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Lessons from the Court

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Notify your workers’ comp carrier of injury claims as soon as possible

Be aware that insurance companies have been known to refuse to defend a case if the policyholder doesn’t promptly report an accident or injury. And courts often agree the carrier had no liability. Best bet: Call your workers’ comp insurer right after an injury or accident. Let the carrier sort out whether it’s a covered claim.

Case in point:
A roofer injured himself while working for a subcontractor hired by Klersy Building Co. The company didn’t report the claim because it assumed the subcontractor would. It didn’t. The roofer sued and the insurer said it wouldn’t cover the injury because Klersy hadn’t notified it right away.

Let cops search company PCs; don’t fear a privacy lawsuit

Your company, not the employee, owns the computers in your workplace and the data in them. You needn’t fear a privacy lawsuit if you give permission for law enforcement to read e-mail, search hard drives or access phone numbers on company-owned cell phones.

Case in point:
When the FBI tipped off a Montana company that one of its workers had accessed child porn from a company computer, the IT department agreed to cooperate. It tracked Internet traffic and identified Jeffrey Ziegler, director of operations, as the culprit. Ziegler filed a privacy suit, but to no avail. The company owned the equipment, the court said.

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