Monast Law Office - May 2018

Workers’ COMPanion


MAY 2018 | 614-334-4649 | 5000 Arlington Centre Blvd. Bldg 2, Suite 2117, Upper Arlington, OH 43220-2913

ATTICUS FINCH: THE PATRON SAINT OF LAWYERS EVERYWHERE WHY ‘TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD’ IS MY FAVORITE NOVEL A s anyone who has spent time with me knows, I’m an avid reader. I devour books of all kinds as often as I can, whether they’re the fantastically dark tales of Stephen King, nonfiction volumes of political history, or treatises on theology and faith.

“I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway, and you see it through no matter what.” It’s a truly inspiring story, and one that definitely led me to seek a career as an attorney. From the beginning, I went into the lawwith lofty aspirations to help my clients right the wrongs of the world and to do what I

Whenever I drive to meet a client, you can bet I’m listening to audiobooks on Audible the entire way. But if you asked me to name my favorite novel, it’s a pretty easy and obvious choice: Harper Lee’s“To Kill a Mockingbird.”Atticus Finch, one of the central characters, is virtually a patron saint to thousands of lawyers across the country. But more than that, it’s a moving tale that I’m almost always game to pull off the shelf and read again. For those of my clients who haven’t read the book or seen the movie, the story is told from the perspective of Scout Finch, a 10-year-old girl grappling with coming of age in the midst of a close-knit rural community plagued by racial prejudices. But the crux of the story forms around her father Atticus Finch, an attorney, and his quest to defend Tom Robinson, an innocent black man falsely accused of rape. Finch knows that regardless of how carefully and clearly he lays out the facts in the courtroom, he’s unlikely to be able to protect his client. Indeed, despite his efforts, the all-white jury convicts Tomwith impunity. “I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway, and you see it through no matter what.”

could for those who needed my help. In law school, I was enthralled by a Jewish professor there who had once worked for the Anti-Defamation League. While there, he represented a group of Nazis in a big case about their right to protest and their right to free speech. He was ostracized by many of his peers, but he stuck to his principles. Today, my position is nothing like his — I’m not working with Nazis, after all —but Atticus Finch’s words still resonate with me wholeheartedly. Workers’compensation gets a bad rap. Those who haven’t been through a work-related injury often assume that the system aids a bunch of freeloaders looking for handouts. But in my experience, this is virtually never the case. In fact, most of my clients are just regular folks who were dealt a bad hand and are trying to get back to their regular lives as soon as possible. It’s these people who I’m proud to defend, and while I may not be any Atticus Finch, his steadfast moral courage and faith continues to motivate and inspire me to this day. –Jim Monast

Throughout the book, Atticus stands his ground in defense of his client, ignoring the threats of the hostile community. In one scene, he stands down a lynch mob outside the jail to protect Tom. One of the most moving passages of the book is a speech Atticus gives his daughter. It encapsulates his entire moral philosophy—one we should all aspire to:

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Moms make the world go round. After running the gauntlet of childbirth, they raise and guide us

abolitionist and a speaker for women’s rights, delivering her famous impromptu speech, “Ain’t I a Woman?” in May of 1851.

Irena Sendler (1910–2008)

throughout our lives, shouldering the tremendous burden and responsibility of motherhood. Mothers are in turn

When the Nazis invaded Warsaw in September of 1939, Irena Sendler, a 29-year-old social worker and mother of two, hatched a scheme to rescue Jewish children from the brutal ghettos. Along with many friends and colleagues, she smuggled out nearly 2,500 Jewish orphans, hiding infants on trams and garbage wagons and guiding kids through a labyrinth of secret passageways beneath the city.

formidable, kind, powerful, gentle, wise, fierce, patient, supportive, empathetic, driven, and full of love. In honor of Mother’s Day, here are three historic

moms who never stopped fighting for what they believed in.

Sojourner Truth (1797–1883)

Emmeline Pankhurst (1858–1928)

Before she escaped from New York slaveholder John Dumont, Sojourner Truth had at least three of her children sold away from her. When Dumont went back on his promise to emancipate Truth and her infant daughter in 1826, she took the girl and fled to an abolitionist Quaker family, but she was forced to leave her other daughter and her 5-year-old son, Peter, behind. Soon after, she learned that Peter had been illegally sold by Dumont to a slaveholder in Alabama, so she went to court and secured his safe return. It was the first successful case brought by a black woman against a white man in American history. Truth went on to become a prominent

Despite being a wife and the mother of five children — two of whom died tragically young — Emmeline Pankhurst became one of the fiercest advocates for women’s suffrage in the late 19th century. After founding the Women’s Social and Political Union in 1903, she and her cohorts adopted an aggressive strategy to raise awareness for the issue; they began by buttonholing politicians and staging rallies, then progressed to vandalism, window smashing, and arson. She was instrumental in the movement. Pankhurst lived to see women gain the right to vote in 1928.


After completing the 10th grade at a JVS in Bellefontaine, Ohio, Timothy B. went to work as a maintenance tech for an apartment complex. His work varied and included everything from repairing, replacing, and maintaining equipment to keeping the grounds clean. Unsurprisingly, he became a jack-of-all-trades and enjoyed this line of work for many years. Tim began experiencing intermittent lower back pain that worsened to the point where his doctor wanted him to undergo diagnostic testing. Tim ultimately underwent two very extensive low back surgeries, including a multilevel fusion for disc herniations at L4-L5 and L5-S1. These were followed by the implantation of a spinal cord stimulator for pain management and several efforts at work-hardening therapy and rehabilitation. After several years and nearly $350,000 in claim costs, Tim’s initial application for permanent total disability was denied. Not to be deterred, Tim again attempted vocational retraining authorized by the Bureau of Workers’Compensation. After the rehab efforts were exhausted, a second application for permanent total disability was granted. Following a favorable medical opinion, we were able to have the Industrial Commission authorize permanent total disability benefits without need for another hearing (which is a very rare event)! Tim still walks with a cane and requires ongoing medical treatment for his injuries. Fortunately, his inability to work doesn’t preclude him from having a home and providing for his family. His lifetime benefits are estimated by the BWC to be more than a million dollars.



Workers’ rights relating to a job-related injury have long been protected under both state and federal laws. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) calls the reporting of a work-related injury or illness a “core employee right,” and yet many work injuries go unreported every year. But why? One of the most common reasons to avoid declaring a work injury is an injured worker’s fear of employer retaliation. A study from the legal website reported that 10 percent of employees fail to report injuries to their employees because of these concerns. Employer retaliation is explicitly illegal in Ohio, but both real-life examples and fear of these occurrences can be discouraging to injured workers. What’s worse, sometimes workers may not even realize that the negative repercussions they’re experiencing are actually considered retaliation under the law.

the actions of the employer or manager have a negative effect on a worker’s employment.

If you suspect you are a victim of retaliation, take action soon. Speak to your employer and ask direct questions about the changed behavior. They may have legitimate answers to your concerns. If not, express your worry about retaliation and point out the improper behavior. If the retaliation continues and your complaints don’t resolve the issue, it may be necessary to pursue legal action against your employer. To help your case, it’s vital that you document your situation fully. Get copies of the injury report andworkers’ compensation claim; any correspondence between you and your employer or coworkers pertaining to the shift in behavior; performance reviews frombefore and after your injury; and any notices you’ve received of demotion, reduction in hours, or termination. Most Ohio employers don’t engage in this shady behavior, and it’s important that workers report their injuries without fear of retaliation. But occasionally, employer retaliation occurs, and if it does, you’ll need an experienced attorney on your side to protect your rights. If you believe you’ve been the victimof employer retaliation, call theMonast LawOffice at 614-334-4649.

Recognizing Employer Retaliation (And What to Do Next)

It’s difficult to determine if your employer’s actions are simply a normal part of business, or retaliation for your claim. Sometimes, retaliatory acts are subtle, such as exclusion from certain meetings, increased supervision, or a sudden questioning of job performance. Retaliation only becomes illegal when




Asparagus and steak is a classic pairing. Skirt steak packs a ton of flavor without the high price point of other cuts, and this is the best time of year to buy asparagus. So what are you waiting for? Let’s get grilling!


2 teaspoons crushed red pepper

1 1/2 pounds skirt steak

Salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons canola oil

Grated pecorino Romano cheese

1 pound asparagus


on desired doneness. Skirt steak is thin and will cook quickly. Let steak rest for 10 minutes. While it’s resting, grill asparagus for 6 minutes, turning once. Sprinkle cheese and crushed red pepper on asparagus. Serve alongside steak.


Heat grill to high. Season room- temperature steak with salt, pepper, and 1 tablespoon oil. Any oil with a high smoke point, such as canola, will work. Trim bottom inch of asparagus. Season with salt, pepper, and remainder of oil. Cut steak into four portions and grill for 3–5 minutes per side, depending





Inspired by Food Network




Phone: 614-334-4649 5000 Arlington Centre Blvd. Bldg 2, Suite 2117 Upper Arlington, OH 43220-2913


Monday - Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.


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Jim Monast on ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’

3 of the Most Formidable Moms in History

Case Study: Timothy B.

How Do You Handle Retaliation?

Grilled Skirt Steak With Asparagus 3 4 FOOD SUBSCRIPTION BOXES A NewWay To Snack T RY I NG N EW CU I S I N E HA S N E V E R B E E N E A S I E R

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