11.15.2017By Liz Carey
Jacksonville, FL (WorkersCompensation.com) – A Florida contractor arrested in a $1 million workers’ compensation fraud scheme remains in custody after failing to post bond and filing for indigent status.
Authorities with Florida’s Department of Financial Services (DFS) arrested Carlos Contreras in October, charging him with workers’ compensation fraud after a months-long investigation. Authorities said Contreras claimed to only have $273,786 in annual payroll, but investigators discovered that Contreras had cashed more...
11.08.2017By Liz Carey
An Indiana appeals court has rejected a request from LexisNexis Risk Solutions for workers' compensation records, saying the records sought, which could include data on premiums, are confidential.
The ruling comes after LexisNexis Risk Solutions sued the state for access to policy records that were previously compiled by the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI).
According to court records, the state contracted with NCCI in 1998 to collect policy data. In 2013, that contract...
11.01.2017Written by Jacob Berger, DMD | EZ Dental Care, Inc.
A causality dilemma can be summed up as “which came first, the chicken or the egg?” In dental workers compensation terms, which came first, the injury or the bad teeth?
It is very common for a dentist to tell a patient that has been involved in an accident with dental trauma that he or she needs to have other dental needs taken care of as well...
10.25.2017By Jim Thompson
Sarasota, FL (WorkersCompensation.com) - Fallout from the massively publicized sexual assault allegations made against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein — perhaps most notably, the use of the #MeToo social media hashtag — indicates that sexual misconduct is a depressingly regular workplace occurrence.
However, questions of how — or even whether — injuries resulting from workplace sexual assaults are pursued through workers’ compensation claims is difficult to answer. In large part, that’s...
10.18.2017By Liz Carey
Pearland, TX (WorkersCompensation.com) – For the third time, the wife of a Pearland police officer killed by a drunk driver while on duty will go to court to prove she is entitled to his workers’ compensation benefits.
Lucy Lugo, common law wife of officer Endy Ekpanya, has already proven in court twice that she is entitled to Ekpanya’s death benefits. Now a lawsuit by the Texas Municipal League Intergovernmental Risk...
10.11.2017By Liz Carey
Indianapolis, IN (WorkersCompensation.com) – According to a study by the National Safety Council (NSC), sleeplessness and fatigue can cost employers millions in decreased productivity, missed work and employee health issues.
Last week, the NSC and the Bingham Health Sleep Matters Initiative released a tool that will help employers see just how much fatigue is costing them. NSC estimates that the average Fortune 500 company could see as much as $80 million a year in...
10.04.2017By Liz Carey
Rahway, NJ (WorkersCompensation.com) – The ruling in a New Jersey appellate court in a case by two dancers against a men’s club is not only going back to court, but also is generating interest from some Mary Kay Cosmetics sellers.
In August 2015, Alissa Moon and Yasmeen Davis filed suit in District Court against Breathless Men’s Club, claiming that the club illegally misclassified them as independent contractors to...
09.27.2017By Jim Thompson
Sarasota, FL (WorkersCompensation.com) - A technological revolution is advancing in workers’ compensation on two fronts — the treatment (and prevention) of workplace injuries, and the close monitoring of claims for signs of fraud.
However, the increasing reliance on technology on both of those fronts will continue to require a human touch to ensure their effectiveness, according to two experts.
The use of wearable health monitors — think FitBits and the...
If you missed the WCI 2017 Conference or want to watch this riveting program again, click here for the podcast.
THE YEAR IS 2019. The United States Supreme Court has just declared state workers’ compensation systems to be “unconstitutional” because they no longer provide a “grand bargain” to injured workers. Recognizing the chaos this will cause, the Court gives states 6 months to enact new workers’ compensation legislation before implementing...
09.20.2017By Liz Carey
Lowell, MA (WorkersCompensation.com) – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has levied a $208,000 penalty against a Massachusetts behavioral health services firm it says failed to protect its employees from assaults by patients.
The citation comes two years after an inspection at the facility where OSHA found serious violations in May 2015. According to OSHA, the facility did not take the appropriate actions to abate previous violations, including logging violent interactions with patients. <...
09.13.2017By Jim Thompson
Sarasota, FL (WorkersCompensation.com) - Officially speaking, there were nearly 3 million workplace injuries in the United States in 2015, according to the latest data year from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) annual Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII).
But those numbers are widely acknowledged, even by the BLS, to be inaccurate. The BLS notes on its own website that the bureau and its research partners “have conducted multiple studies which...
09.06.2017By Liz Carey
Tallahassee, FL (WorkersCompensation.com) – Rates for workers’ compensation insurance will go down by 9.3 percent in Florida for 2018, according to a report issued today by the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI).
After recommending an increase of 19.6 percent last year, the organization recommended the decrease this year based on different data. In 2016, two separate decisions in the Florida Supreme Court struck down some elements of the state’s workers’ compensation law....
08.30.2017By Liz Carey
Guadalupe, CA (WorkersCompensation.com) – A food packaging company and its labor broker have agreed to pay nearly $6 million to settle a lawsuit brought by 100 current and former employees.
Apio, a division of Landec, and its labor contractor Pacific Harvest, will pay $5.9 million to nearly 2,000 employees the lawsuit alleges the companies failed to pay for full shifts. Hector Martinez, the plaintiff’s Oakland-based attorney, said supervisors would clock employees in when they arrived...
08.23.2017By Liz Carey
Los Angeles, CA (WorkersCompensation.com) – While a recent California lawsuit vs. a contractor charged with misclassifying employees indicates crimes against employees is a continuing issue, some worker advocacy groups fear the current pro-business climate may mean fewer employers will pay for those crimes.
On Monday, the California Labor Commission announced it had filed a $6.3 million suit against CalCrete, a California concrete contractor, for forcing 290 employees to sign documents stating they were independent...
08.16.2017By Phil Yacuboski
Orlando, FL (WorkersCompensation.com) – A workers’ comp case involving a former player of the Arena Football League (AFL) will head to the Florida Supreme Court. Bryon Bishop is trying to collect workers’ compensation benefits after being injured as a member of the Orlando Predators.
“We are disappointed in the decision,” said Charles Leo, Bishop’s attorney, to WorkersCompensation.com. “The decision left a lot of players out...
08.02.2017By Dara Barney
Orlando, FL (WorkersCompensation.com) - It is that time of year again: The Workers’ Compensation Institute’s (WCI) Annual Conference starts Sunday, Aug. 6 and goes through Wednesday, Aug. 9 at the Marriott World Center Resort & Convention Center. There are many different tracks and topics to choose from, and WorkersCompensation.com has taken the time to cover a few of the sessions, with some input from speakers.
For more information regarding the agenda,...
07.26.2017By Liz Carey
Washington, DC (WorkersCompensation.com) – A former American University of Afghanistan (AUAF) professor has filed a claim with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) for workers’ compensation after being injured in an attack at the school.
According to an article in Inside Higher Ed, the professor claims that since the school was under a five-year $40 million agreement with the U.S. Agency for International Development; the school should have been covered by...
07.19.2017By Liz Carey
Austin, TX (WorkersCompensation.com) – A Texas appeals court reversed a $43 million injury award for a man whose leg was amputated in an industrial accident, saying his injuries were covered under workers’ compensation.
In 2013, Tyler Lee was a superintendent for a general contractor on a construction site in Houston. Berkel & Company Contractors Inc. was one of the subcontractors on the site. According to court records, one of Berkel’s superintendents, Chris...
07.12.2017By Peter Rousmaniere
About 900,000 work injuries involving at least one day of lost time will occur this year. How might that be lowered within a five year planning horizon to, say 810,000, which would be consistent with long term trends? It will likely require more adept use of technology and smarter targeting of opportunities.
To set a high bar, consider how worksite safety has lagged commercial flight safety. Since the 1960s, if American work had advanced in...
07.05.2017By Liz Carey
Sarasota, FL (WorkersCompensation.com) – For companies with wellness plans, wearable devices like FitBits can be a way to engage employees, but, experts warn, there could be some risks associated with them as well.
While the jury is still out on how wellness programs impact workers’ compensation costs, the use of fitness trackers or wearable devices in wellness programs is beginning to take off.
According to a study from ABI...