Category

Workers’ Compensation

Drug formularies not a top legislative priority this year

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Illinois is the only state to introduce legislation this year to create a workers compensation drug formulary, despite the documented success of such regulations in limiting the prescribing of addictive pain medications to injured workers. But experts say they don’t see the issue of opioid prescribing in comp fading as other strategies are at play. Formularies — lists of prescription…

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Ruling bars suit after COVID death, highlights worker safety concerns

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A recent federal court ruling holding that a migrant farm worker’s death from COVID-19 fell within the scope of workers compensation law is part of a growing body of rulings that bar liability lawsuits related to the pandemic against employers. The decision also highlights safety issues related to the housing of migrant workers during the pandemic. According to the ruling…

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Hospitalization, fatalities more likely in COVID medical claims

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While the majority of workers compensation claims for COVID-19 during the first year of the pandemic involved a mild infection and no hospitalization, the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California reports that coronavirus claims with medical payments were more likely to involve hospitalization, intensive care and fatalities. “As a result, the average medical payments per COVID-19 claim during the…

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Supreme Court seeks DOJ input on comp coverage for cannabis

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The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Department of Justice to weigh in on whether workers compensation insurers should reimburse for medical marijuana. Specifically, the court is considering requests to review Minnesota Supreme Court decisions holding that employers can’t be compelled to reimburse injured workers for medical cannabis because it would require them to violate federal law. Before it…

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COVID a major comp theme in state legislatures

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The COVID-19 omicron variant appears to be waning and several states have lifted their mask mandates in recent weeks, but legislators are just getting started when it comes to the pandemic and workers compensation. Since state lawmakers went back to work in January, more than a dozen pieces of new or revived pieces of legislation have been filed, and more…

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Bill addresses court decisions holding that exclusivity doesn’t bar BIPA claims

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A bill before Illinois lawmakers this year would address recent court decisions finding that workers’ compensation exclusivity does not preclude claims for damages under the Biometric Information Privacy Act. H.B. 5396 would declare that if a worker brings an action against an employer for violations of the privacy act, the worker’s entitlement to relief shall be determined under the state’s…

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Illinois Supreme Court: Privacy Claims Not Barred by Workers’ Comp Act

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The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act (IWCA) does not bar claims for statutory damages under the state’s Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), the Illinois Supreme Court unanimously ruled in a Feb. 3 opinion that could leave employers more vulnerable to a wave of privacy lawsuits. In McDonald v. Symphony Bronzeville Park, the seven-member court looked at a proposed putative class action…

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Days away from work fall despite increase in serious injuries, fatalities

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Days away from work due to serious injuries decreased by 61% from 2019 to 2020, according to a new report from ISN Software Corp., despite an increase in the rate of serious injuries and fatalities. The analysis from ISN showed the three-year average for serious injuries and fatalities increased from 391 incidents per 100,000 workers in 2019 to 429 incidents…

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Woman alleges wrongful termination in retaliation for filing work comp claim

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A woman is suing her former employer, alleging she was terminated in retaliation for filing a workers’ compensation claim. Maria Hernandez filed a lawsuit on Dec. 27 in the Madison County Circuit Court against ET Superior Services KP, Inc.. According to the lawsuit, Hernandez was employed by ET Superior Services when she allegedly suffered a work-related injury on June 22….

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Comp for COVID could keep sick workers at home: Rand

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Using workers compensation systems to provide medical and indemnity benefits to workers who contract COVID-19 could be advantageous, according to a report by Rand Corp. released Tuesday. “Assured benefits could encourage sick workers to stay at home, and workers compensation has long been recognized as an effective incentive for employers to proactively promote workplace safety by using insurance pricing to…

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