News Digest 5/16/2008

By: Workers' Comp Executive

Quote of the day

"The bottom line is that he loved his job and wanted to keep working. He wanted his job back. I respect that. That's why we agreed to settle this case."

Ventura City Attorney Ariel Calonne, about the reinstatement of firefighter Donald Bartosh, who was forced to go on disability for heart disease

Go to the full story in the Ventura County Star

Ventura to Rehire Firefighter Who Was Forced to Go on Disability
Ventura city officials agree to pay $750,000, in addition to more than two years of back pay and benefits, to settle a lawsuit filed by a former fire department official who lost his job and was forced to go on disability for heart disease. Donald Bartosh, 53, will also return to work in an administrative capacity. By Kevin Clerici, Ventura County Star
Go to the Full Story…

Oregon Releases Workplace Death Tally
According to Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services data, 35 individuals covered by the state’s workers’ compensation system died on the job during 2007. The largest concentration of deaths occurred in construction, with agriculture, forestry and fishing seeing the second highest numbers; nearly 29 percent of the total accidents were fall-related.
Go to the full story in Salem News [with photo] Go to the full story by Anne Saker, Oregonian

Rates to Spike 10 Percent in Palmetto State
Workers’ compensation rates for South Carolina businesses will increase by an average of nearly 10 percent from this summer, but that’s significantly less than the amount requested by the National Council on Compensation Insurance. By Peter Hull, Charleston Post and Courier
Go to the Full Story…

Waxman: Pentagon Workers’ Comp Program a ‘Boondoggle’
U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., calls a Pentagon workers’ compensation program for civilian employees in Iraq and Afghanistan is a “flagrant abuse of taxpayer dollars.” The Defense Base Act requires contractors to purchase such insurance for their employees, and taxpayers shoulder the enormous costs, according to Waxman. CNN
Go to the Full Story…

Manitoba Farmers’ Group Opposes Mandatory WCB Coverage
Manitoba’s farmers should not have to take on mandatory coverage by the province’s Workers’ Compensation Board, according to Keystone Agricultural Producers, which opposes a “one-size-fits-all” approach to workers’ comp. Grain News (Canada)
Go to the Full Story…

Citing Privatized Workers’ Comp, Manchin Wins Primary
West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin, running on a record of tax cuts, insurance relief and privatized workers’ compensation, easily fends off his primary challenger, freshman Democratic Del. Mel Kessler, an outspoken critic of the new system.
Go to the full story by Mannix Porterfield, Beckley Register-Herald
Go to the full story by AP via WSAZ-TV (Charleston) [with audio, video]

Garden State Senate Okays Restriction on Worker-Generated Funds
New Jersey’s Senate Labor Committee unanimously approves a resolution that would keep the state from using worker-generated funds to balance the budget. The resolution would restrict funds generated by assessments on wages from being used for other than the purposes they were created, such as unemployment, disability or workers’ compensation. Philadelphia Business Journal
Go to the Full Story…