Category

Workers’ Compensation

Perspectives: Tips for rebutting COVID-19 presumption

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Numerous states have enacted COVID-19 presumptions for first responders and essential workers, while many others are considering enacting similar legislation. These presumptions allow employees who contract COVID-19 to meet their burden that the contraction arose out of and in the course of employment. Several states, including Minnesota, New Jersey, California and Alaska, have enacted COVID-19 presumption statutes but have not…

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Insurer alleges no duty to defend in construction workers’ injury claims

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An insurance provider claims it has no duty to defend in a construction injury suit that involved two workers who were allegedly injured by collapsing trusses. Artisan and Truckers Casualty Co., filed a complaint May 18 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois against the Burlington Insurance Company, Southern Truss Inc., Douglas Forrest, Gaylon Cruse, individually…

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Drug costs per comp claim decline in most states: WCRI

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Prescription payments per medical claim decreased by 15% or more in many states, but per claim payments remain high in some areas of the country, according to a report released Tuesday by the Workers Compensation Research Institute. In its study of pharmaceutical costs per workers compensation claim in 28 states, the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based WCRI found that states saw the median…

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Intentional misclassification of construction workers causing concern

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Workers on construction sites across Indiana can be found nailing plywall from atop scaffolds, scaling roofs or painting newly built homes. But what isn’t evident is whether those workers are part of a shady trend construction industry experts say is a serious concern — payroll tax fraud. Certain contractors in the construction industry will misclassify workers, falsely listing them as…

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Mental distress costs employers $5,000 per worker each year

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Employees with mental distress cost employers nearly $5,000 per person a year in work days lost, as well as increased turnover and health care costs, according to research from the National Safety Council and the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago. Employers with workers who are experiencing mental health issues spend more than $5,500 on average in…

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Mandatory vaccinations can lead to comp claims, OSHA recordables

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The demand for COVID-19 shots has stalled in the U.S., prompting some employers to implement mandates to get their staff fully vaccinated. However, experts warn that under such mandates, injuries or illnesses reported by employees from the vaccine can lead to workers compensation claims and recordable incidents on Occupational Safety and Health Administration logs. After first leaving the decision up…

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Outpatient costs higher where comp fee regulations limited

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States with percent-of-charge-based fee regulations or no fee schedules for hospital outpatient care saw exponentially higher costs nationwide, according to a report released Thursday by the Workers Compensation Research Institute. Cambridge, Massachusetts-based researchers compared hospital payments for a group of common outpatient surgeries in workers compensation across 36 states from 2005 to 2019, finding costs to be more than double…

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Illinois House passes staph infection presumption bill

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The Illinois House of Representatives passed a bill that would make it easier for some first responders who acquire methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus to obtain workers compensation benefits. H.B. 3662, which unanimously passed the House on Wednesday, would amend the state’s Workers Compensation Act to create a rebuttable presumption that firefighters, emergency medical technicians and paramedics who contract MRSA did so…

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Fall while walking to turn in timecard not compensable

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A temporary university worker failed to prove that her fall on the way to turn in her timecard was work-related, an appellate court held Tuesday. In Purcell v. Illinois Workers Compensation Commission, the Illinois Appellate Court, Fourth District, Workers Compensation Commission Division affirmed an Illinois Workers Compensation Commission’s decision denying a worker’s claim for benefits after finding that she failed…

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Illinois Distribution Warehouse Cited for Virus Exposures; Fined $12K

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A few days after employees at Midwest Warehouse and Distribution System Inc. gathered in its Naperville, Ill., facility breakroom for a luncheon, some workers experienced symptoms consistent with coronavirus exposure. Employees began reporting to the company that they had tested positive for the coronavirus on Oct. 27, 2020. A U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigation alleges…

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