F9Animal
Topic Author
Posts: 3681
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2004 7:13 am

Dirty Employer?

Fri Jul 13, 2007 3:05 pm

Alright, so here is my rant. I hope to get some suggestions.

So, I sprained my ankle while doing my job, and went to the doc to learn I had a severe sprain. I filed a L&I claim (workmans comp). Went to the doc and they said that I could work light duty with crutches and a brace. The employer has no light duty available, so I was told to stay home and heal up. Anyways, today I get released back to work by the doctor. My boss tells me that all of my vacation time will be allocated to my pay while I was out on injury. WHAT???

I pay into L&I every paycheck, and L&I states that they will pay me for missed time off of work after 3 days at 60% of my wages. I told my employer that I want L&I to cover that, and that I want my vacation untouched. They told me too bad, and that I had no choice.

My argument is, that vacation is a benefit that I earned. It is time for me to relax, get away, and not think about work. Instead, I have been to doctors appointments, been on the phone for hours, and walking around in a special brace in a good amount of pain. Do employers actually have the right to make that kind of decision, or do you think I might have a fight worth fighting?

Thanks!!!  Smile
I Am A Different Animal!!
 
FlyingTexan
Posts: 2998
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RE: Dirty Employer?

Fri Jul 13, 2007 3:16 pm

Well, you are pretty much SOL. I'm fairly sure signing the claim waived your rights for any further recourse/compensation. Any additional fight will be VERY costly. Worker's comp claims are extremely hard to fight.

Its a problem because the insurance companies own so many of our lawmakers. Lesson learned: Don't get hurt at work and if you do - do not under any circumstances sign anything.
"Wouldn't your boss like to fly home nonstop at 4:30 on a Friday afternoon?" -Airline Exec to Congressional Staffer
 
F9Animal
Topic Author
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RE: Dirty Employer?

Fri Jul 13, 2007 3:19 pm

Quoting FlyingTexan (Reply 1):
Well, you are pretty much SOL. I'm fairly sure signing the claim waived your rights for any further recourse/compensation. Any additional fight will be VERY costly. Worker's comp claims are extremely hard to fight.

Its a problem because the insurance companies own so many of our lawmakers. Lesson learned: Don't get hurt at work and if you do - do not under any circumstances sign anything.

But, can I still request that Workers Comp pay me for my missed time? Why would I want to invest my hard earned vacation hours into my injury?
I Am A Different Animal!!
 
FlyingTexan
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RE: Dirty Employer?

Fri Jul 13, 2007 3:29 pm

Quoting F9Animal (Reply 2):
But, can I still request that Workers Comp pay me for my missed time? Why would I want to invest my hard earned vacation hours into my injury?

Yea, see if you can escalate it. (I kind-a misunderstood, reading the thread starter in haste). If that does not work, possibly have an attorney fire off a letter. Its a pretty spineless act by your Airline.
"Wouldn't your boss like to fly home nonstop at 4:30 on a Friday afternoon?" -Airline Exec to Congressional Staffer
 
F9Animal
Topic Author
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Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2004 7:13 am

RE: Dirty Employer?

Fri Jul 13, 2007 3:34 pm

Quoting FlyingTexan (Reply 3):
Its a pretty spineless act by your Airline.

Oh yes, it is not the airline by the way! LOL! I just wanted to clear that one up, because Frontier would never pull such a move.

Quoting FlyingTexan (Reply 3):
Yea, see if you can escalate it. (I kind-a misunderstood, reading the thread starter in haste). If that does not work, possibly have an attorney fire off a letter.

Great advice! I guess getting angry and saying something stupid might not be the right way to approach the issue!  Smile
I Am A Different Animal!!
 
fr8mech
Posts: 6714
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RE: Dirty Employer?

Fri Jul 13, 2007 9:54 pm

Check your state laws, but in general, a workman's compensation injury should not affect your current year's vacation. I don't believe the employer can elect to use your vacation time in lieu of a benefit payment. Depending on how you accrue vacation, this may affect next year's vacation.

Do you know if your employer filed the claim? Request a copy of the claim or at a minimum, the number. Check with you local workman's comp board and see if they have received any claim information. Ask them what the law says.

Be prepared for a fight.
When seconds count...the police are minutes away.
 
Banco
Posts: 14343
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RE: Dirty Employer?

Fri Jul 13, 2007 10:18 pm

Hmm. I'm just wondering if those who a while ago said that unions were evil things and should be abolished read something like this. It's exactly what they are there for, so I take it you don't have one?
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
airfoilsguy
Posts: 3485
Joined: Sun Oct 09, 2005 7:28 am

RE: Dirty Employer?

Fri Jul 13, 2007 10:31 pm

Quoting Fr8Mech (Reply 5):
Check your state laws, but in general, a workman's compensation injury should not affect your current year's vacation. I don't believe the employer can elect to use your vacation time in lieu of a benefit payment.

In Ohio They can't. If you get hurt at work you can not be penalized.
It's not a near miss it's a near hit!!
 
ORFflyer
Posts: 3142
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RE: Dirty Employer?

Fri Jul 13, 2007 11:23 pm

Quoting Fr8Mech (Reply 5):
Check your state laws, but in general, a workman's compensation injury should not affect your current year's vacation

 checkmark 

Quoting F9Animal (Reply 4):
Quoting FlyingTexan (Reply 3):Its a pretty spineless act by your Airline.
Oh yes, it is not the airline by the way! LOL! I just wanted to clear that one up, because Frontier would never pull such a move.

So who is it? Aren't they the ones charging your vacation hours?

Quoting Banco (Reply 6):
Hmm. I'm just wondering if those who a while ago said that unions were evil things and should be abolished read something like this. It's exactly what they are there for, so I take it you don't have one?

I'm one of those you refer, and I still think unions suck.  Wink The workers comp insurance is different, although union contracts can allude to the administration, and benefits that must be covered by an on the job injury.

Either way, I don't see how they can charge his vacation time to cover time lost from an on the job injury. Back when I was dealing with these situations, my company would NEVER send you home - they would CREATE something for you to do on light-duty, even if it was sitting next to someone "cross-training" Hell, they would come get you, bring you in for a couple of hours, and then take you home. Being in the "office" on light duty is way better for a company than being out on a "lost-time" injury. It can be VERY costly for the company to have to report a lost-time injury to OSHA, and other regulatory agencies & insurance companies.

Maybe that's why they are trying to charge vacation time. Maybe they didn't realise the adverse consequences of a lost-time accident, and want to have the time reported as your vacation, rather than lost-time.  scratchchin 
 
fr8mech
Posts: 6714
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2005 9:00 am

RE: Dirty Employer?

Fri Jul 13, 2007 11:39 pm

Quoting Banco (Reply 6):
Hmm. I'm just wondering if those who a while ago said that unions were evil things and should be abolished read something like this. It's exactly what they are there for, so I take it you don't have one?

Workmen's compensation laws have nothing to do with unions in the US. Workmen's comp laws are enacted by Congress and the various state legislatures. I also believe that several state and federal agencies (OSHA, EEOC, etc) have regulations on the books regarding workplace injury.
When seconds count...the police are minutes away.
 
57AZ
Posts: 2371
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RE: Dirty Employer?

Fri Jul 13, 2007 11:54 pm

Do you get separate paid sick leave and vacation leave? That may make a difference. I work for the county and accrue a fixed amount of paid sick and vacation leave each pay period. If I were to take ill or be injured and was in danger of exhausting all of my sick leave, the county would exhaust the sick leave and only then apply vacation time to sick leave.
"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."
 
Banco
Posts: 14343
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2001 11:56 pm

RE: Dirty Employer?

Sat Jul 14, 2007 12:00 am

Quoting ORFflyer (Reply 8):
The workers comp insurance is different, although union contracts can allude to the administration, and benefits that must be covered by an on the job injury.



Quoting Fr8mech (Reply 9):
Workmen's compensation laws have nothing to do with unions in the US. Workmen's comp laws are enacted by Congress and the various state legislatures.

The point about a union is that when you have a grievance against your employer, they act on your behalf. It has nothing to do "union law". This is 99.9% of what a union does, whether it is providing you with a lawyer, workplace advice, representation and so forth. Something like this is exactly where a union would get involved.
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
ORFflyer
Posts: 3142
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RE: Dirty Employer?

Sat Jul 14, 2007 12:08 am

Quoting Banco (Reply 11):
This is 99.9% of what a union does, whether it is providing you with a lawyer, workplace advice, representation and so forth. Something like this is exactly where a union would get involved.

I never said they wouldn't/shouldn't get involved, but they may not be the "ruling" party on this topic. And I'll agree that this is where a union might be a good thing.

My biggest beef with unions is that they provide a crutch for laziness, and lobby for way to high of wages for less than "hard" work.
 
Banco
Posts: 14343
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2001 11:56 pm

RE: Dirty Employer?

Sat Jul 14, 2007 12:13 am

Quoting ORFflyer (Reply 12):
but they may not be the "ruling" party on this topic

They wouldn't be. What they'd do is to provide the backing you need to take it to whichever authority is. That's what uinions do.
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
IFEMaster
Posts: 4164
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2006 5:17 am

RE: Dirty Employer?

Sat Jul 14, 2007 12:29 am

Quoting F9Animal (Thread starter):
Do employers actually have the right to make that kind of decision, or do you think I might have a fight worth fighting?

At least in the state of California, you have a fight worth fighting. And you'll win. As an employer, I am required to provide my employees with 3 options for time off from work - paid vacation, sick day, or unpaid leave. I can't just decide that I'm deducting vacation time if someone goes off sick; it's against the law. And if you were paying L&I, and you elect to receive coverage based on a filed claim, you are within your rights to retain your vacation time and take whatever coverage you have.

Then, when you're done with that, find a new employer. Companies who do this kind of thing are, in my opinion, shady, and will screw you again in the future.
Delivering Anecdotes of Dubious Relevance Since 1978
 
mdodd
Posts: 338
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2007 1:45 am

RE: Dirty Employer?

Sat Jul 14, 2007 1:04 am

Ouch. That sucks. Good luck!
 
ScarletHarlot
Posts: 4251
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RE: Dirty Employer?

Sat Jul 14, 2007 2:14 am

What is your workplace like? Small? Or are you in a big company? Do you have an HR person to go to? That is where I would start. I would start innocently like "I don't understand why I am being asked to take vacation time to cover this on the job injury. Can you show me any documentation about why this is the case?" If you get the runaround or if you don't have an HR person to go to - I'd go to the L&I board and find out how your state deals with this. It does not seem fair in the least bit.
But that was when I ruled the world
 
F9Animal
Topic Author
Posts: 3681
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2004 7:13 am

RE: Dirty Employer?

Sat Jul 14, 2007 2:16 am

Quoting Banco (Reply 6):
Hmm. I'm just wondering if those who a while ago said that unions were evil things and should be abolished read something like this. It's exactly what they are there for, so I take it you don't have one?

Yes, I am in the union. We have some major issues going on. I just got a message from the union, and they said that I can't be on vacation and on L&I at the same time, so I have their backing for sure. Sadly, my employer has been doing this kind of thing to injured employees for a loooong time. Sadly, none of them stood up yelled foul. One of our guys has been with the company for 18 years, and hurt his knee on the job. He was out for 3 months. They took 600 hours of his sick time, and 300 hours of his vacation. He is devestated by this move, and I think I am going to include him in on my grievance.

Quoting IFEMaster (Reply 14):
At least in the state of California, you have a fight worth fighting. And you'll win. As an employer, I am required to provide my employees with 3 options for time off from work - paid vacation, sick day, or unpaid leave. I can't just decide that I'm deducting vacation time if someone goes off sick; it's against the law. And if you were paying L&I, and you elect to receive coverage based on a filed claim, you are within your rights to retain your vacation time and take whatever coverage you have.

Then, when you're done with that, find a new employer. Companies who do this kind of thing are, in my opinion, shady, and will screw you again in the future.

I am in Washington, so I am not too sure on the laws. I have been googling like crazy trying to find something, but I am obviously stuck. I am pretty sure we are close in similar laws, but I am not sure.

As far as finding a new employer. I have been hot on the resumes. Sadly, I work for a charter branch for the City Of Seattle. I am saddened that they choose to exercise these kinds of behaviors. Maybe the Mayor and City Council should get their hands on these complaints.

There are other shady things going on too. They are short staffing us, and our jobs are very dangerous. I won't say who I work for, but I can say that I wear a bullet proof vest, and wrestle with some of the most violent downtown criminals in Seattle. Injury is a high probability in the line of work that we do. And the appreciation for protecting and serving is this??!! I am truly saddened.

Quoting ORFflyer (Reply 8):
o who is it? Aren't they the ones charging your vacation hours?

I can't say who it is, but it is not Frontier. I got injured at Frontier 2 years ago, and they took very good care of me. Most airlines are decent when it comes to injured employees. When I went down, I had the Manager, Supervisor, and employees helping me to the ambulance. They were very helpful, and provided light duty to help me out.

Quoting Mdodd (Reply 15):
Ouch. That sucks. Good luck!

Thanks! I hope this comes out okay. I will put on the gloves and fight. I just think it is sad that I have to do that. I wonder how many other employees across the world have these kinds of issues? It really creates a hardship for me, and I can't imagine what others endure. I think we need stronger work laws to protect workers! Or better yet, maybe job hunters should be wise to employers like this. LOL!
I Am A Different Animal!!
 
ORFflyer
Posts: 3142
Joined: Sat Apr 09, 2005 2:42 am

RE: Dirty Employer?

Sat Jul 14, 2007 2:18 am

Quoting Banco (Reply 13):
What they'd do is to provide the backing you need to take it to whichever authority is

Depends on the specifics of the labor agreement. Not all have provisions dealing with all issues.

Quoting Banco (Reply 13):
That's what uinions do.

I'm very familiar what unions do. I was in a very large union for over 12 years, (IBEW) serving as a shop steward for a period. Everything comes down to what specifics are covered in the contract as to when the union CAN get involved in - many situations cannot even be brought before the union.
 
F9Animal
Topic Author
Posts: 3681
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2004 7:13 am

RE: Dirty Employer?

Sat Jul 14, 2007 2:41 am

Quoting ORFflyer (Reply 18):
I'm very familiar what unions do. I was in a very large union for over 12 years, (IBEW) serving as a shop steward for a period. Everything comes down to what specifics are covered in the contract as to when the union CAN get involved in - many situations cannot even be brought before the union.

We are in the Teamsters. I do know that they have shown great concern about my employers practices, and they are in the process of nailing these issues one step at a time. Safety is one of their biggest concerns, and they are addressing the most serious first. We have been unionized for less than 6 years, so I see several areas that need to be worked on when the new contract comes up at the end of the year. I think it would be good to include issues like mine, and include it in the contract.

Quoting ScarletHarlot (Reply 16):
What is your workplace like? Small? Or are you in a big company? Do you have an HR person to go to? That is where I would start. I would start innocently like "I don't understand why I am being asked to take vacation time to cover this on the job injury. Can you show me any documentation about why this is the case?" If you get the runaround or if you don't have an HR person to go to - I'd go to the L&I board and find out how your state deals with this. It does not seem fair in the least bit.

The employer is in the range of about 100 employees. We do have an HR, but this seems to be where the problem lies. I am meeting with them today, and will seek documentation if they have it. I appreciate all of your ideas, as this makes me feel much better in knowing that others share the same concerns.

Thanks y'all! I will update you guys tonight on the outcome of this uphill battle. I have butterflies in the stomach! Oh yes, and ironically during my typing of this, I was called for a job interview for Monday! YAY! And guess what the job title is?

RISK MANAGEMENT!!!! ROFL!!  Smile Is that ironic or what? WOWSA!!!
I Am A Different Animal!!
 
ORFflyer
Posts: 3142
Joined: Sat Apr 09, 2005 2:42 am

RE: Dirty Employer?

Sat Jul 14, 2007 3:05 am

Quoting F9Animal (Reply 17):
I can't say who it is, but it is not Frontier. I got injured at Frontier 2 years ago, and they took very good care of me. Most airlines are decent when it comes to injured employees. When I went down, I had the Manager, Supervisor, and employees helping me to the ambulance. They were very helpful, and provided light duty to help me out.

 checkmark  I thought you were with the airline, or at least in that industry.

Good luck to you, I don't see how they can charge your personal leave for a on-the-job injury. Keep us posted.
 
F9Animal
Topic Author
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Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2004 7:13 am

RE: Dirty Employer?

Sat Jul 14, 2007 1:48 pm

Quoting ORFflyer (Reply 20):
checkmark I thought you were with the airline, or at least in that industry.

Good luck to you, I don't see how they can charge your personal leave for a on-the-job injury. Keep us posted.

Thanks ORFflyer! I will always be associated with the airlines, I am just taking a cool off period for now, as I experienced my burnout period in it. Do I miss it? Oh heck yeah. The industry is in my blood, and I will die loving the industry. My hats go off to every airline worker out there, and my deepest respects to anyone who works in aviation! If all of my testing and assessments go well, then in August, I will be back in the industry anyways! I have been through all kinds of stuff to get my dream job. I CAN'T WAIT!!!!  Smile


The meeting did not go well. The HR person was hell bent on sticking to her guns. However, the union called me back and they are still getting the information put together. The union is very unhappy with the employers decision, and they will fight it out for me. If I do win, then the employer will have to give back hundreds of hours of vacation and sick time to employees who got hurt in the past. If I don't win (oh I hope not), then the union leader has promised me that they will negotiate on our next contract at the end of the year to stop this behavior. So really, no matter what, in the end, I will win one way or another. I am impatient and want this resolved now, but I guess these things require patience. I will try to avoid the old chip on the shoulder attitude at work, but it sure is hard to be committed to my employer during this. I can say that I will not go the extra mile for them, but I will do my duties that are expected of me. They asked if I could help them out because they are short, and I told them that I would not. I feel bad, but I also feel mad still.
I Am A Different Animal!!
 
ScarletHarlot
Posts: 4251
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2003 12:15 pm

RE: Dirty Employer?

Sun Jul 15, 2007 1:02 am

Very good luck with your battle. I am sorry you are not getting more support from your HR person. This seems completely unfair.
But that was when I ruled the world
 
fr8mech
Posts: 6714
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2005 9:00 am

RE: Dirty Employer?

Sun Jul 15, 2007 9:39 am

Ok, let me get this straight:

You have a contract? What does it say about workplace injury?
If the grievance is denied or deadlocked, the union boss promises it will be negotiated into the next contract? More than likely an empty promise to quiet you down.
What does the law say?
You work for the city of Seattle? Municipal bargaining agreements have strange rules and restrictions. You need to see what the law says.

I'm afraid in this case, the union will prove powerless. If it's not in the agreement and the law doesn't address it (which I doubt), past practice will prevail. Your hosed.
When seconds count...the police are minutes away.
 
MCOflyer
Posts: 7071
Joined: Tue Jun 13, 2006 5:51 am

RE: Dirty Employer?

Sun Jul 15, 2007 10:26 am

Quoting ScarletHarlot (Reply 22):
Very good luck with your battle. I am sorry you are not getting more support from your HR person. This seems completely unfair.

I agree with miss harlot and wish you my best of luck too.

Hunter
Never be afraid to stand up for who you are.
 
ltbewr
Posts: 12495
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2004 1:24 pm

RE: Dirty Employer?

Sun Jul 15, 2007 11:08 am

You may be required to use available sick time due to their injury per company rules.
Another reason for your employer to shift the time to 'vacation' is so that as your injury requires more than 3 days to heal, that it won't show up as a major injury and affect their L&I, workman's comp insurances rates and their 'serious injury' record.
 
KL642
Posts: 250
Joined: Mon May 24, 2004 5:07 am

RE: Dirty Employer?

Sun Jul 15, 2007 2:23 pm

F9Animal,
Call your state's Labour Department and run this by them. I'm almost certain that they will tell you that what your employer is attempting to do to you is illegal. Also contact a lawyer who specializes in work comp cases. They should give you a free consultation. Good luck to you.
 
Pyrex
Posts: 4081
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2005 7:24 am

RE: Dirty Employer?

Sun Jul 15, 2007 8:25 pm

Quoting Fr8mech (Reply 9):

Workmen's compensation laws have nothing to do with unions in the US. Workmen's comp laws are enacted by Congress and the various state legislatures.

Oh really? Then I guess Congress / state legislatures just woke up one day and decided, out of their own free will, "Hey, do you know what would be great? If we enacted some laws to protect workers from injuries they sustain while working for their employers." Better yet, maybe it was some industry pressure group that lobbied for these laws to be put into place.

Back to point, I do not know exactly how the laws are in the U.S. but if you got injured while on the job you should get full paid absence, along with 100% of medical expenses covered, period (unless, of course, it was gross neglect on your part). If they still decide to screw you over this then, being the U.S. the land of litigation it is, can't you sue them claiming permanent emotional damage from your injury or something? If you sprained your ankle in a pothole you could probably sue the city for millions...
Read this very carefully, I shall write this only once!
 
MD11Engineer
Posts: 13916
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2003 5:25 am

RE: Dirty Employer?

Sun Jul 15, 2007 8:34 pm

Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 25):
Another reason for your employer to shift the time to 'vacation' is so that as your injury requires more than 3 days to heal, that it won't show up as a major injury and affect their L&I, workman's comp insurances rates and their 'serious injury' record.

We had a similar situation with a company I used to work for some years ago. A colleague, who was putting on engine covers on the intakes of a 727 (the huge round plastic ones), got blown off the rickety ladder he as forced to use (due to the company not wanting to invest in proper stands) by a gust of wind and broke his arm. The management talked him as NOT reporting it as a workplace injury (totally illegal) because they had already a few accidents within the same month and were on the watchlist of the health and safety people as well as th injury at workplace insurance company. The idiot of colleague actually let himself be talked into it and this way lost any claims for compensation, should the accident have long time effects.

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
fr8mech
Posts: 6714
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2005 9:00 am

RE: Dirty Employer?

Sun Jul 15, 2007 10:57 pm

Quoting KL642 (Reply 26):
Oh really? Then I guess Congress / state legislatures just woke up one day and decided, out of their own free will, "Hey, do you know what would be great?

Read the tense of what I wrote.

Quoting Fr8mech (Reply 9):
laws have nothing

As in the present tense. Unions, when they served a purpose, did bring major, needed reform to the workplace. But, most unions have outlived their usefulness because they have failed to evolve with the times. They are still in the 'if we don't get our way, we'll shut this place down and that'll show them" mode. Pathetic. Hell, this particular local seems pretty impotent to me. Just taking money for 'representation'. The union should have filed a class action grievance long ago if the company had been doing this.

F9animal. Contact a labor lawyer, in your state, who is familiar with municipal contracts. If this is as pervasive as you say it is, and is in violation of your agreement, you have an outstanding chance of getting your vacation time back and our employer being penalized.

By the way, if the union continues to say that they can't do anything beyond filing a grievance and waiting it out, assuming your collective bargaining agreement is on your side, you can explore legal action against them. Tough sell, but possible.

[Edited 2007-07-15 15:59:03]
When seconds count...the police are minutes away.

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