Minnesota deals with downward trends
- Workers’ compe claim rates and benefits paid in Minnesota continue their long-term downward trajectories, even with major system impact due to COVID-19 since 2020, a Department of Labor and Industry found.
- Relative to the number of full-time-equivalent workers, the total number of paid claims dropped by 52%, indemnity claims by 17%, and medical-only claims by 62% from 2001 to 2021.
- COVID-19: Due to the influx of COVID-19 indemnity claims, there was a 32% increase in the indemnity claim rate from 2019 to 2021.
- Relative to total payroll, indemnity benefits were down 30%, while medical benefits were down 49%, between 2001 and 2021. These trends are the result of the claim rate falling faster than increases in benefits per claim.
Former police officer alleges retaliation
- A former Glenville, New York, police officer claims he was the victim of retaliatory discipline because he threatened to report top police officials for allegedly stealing time, according to a civil lawsuit.
- Ferretti also alleges the chief retaliated by providing false information to the state’s Division of Criminal Justice Service, which led to his decertification as a police officer.
- He resigned from the Glenville police force after facing disciplinary actions for allegedly filing a false workers’ compensation claim.
- The latest lawsuit is Ferretti’s second one against the town in as many months.
New Missouri law helps first responders
- First responders can now make use of a new state law meant to help with post-traumatic stress disorder.
- Senate Bill 24 includes PTSD as an occupational disease when diagnosed in first responders and establishes benefits under workers’ compensation.
- The bill states there is no physical injury required for a first responder to receive benefits.
- Data from the Institutes of Health shows more than 80% of first responders experience traumatic events on the job, and roughly 1-in-3 develop PTSD.
Foreign sheepherders face challenges
- Sheepherders in Idaho have long-standing problems with the H-2A visa program that permits ranchers to bring in foreign workers to herd sheep.
- Employers sometimes send workers injured on the job back home to avoid a workers’ compensation claim and the costs of feeding the worker while he recovers and cannot work.
- When a worker calls to find out what they can do about unsafe or poor working conditions, they can file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor.
- The Farm Workforce Modernization Act of 2023 is a bill with bipartisan support in Congress and contains provisions for employers and workers.