News Digest 6-14-2019

Quote of the day

“The program is in need of substantial improvement to operate more effectively as well as to prevent and detect potential fraud, waste and abuse.”


Accounting firm Grant Thornton’s review of Chicago’s workers’ compensation program


Crain’s Chicago Business



Chicago’s workers’ comp program oversight handed to outside firm

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Thursday transferred day-to-day management of the city’s huge workers’ compensation program to an outside company. An accounting firm’s audit suggests the program, which formerly was run by Ald. Ed Burke’s office, was not managed properly; in particular, the review found that administrative staff had no stated policy to follow regarding fraud, and no one in management had direct responsibility to prevent cheating. Crain’s Chicago Business


Texas: Emergency dispatch operators now classified as first responders

Gov. Greg Abbott earlier this week signed a Texas House bill that classifies emergency dispatch operators as first responders. According to the dispatchers, it will hopefully allow them to get treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms. Everything Lubbock [with video]


Judge rejects federal challenge to Hanford workers’ comp law

A federal judge on Thursday rejected the Trump administration’s challenge to a Washington state law that makes it easier for ailing former workers at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation near Richland, Washington, to collect workers’ compensation. The judge ruled Congress has authorized some states to regulate workers’ compensation on federal land, after the Washington Legislature last year passed a law providing some cancers and other illnesses among the workers are assumed to have been caused by chemical or radiological exposures at work. Macon Telegraph


Wrongful death lawsuit filed in Wyoming double fatality

A lawsuit has been filed in connection with the deaths of two men who suffocated after a 12-foot-deep trench trench collapsed on them in September at a Jackson Hole, Wyoming construction site. The lawsuit alleges there was no trench box or safe means of egress from the 12-foot-deep, 41-foot-long trench. The contractor was cited by Wyoming OSHA for a lack of adequate cave-in protection. Jackson Hole News & Guide


New Hampshire: Former school district employee sues over conditions

A court hearing was set earlier this week in a lawsuit brought by a para-educator who claims she quit her job with the Winnisquam, New Hampshire school district over unbearable working conditions. The district, which is seeking to have the suit dismissed, argues the plaintiff should have filed a workers’ compensation claim instead of taking legal action. Laconia Daily Sun