Ohio first responders always rush to the scene when someone is in trouble, but certain Ohio Senators refuse to return the favor. These state senators are making countless Ohio first responders wait months before allowing a vote on PTSD coverage for them under the state's workers' compensation system.
On February 12, 2020, the Ohio House passed a bill permitting PTSD coverage for first responders under the state's workers' compensation system. This will protect our police, firefighters, and EMS workers who suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder get the help they need and continue their careers. But, the Ohio Senate has been exercising delay tactics.
The Ohio Senate received the bill on February 14, 2020, and assigned it to the General Government and Agency Review Committee. The committee's Chairman, Senator Kirk Schuring, has scheduled three hearings, but no vote. Nearly five months have passed without an up or down vote in the committee and the bill has stalled. It has already passed the House and the Governor has voiced his support. Senator Schuring is acting as a roadblock to the passage of this necessary bill.
If you support our brave Ohio first responders, hold your Ohio Senators responsible. Call your Ohio senator and Chairman Schuring and demand they schedule a vote on House Bill 308, the First Responder PTSD Bill.
You can identify your state senator is by clicking on the following link and entering your home address here.
In a 74-22 vote, the Ohio House passed a bill last week which provides first responders with post traumatic stress disorder coverage through the state's workers' compensation system. This same bill passed the Ohio House last year by the substantially smaller margin of 56-33.
The bill now moves to the Ohio Senate. Unfortunately for first responders, last year the Ohio Senate failed to pass the bill and killed the House's bill once it reached conference committee. Experts are more optimistic this year as Senate President Larry Obhof has voiced his support for the bill. Governor DeWine has also vocalized his support for the bill.
Those who suffer from post traumatic stress disorder have difficulty recovering after experiencing or witnessing a terrifying event. Symptoms might include nightmares, anxiety or depression. Suicidal thoughts or actions also are possible. Workers' compensation in Ohio currently only covers psychological injuries or diseases that can be proven to stem from a physical injury suffered while at work. The current law leaves hundreds of first responders suffering without coverage, include several Hurm Law Firm clients.
If you support your first responders, please contact your Ohio State Senator and let them know. If you don't know your state senate district, click here to find out. Then call your state senator and voice your support for House Bill 308.
It has become more common for employers across the country to work with their competitors to agree to not poach employees from each other. These agreements limit employees' ability to test their value on the free market and are monopolistic in nature. They are called "no poach" agreements.
The United States Department of Justice, Antitrust Division published a Division Update in April of 2018 entitled, “No More No-Poach: The Antitrust Division Continues to Investigate and Prosecute “No-Poach” and Wage Fixing Agreements.” The documents states that the Division is actively pursuing investigations into so-called “no poach” and wage-fixing agreements between employers because when companies agree not to hire or recruit one another’s employees, they are agreeing not to compete for those employees’ labor.
On the heels of federal government enforcement actions and other legislative efforts to stop or curtail the use of "no poach" agreements in the private sector, class action attorneys have caught wind, and private lawsuits challenging "no poach" agreements are on the rise from coast to coast. See, e.g., Deslandes v. McDonald’s USA, LLC(N.D. Ill. 2017); Ion v. Pizza Hut, LLC (E.D. Tex. 2017); Frost v. LG Electronics, Inc. (N.D. Cal. 2018); Butler v. Jimmy John’s Franchise, LLC, et al. (S.D. Ill. 2018); Yi v. SK Bakeries, LLC, et al. (W.D. Wash. 2018); Ogden v. Little Caesars Enterprises, Inc., et al.(E.D. Mich. 2018); Michel v. Restaurant Brands Int’l Inc., et al. (S.D. Fla. 2018); Avery v. Albany Shaker Donuts LLC, et al. (S.D.N.Y. 2018); Newbauer v. Jackson Hewitt Tax Services, Inc. (E.D. Vir.); In re: H&R Block Employee Antitrust Litigation (MDL – N.D. Ill.); In re: Railway Industry Employee No-Poach Antitrust Litigation (MDL – W.D. Pa). These lawsuits challenge “no poach” agreements under the Sherman Act and other antitrust statutes.
If you work for an employer that has a "no poach" agreement, it is artificially holding down you wages, limiting your job opportunities, and you should fight it. Contact the Hurm Law Firm for a free consultation.
When the law cannot help a client, the Hurm Law Firm will not shy away from using other avenues, such as the news media, to help. A Hurm Law Firm client, firefighter Scott Stoltz, was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, but current law does not provide coverage for his treatment. In order to advocate for that change, the Hurm Law Firm arranged for him to speak to Fox 8 News. His story appeared on all their broadcasts yesterday afternoon and evening. To view the news story and watch the video, click here.
The hope is that this will increase the political pressure on the state legislature to act and provide the coverage that first responders deserve. This kind of advocacy is another example of the Hurm Law Firm going above and beyond the call of duty for its clients. If you suffered a work injury and would like a free consultation, call (216) 860-1922.
For the fourth consecutive year, Attorney Matthew T. Hurm, Esq. has been named a Rising Star by Super Lawyer magazine. The Rising Star designation is particularly meaningful because it involves a multi-phase nomination including both peer evaluations and independent research, and no more than 2.5% of lawyers in Ohio receive this honor.
First responders are often the first people you see when you suffered a car accident or have a medical emergency. They provide professional help when you need it most. Frequently, as a result of their jobs, first responders are exposed to violent and disturbing images and events. This can cause psychological damage which we are only beginning to understand.
Thanks to the leadership from Ohio first responder labor organizations and testimony from the Ohio Association of Professional Fire Fighters and the Fraternal Order of Police, the Ohio House recently passed a bill providing workers' compensation coverage for first responders that suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of their job. The bill is now in the state senate in the Insurance and Financial Institutions committee.
On our worst days, first responders are there to protect us. Shouldn't we be there for our first responders on their worst days? If you agree, please contact your state senator today. If you are a first responder suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of your job, contact this firm for a free consultation.
I have spent my whole career fighting for working people, but my creation of a law firm built entirely around that premise was always a dream. That dream became a reality one year ago when the Hurm Law Firm, LLC was launched. We have had our share of bumps along the way, but the Hurm Law Firm, LLC has introduced itself in-person with over one hundred and fifty unions, over eighty doctors, and provided several dozen workers' compensation trainings to local unions throughout Northeast Ohio. From building trades, to firefighters, from federal employees to steelworkers, Hurm Law Firm, LLC is the best choice throughout Northeast Ohio for working families struggling with a work injury .
I could not be more proud of this firm and I look forward to many more years of success.
Matthew T. Hurm, Esq.
Presumption of Causation of Firefighter Cancer Presentation.
According to a study published in The American Journal of Medicine, two years after a cancer diagnosis, 42.4 percent of patients depleted their entire life's savings. To help Ohio firefighters avoid such a tragedy, Ohio passed the Palumbo Act in 2017. Unfortunately, according to the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, only 26 of the 124 claims under the Palumbo Act have both been approved by the Bureau and not appealed by the city. The vast majority of firefighter claims under the Palumbo Act fail or are challenged and a big reason why is the lack of proof that the firefighters were exposed to the specific carcinogens required under the law.
Fortunately, the Hurm Law Firm has created a carcinogen exposure report and carcinogen exposure tracking system to help ensure that Ohio firefighters always have the proof they need to use the protections under the Palumbo Act and can protect their families from financial ruin. We provide all this information and material in a free presentation we provide to local firefighter unions. If you are interested in such a training, please do not hesitate to contact us at (216) 860-1922.
One of the biggest reasons employers in Northeast Ohio have been successfully avoiding their workers' compensation obligations for years is that they never inform their employee of their rights under the law. To counteract this disturbing trend, the Hurm Law Firm offers free minute workers' compensation trainings to unions and their membership.
The Hurm Law Firm has performed dozens of these free trainings, but recently the frequency of these trainings has increased exponentially. From Ashtabula to Barberton and from Warren to Cleveland, over the last two weeks, eight unions have taken advantage of the Hurm Law Firm's offer for a free workers' compensation training.
The free trainings are flexible and can range from five to thirty minutes long, depending on your audience's available time and interest. At several different trainings, we have brought stars from the Hurm Law Firm's network of unbiased doctors. These doctors have joined the Hurm Law Firm at the trainings to talk about the importance of getting your own doctor instead of relying solely on the employers' biased doctors. These doctors at the trainings include Dr. Michael Lyons ((330) 726-7404) out of Boardman, Dr. Bhaiji ((440) 816-2556) out of Middleburg Heights, and Dr. Gary Minorik ((330) 869-6566) out of Akron.
If you are interested in arranging for a free workers' compensation training for your union, contact the Hurm Law Firm today at (216) 860-1922.
By: Matthew T. Hurm, Esq.
If you have kids, you know that you should not leave money on the table – it tends to disappear. If you are an Injured Worker and accept wage continuation without filing a Workers' Compensation claim, you are potentially leaving money on the table.
Wage Continuation offered by an Employer to an Injured Worker can be beneficial to both parties – the Employee receives his or her full wage and the Employer saves on Workers’ Compensation premiums. Many Employer policies, as well as Collective Bargaining Agreements, provide for a Wage Continuation option for Injured Workers for a finite period of time. However, by not filing a claim with the Bureau of Workers' Compensation, you could be missing out on 2/3 of the compensation you are owed. Under the new statute, employees only have one year to file a claim. If the Injured Worker has residual effects even after returning to work, the medical attention required will not be covered without a claim. Also, by not filing a claim, the Injured Worker misses out of the possibility of receiving a percentage award for the injury sustained, as well as the opportunity to settle the claim for a lump sum payment.
We can help Injured Workers navigate this complicated system, while at the same time fighting for the Injured Worker’s job protection.
Do not leave your money or job on the table – contact the Hurm Law Firm for assistance and protection.
Matthew T. Hurm, Esq.
Matthew T. Hurm, Esq. has represented employees, their unions, and fringe benefit funds since 2010. He has been named a Rising Star by Super Lawyers magazine in 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021. He works primarily on labor and employment, workers' compensation, pension and healthcare, and estate planning legal matters. Matt serves as a contributing editor to the leading labor law treatise, The Developing Labor Law and other significant legal references. He graduated cum laude from the University of Minnesota Law School and has resided in Cleveland for seven years.