News Digest 4-13-2021


West Virginia governor signs bill establishing intermediate court of appeals

West Virginia Governor Jim Justice on Friday signed into law a bill establishing an intermediate court of appeals, ending to a legislative effort that’s been underway since before he was governor. The law will take effect June 30. Charleston Gazette-Mail [may require registration]


Paying workers’ compensation does not absolve employer of FMLA obligations

Many employers that attempt to manage workers’ compensation claims and expenses offer temporary light duty work to employees whose injuries prevent them from performing their regular job functions. The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently held payment of workers’ comp did not end an employer’s obligation to offer an injured employee Family and Medical Leave Act leave, writes attorney Jonathan Crotty, Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP. JD Supra


Some businesses want masks on, even as states drop mandates

Eighteen states currently have no mask requirements, including some that have never made face coverings mandatory. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott lifted his state’s mask mandate March 2, and Indiana expects to end its mandate on Tuesday. But many business owners are keeping their own rules in place. MetroWest Daily News


Widow of South Carolina nuclear site employee wins 14-year battle with the feds

A 72-year-old South Carolina widow who says her construction worker husband was exposed to toxins at a federal atomic weapons complex has won a 14-year fight with the federal government over compensation for the man’s death. The government has agreed to pay $275,000 in the death of her husband, who worked at the site for parts of three decades beginning in the 1960s. The State


New Mexico officials cite cannabis company following explosion

New Mexico Department of Health officials cited multiple violations at a Santa Fe cannabis company following an October explosion that occurred as two employees were using equipment to extract THC from the cannabis plant. The owner of the company is accused of altering the hot plate system, which exposed the ethanol used in the process. The explosion was the second to occur at the facility since 2015. Albuquerque Journal