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FL - Teacher Awaits Fate After Comp Claim Leads to Drug Test for Medical Marijuana

By William Rabb (Reporter)
02/27/2020 | 146 | 0 | 9 min read

A Florida teacher could soon find himself receiving workers' compensation benefits but losing his job because he used medical marijuana as recommended by his doctor. Or, because of Florida's workers' comp law that presumes a drug test indicates intoxication, he could lose his job of many years — and his benefits. Either way, the case, which has gained attention around the state, could have a chilling effect on injury reporting and the filing of workers' compensation claims, attorneys said. The case of Michael Hickman, of Belleview, Florida, also has been held up as a g... Read More

WA - Court Clarifies Requirements for Employer Reimbursement Under Stay-at-Work Program

02/27/2020 | 47 | 0 | 1 min read

The Washington Court of Appeals ruled that the state Stay-at-Work Program does not prohibit retroactive medical approval of light-duty work, as long as the employee's provider has released him to remain at, or return to, the job. Case: Department of Labor and Industries v. Briseno, No. 79395-1-I, 02/18/2020, published. Facts and procedural history: In 2011, the Washington Legislature created the Stay-at-Work Program to encourage employers to offer light or modified work to injured workers. The program authorizes the Department of Labor and Industries to provide wage reimbursement to... Read More

WV - Supreme Court Denies Additional Narcotic Pain Meds for Injured Worker

02/27/2020 | 55 | 0 | 7 min read

A divided West Virginia Supreme Court ruled that a worker was not entitled to additional narcotic pain medication to treat his injuries from an old slip and fall. Case: Blankenship v. West Virginia Office of Insurance Commissioner, No. 19-0014, 02/13/2020, published. Facts and procedural history: James R. Blankenship slipped and fell at work in August 1994. He complained of pain and spasms in the middle part of his back. Although he received conservative treatment, his pain complaints continued and he never returned to gainful employment. In 1999, Blankenship began seeing Dr. Samuel J... Read More

OH - No TTD for Worker After Adding Depression to Claim

02/27/2020 | 59 | 0 | 2 min read

An Ohio appellate court upheld the denial of temporary total disability benefits to a worker after his claim was expanded to include a diagnosis for his depression. Case: State ex rel. Burns v. Industrial Commission, No. 18AP-785, 02/20/2020, published. Facts and procedural history: Dana W. Burns suffered injuries in November 1991 as a recruit for the City of Columbus Police Academy. The Bureau of Workers’ Compensation accepted Burns’ claim for injuries to his head and neck. Burns received temporary total disability benefits until April 2014, when a district hearing officer foun... Read More

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Press - Nurse Triage Delivers Reduced Lag Time and Substantial Savings Case Study

02/19/2020 | 87 | 0

Coventry, a leading provider of care and cost management solutions for workers' compensation, has released a new case study entitled "Nurse Triage Delivers Reduced Lag Time and Substantial Savings". When an on-the-job injury occurs, the initial response can be critical in aiding an employee in making the right decisions about what type of care they need. Coventry Nurse Triage arms injured workers and their employers with a resource to assess the situation and help determine the appropriate course of action. Whether it be self-care or medical treatment, having a nu... Read More

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CA - Grinberg: A Moment on SJDB Vouchers

By Gregory Grinberg
02/27/2020 | 65 | 0

Some time ago, in the WorkCompCentral forums, a question was raised about supplemental job displacement benefit vouchers and the employer’s obligation to provide one. This might seem like a small point: $6,000 in potential exposure, but it adds up and quickly. Depending on internal claims-handling procedures, an issued but not exhausted voucher can even slow down when a file can officially be “closed.” The forum question essentially asked if the injured worker comes back to work, is a voucher due? What does the law say? Labor Code section 4658.... Read More

CA - Proponents of Ballot Measure Say Support Growing to Repeal AB 5

02/27/2020 | 149 | 0 | 8 min read

More than 50,000 drivers for companies such as Uber and Lyft have signed up in support of a ballot initiative that would repeal California's new employment status test, according to the campaign backing the Protect App-Based Drivers & Services Act. The backing organization, Protect App-Based Drivers & Services, also said more than 1,000 drivers have requested petitions to collect voter signatures to qualify the ballot measure for November. They will need to gather the signatures of more than 623,000 voters for the initiative to be placed on the ballot for the Nov. 3 election. Su... Read More

ID - House Unanimously Approves Maintaining Cancer Presumption

02/27/2020 | 37 | 0 | 2 min read

The Idaho Legislature has signed off on a measure to preserve a cancer presumption for firefighters that was created four years ago. The state House of Representatives on Monday voted 68-0 to pass Senate Bill 1263 by the Senate Commerce and Human Resources Committee. The Senate voted 35-0 to pass the measure Feb. 11. SB 1263 would repeal a sunset provision included in an earlier bill that created the presumption that cancer arises out of employment for firefighters. The 2016 legislation also included language that would automatically repeal it on July 1, 2021. The National Council... Read More

WY - Senate Passes PTSD, Premium Credit Measures

02/27/2020 | 75 | 0 | 7 min read

The Wyoming Senate on Wednesday passed bills that would create a premium credit for employers that made all required workers’ compensation payments in 2019 and would allow firefighters, law enforcement and paramedics to file claims for mental stress. The Senate voted 27-3 to approve SF 89, by Sen. Eli Bebout, R-Riverton, which would order the Department of Workforce Services to establish a premium credit for any employer in good standing with the Workers’ Compensation Division and has made all required payments between Jan. 1, 2019, and Dec. 31, 2019. The Senate also voted 24... Read More

NATL. - Sedgwick Founder Bob Young Dies at 83

02/27/2020 | 109 | 0 | 5 min read

Robert “Bob” Young, the founder of a small California-based firm that became an international insurance company operating in 65 countries, died last week in Pinehurst, North Carolina, at the age of 83. Young opened a small claims services company in San Francisco in 1969 that eventually grew to about 500 employees. The company, now known as Sedgwick, continued to expand even after Young’s retirement in 1996, according to a Sedgwick news release. The company says it now employs approximately 27,000 people around the world. “I am incredibly sad to share the ne... Read More

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Press - Todd Loomis Hired as National Sales Manager at ReEmployAbility

02/26/2020 | 46 | 0

Tampa, FL (February 26, 2020) - ReEmployAbility is pleased to announce the hiring of Todd Loomis as the new National Sales Manager. Loomis will oversee the Sales and Client Services Departments and manage the training and development of our growing team of Account Executives, Account Managers, and Client Services Managers. "We are so excited to have Todd on board," said CEO Debra Li... Read More

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MA - AG Applies Three-Prong Test to Gig Employer for Misclassification

By William Rabb (Reporter)
02/26/2020 | 287 | 0 | 61 min read

While lawmakers in New York, New Jersey and a number of other states are grappling with how best to manage workers in the burgeoning gig economy, Massachusetts' top prosecutor has quietly relied on her state's three-pronged test to keep some employers in line. Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey announced this week that a national staffing company agreed to pay penalties for misclassifying workers it placed into school jobs around the state. The penalties amounted to just $55,000, but the case is considered significant because the company, Delta-T Group, has agreed to... Read More

CA - Advocates Expect 'Standard' Legislative Session for Comp; Reforms to Come Later

By Mark Powell (Reporter)
02/26/2020 | 509 | 2 | 31 min read

Those hoping for an action-packed legislative session rife with groundbreaking workers’ compensation bills might be disappointed in 2020. It’s shaping up to be a ho-hum year, some stakeholders are saying. “It’s gonna be a pretty standard year in workers’ comp,” said Jeremy Merz, western region vice president for the American Property Casualty Insurers Association. “No themes really come out of the bills yet. There’s a lot of spot bills that don't have details yet. They will get filled in with substance. I don’t expect this to be an ov... Read More

WA - Lawmakers Pass Penalty, PTSD and IME Bills

02/26/2020 | 113 | 0 | 10 min read

Lawmakers in Washington state passed bills ahead of the crossover deadline that would allow post-traumatic stress disorder claims for 911 dispatchers, increase penalties for certain claims-handling violations and limit the number of independent medical exams injured workers can be compelled to attend. The state House of Representatives on Feb. 18 voted 97-0 to pass House Bill 2758, which would allow “public safety telecommunicators” to file PTSD claims. The House on the same day voted 52-44 to pass HB 2409, which would increase employer penalties and create a statutory responsibi... Read More

AR - Worker's Refusal of Job Offer Doesn't Prevent TTD for 2nd Disabling Condition

02/26/2020 | 91 | 0 | 15 min read

The Arkansas Court of Appeals ruled that a worker’s refusal to accept a light-duty position after a knee injury did not bar him from receiving temporary total disability benefits when a causally related condition rendered him incapable of working. Case: Grant v. Westar Refrigerated Transportation, No. CV-19-365, 02/12/2020, published. Facts: David Grant worked for Westar Refrigerated Transportation as a truck driver. He injured his left knee at work on Oct. 5, 2017. Grant reported the injury to Westar but completed his delivery. After he returned home, Grant received treatment fr... Read More

NY - Worker Gets Summary Judgment on Labor Law Claim for Lift Accident

02/26/2020 | 130 | 0 | 15 min read

A New York appellate court ruled that a worker should have been granted summary judgment on his Labor Law claim for his injuries from a mishap with an articulating lift. Case: Lind v. Tishman Construction Corp. of New York, No. 11028 154781/16, 02/13/2020, published. Facts: The Tishman Construction Corp. entered into a management service contract with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey for the construction of the World Trade Center's Vehicle Security Center and Tour Bus Facility. The contract referred to the Tishman Construction Corp. of New York as the construction manag... Read More