Employer’s Conviction In Fatality Case Upheld, But Sentence Reduced

The Sixth District Court of Appeal rules that a concrete contractor was properly convicted for failing to have workers’ comp coverage, offering a doctored cert, filing a false exemption, and tax evasion. The appeals court also upheld a $10,000 fine.  But ordered the lower court to reduce Ian Czirban’s sentence from three years of federal … 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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Claims Adjusters Cited

California’s workers’ comp claims adjusters are failing to pay one out of every ten injured workers all the workers’ comp benefits owed, according to the Division of Workers’ Compensation’s Audit and Enforcement Unit. But claims operations are showing modest improvement in cutting down on the amount owed to employees. The findings come in the latest … Read More »

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App-Based Companies, Truckers Move To Apply Prop. 22 After Win

The ridesharing companies Uber Technologies, Inc. and Lyft, Inc. are wasting little time in putting Proposition 22 to use even though it is not yet officially in effect. The companies filed petitions for rehearing with the First District Court of Appeal in San Francisco to overturn an October ruling ordering them to reclassify their drivers … Read More »

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Medical Billing Company Alleges Systemic Abuses By Zurich

A medical billing company is taking public its complaints about what it says are unjust, systemic denials of providers’ bills by the claims department at Zurich Insurance. It alleges, and recordings of its conversations with Zurich officials appear to support its claims, that the carrier’s policy is to automatically reject bills filed more than 30 … Read More »

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Legwork Begins To Replace WCAB’s Case Management System

The California Division of Workers’ Compensation is seeking funds to begin planning for a replacement of the hodge-podge case management system the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board has been using for over a decade. The Division is seeking $864,000 for this fiscal year and another $333,000 next year to conduct the initial planning, such as researching … Read More »

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WCAB Faces Pushback Over New Draft Rules

A draft proposal to rework the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board’s Rules of Practice and Procedures generated controversy and strong push back from carrier representatives and qualified medical evaluators (QMEs). The changes are being billed by regulators as being a clean-up effort with largely non-substantive changes, but many in the workers’ comp community saw it differently. … Read More »

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