News Digest 7-1-2021

Note to our subscribers: Workers’ Comp Executive is taking its annual summer break from July 5-16. We will resume publication July 19.


Bias verdict against ex-Iowa governor reversed

Overturning a landmark $1.5 million jury verdict, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled Wednesday former Governor Terry Branstad did not illegally discriminate or retaliate against a gay state official, the former commissioner of the Iowa Workers’ Compensation Commission. The former governor testified he wanted Chris Godfrey out of state government because powerful business interests had complained about some of his rulings awarding benefits to injured employees. News-Press


Texas Mutual awards $100K to Odessa College safety institute

For the third consecutive year, Texas Mutual Insurance Company is awarding a $100,000 grant to Odessa College to continue funding the college’s safety institute, which provides workplace safety courses for employers, employees and the general public. The initial grant in 2019 was used to establish the safety institute. Odessa American


West Virginia: Weirton selects new workers’ compensation provider

Weirton, West Virginia officials have chosen a new workers’ compensation insurer, Assured Partners with its program through Amtrust, following a series of special meetings held Tuesday morning. Weirton Daily Times


Owner of Massachusetts staffing firm charged with workers’ comp fraud

The owner of a Lowell, Massachusetts-based staffing firm has been indicted on charges of workers’ compensation fraud for allegedly underreporting payroll, the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office recently announced. Staffing Industry Analysts


Oregon farm employee dies during heat wave

An employee working on a crew moving irrigation lines died of heat-related causes while working at a nursery in St. Paul on Saturday, according to state workplace safety officials. The man reportedly came to the U.S. from Guatemala a few months ago. KGW (Portland)