2021 Year In Review

It is time for Workers’ Comp Executive to provide a list of the most significant California workers’ compensation stories from the previous year. Some years, legislative developments like the 2012 passage of the Baker SB 863 workers’ comp reforms dominate the news. Other years’ market issues such as rising workers’ comp rates or insurance company … Read More »

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State’s Injury and Illness Rate Improved In 2020

Initial estimates from the annual Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII) indicate that California employers across nearly every industry group showed sharp reductions in the rate and the overall number of workplace injuries last year. The major exception is the state’s healthcare industry which was on the front lines throughout the pandemic from China. … Read More »

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Employer Assessments Hit Historic Highs

The Department of Industrial Relations says it needs $1.377 billion to fund parts of its operations. Those ops include fighting workers’ comp fraud and paying claims under two special funds for injured workers at uninsured employers and those who were partially disabled and suffered a new industrial injury. Costs associated with the latter program – … Read More »

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Workers’ Comp Assessments Go Sky High

The Department of Industrial Relations demands on employers (insurers) and self-insured again sets new records. The agency says it needs nearly $1.4 billion to fund 2021 operations. It expects employers … Read More »

DIR Nearly Ready To Study Fast Growing Funds

Department of Industrial Relations Director Katie Hagen says the Department is nearly ready to issue a request for proposals (RFP) for an in-depth study of the state’s increasingly costly Subsequent Injuries Benefits Trust Fund.  Funded by employer assessments, the amount needed each year has more than tripled since 2017 (see chart below). Some of the … Read More »

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DIR Aims At Medical Fraud

The Department of Industrial Relations’ is bulking up its anti-fraud unit to find and take down medical providers who are cheating the state’s workers’ comp system. A veteran prosecutor will be leading the project. The team is charged with mining the vast amounts of data the state collects on every workers’ comp claim to find … Read More »

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Return-To-Work Fund Edged Towards Full Expenditure Before Pandemic

The Baker SB 863 workers’ comp reforms created a special $120 million fund to give supplemental payments to injured employees who could not return to their at-injury employer. Eligible injured employees who apply get $5,000 each, but the program has never spent all that it has to give. Could this be the year? Not likely, … Read More »

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Hiring Authority Restored at Industrial Relations

The California Department of Industrial Relations is back in charge of recruiting, testing, and hiring its staff. The State Personnel Board voted unanimously to restore the authority it revoked following controversies surrounding a flawed exam process for the Division of Occupational Safety and Health inspectors. DIR lost its ability to independently run civil service examinations … Read More »

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