Five Things You Need to Know: 9/27, Thursday Edition


Sarasota, FL ( -

1) CA: Fed Appeals Court Sides with Uber in Recent Ruling

“A federal appeals court handed Uber a significant win Tuesday in its battle to avoid having its drivers declared to be legal employees. Uber has asked the courts to throw out the lawsuit, because Uber's driver agreement requires this kind of dispute to be handled in private arbitration instead — an endorsement that the 9th Circuit Appeals Court has now accepted,” writes Timothy B. Lee of ARS Technica. Because the ruling was about private arbitration, the designation between independent contractors or employee status for the drivers wasn’t addressed this week. “…That doesn't end the case by any means, but it does significantly tilt the playing field in Uber's favor,” per the article. “Critics of private arbitration argue that arbitrators tend to be biased in favor of business and against the interests of consumers. But more importantly, the decision means that each driver's case must be fought on an individual, case-by-case basis.”

2) Construction Contractor Busted for Alleged Comp Fraud in MN

Twin Cities contractor Ricardo Batres has been charged for hiring undocumented workers at his company, American Contractors and Associates LLC, and threatening to get them deported if they didn’t listen to him. This allegedly meant inappropriate pay and overtime hours without proper compensation, according to Insurance Journal. “…The Twin Cities contractor also did not provide workers’ compensation insurance, as required by state law. When one worker was severely injured on the job, he lied about how it happened and forced the worker to apply for public and charity medical assistance, totaling more than $45,000,” according to the article. 

3) OH Employers: Have a Work Comp Rebate Check? Get it Cashed

“Roughly 180,000 employers across Ohio were mailed $1.5 billion in rebate checks, and out of those employers, more than 5,500 employers are sitting on $10.8 million in uncashed checks, according to the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC),” writes Kaylyn Hlavaty of News 5 Cleveland. Because the checks “expire” after three months, some of the check issued will not be valid as of Oct. 3. But, it is important to note: “BWC will credit an employer's account the amount of their rebate if they do not cash their check. Credits also apply to any outstanding balances owed by the employer. A new check will be issued for any remaining credit on the account.”

4) Actors Hurt on Set is More Common than You’d Think

Allie Hayes recently posted an article on Buzzfeed, detailing a few scenes that went wrong involving actors hurt on the set here. A few interesting instances to note: Isla Fisher almost drowned while filming a magic trick underwater for Now You See Me. "…Even though I had a quick-release magnetic chain on the handcuffs, the chain that went between my legs couldn't be broken and it got stuck," Fisher said, according to the article. Also: Channing Tatum almost busted his head open while filming a scene for Foxcatcher. It was a prop wall, but he went through it and missed a stud by mere inches.

5) FL: Trash Collector Seeks at least $15G in Alleged Unsafe Workplace Lawsuit

Orlando resident Steve Strickland has filed a lawsuit against Stonecastle at Southwood Property Owners Association Inc., alleging he completed trash collecting tasks at an unsafe worksite, writes Philip Gonzales of the Florida Record. “…According to the complaint, on March 16, 2015, Strickland was collecting the trash at the defendant's property in Venice. While walking in a grassy area, the suit says, Strickland's foot fell into a hole covered with grass, causing him to fall,” per the article. He alleges his injuries were so bad, it put him in the hospital and caused mental anguish. “…Strickland seeks trial by jury, damages of more than $15,000, exclusive of interest, court costs and attorney fees.”


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