAL TO AN EMPLOYEE TO RUN FMLA AND WORKERS COMPENSATION LEAVE AT THE SAME TIME, IF ADDITIONAL LEAVE IS NEEDED IN THE FUTURE. RUNNING THE LEAVE CONCURRENTLY, EATS UP THE 12 WEEKS OF LEAVE THAT THE EMPLOYEE IS ENTITLED TO. FOR EXAMPLE, IF THE EMPLOYER RUNS THE TWO LEAVES TOGETHER AND THE EMPLOYEE RETURNS TO WORK AFTER HAVING USED UP THE 12 WEEKS, THE EMPLOYEE DOES NOT HAVE ADDITIONAL LEAVE TO TAKE CARE OF AN ILL PARENT OR TO DEAL WITH AN ILLNESS NOT COVERED UNDER WORKERS COMPENSATION.

IT CAN BE BENEFICIAL TO RUN THE TWO LEAVES TOGETHER SINCE THE FMLA DOES PROVIDE THE EMPLOYEE WITH JOB PROTECTION.

ANOTHER BENEFIT IS THAT UNDER THE FMLA, AN EMPLOYER IS REQUIRED TO MAINTAIN GROUP HEALTH INSURANCE COVERAGE, INCLUDING FAMILY COVERAGE, FOR AN EMPLOYEE ON FMLA LEAVE ON THE SAME TERMS AS IF THE EMPLOYEE CONTINUED TO WORK.

IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR WORKERS COMPENSATION RIGHTS, PLEASE CALL DEAN LAW OFFICE AT 816-753-3100. LICENSED IN MISSOURI AND KANSAS.
The choice of a lawyer is an important decision ans should not be based solely upon advertisements.

Edith is wrong.

Edith Lank has a column in The Kansas City Star in which she answers real estate questions. This past week she didn’t have the answer. A married couple wanted to avoid probate on their house and leave it to their son. Edith mentioned that some states have transfer-on-death deeds but this wouldn’t suit the writer’s situation if one spouse survives the other. She’s wrong. A transfer-on-death deed or beneficiary deed can be written so that it takes effective upon the last to die of two grantors.
Beneficiary deeds or transfer-on-death deeds can be a valuable estate planning tool.