Category

Workers’ Compensation

Watchdog Group Wants Chicago WC Program Out of City Council Control

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A government corruption watchdog group has voiced its support for efforts to move Chicago’s workers’ compensation program out from under the control of a powerful city alderman. “Chicago is the only major city to pay injured workers out of its legislative body,” Rachel Leven, policy manager at the Better Government Association, wrote in Crain’s Chicago Business this week. “The way…

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Contractor Accused of Pocketing $1.9 Million That Was Intended to Purchase Comp

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The owner of a trucking company that contracts with the U.S. Postal Service to help distribute mail was charged with pocketing more than $1.9 million by requesting reimbursement for workers’ compensation coverage that he never purchased, Illinois’ top law enforcement official announced. Keith A. Ratcliff, 53, faces three felony counts of theft, one count of mail fraud and one count…

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Emanuel, Burke Sued Over Workers’ Compensation

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It could be a David versus Goliath legal battle. A longtime political gadfly and a city worker are suing Mayor Rahm Emanuel and powerful Ald. Ed Burke in federal court. Burke, the longtime Finance Committee chairman, controls the city’s controversial and obscure $100 million workers’ compensation program, which has come under scrutiny for years. The plaintiffs in the lawsuit contend…

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Policy Institute Chronicles Cost to City of ‘Modest’ Comp Claims

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The Illinois Policy Institute says that the city of Belleville, Illinois, has spent $420,000 settling workers’ compensation claims by employees this year, with much of that money going to workers who returned to their jobs the day after the injury. The Policy Institute, which advocates for more business friendly public policies, reported that Belleville pays for workers’ compensation settlements of…

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It’s time to put compensation for injured city workers in the city’s hands

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Who decides what to pay city staffers after on-the-job injuries? It’s the Finance Committee of the City Council. And, as virtually everyone knows, it shouldn’t be. Pop quiz: Who manages the annual expenditure of more than $100 million to approve and compensate city workers for on-the-job injuries? Is it the head of human resources? Nope. Maybe the city’s top lawyer?…

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Summer jobs come with safety risks for young employees

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Summer job season is in full swing, with the influx of younger workers creating workplace safety challenges for employers. Broadly speaking, workers between the ages of 14 and 24 are likely to injure themselves on the job because of their inexperience as well as their physical, cognitive and emotional developmental characteristics, according to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration….

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OSHA cites box maker for amputation hazards

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U.S. workplace safety regulators have cited an Illinois-based cardboard box manufacturer for exposing employees to unprotected machinery and amputation hazards and have proposed penalties of $66,612. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Packaging Corp. of America for failing to provide written procedures to control the release of hazardous energy, exposing employees to struck-by, caught-in and amputation hazards, and…

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Class action against insurers over interest on work comp payments continues

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A federal judge refused to dismiss a class-action lawsuit alleging insurance companies unlawfully withheld interest on payments for services provided through workers’ compensation. U.S. District Judge Nancy J. Rosenstengel of the Southern District of Illinois released her ruling on July 2. Dr. Michael Beatty of Edwardsville leads the class action against the various insurance companies, alleging violations of the Illinois…

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AIA troubled by Illinois insurance bill SB 904

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The costly and controversial Illinois workers’ compensation system is on the verge of change after healthcare professionals urged amendments to senate bill 904 – the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act. The Illinois State Medical Society (ISMS) and the Illinois Health and Hospital Association (IHA) requested three changes to SB 904 in order to address what they call in official IHA documents…

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U.S. Department of Labor Cites Illinois Roofing Contractor For Exposing Workers to Falls, Proposes $281,286 in Penalties

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The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited Manuel Gallardo, owner of Gallardo’s Construction Services, after inspectors observed employees exposed to fall hazards on six Chicago-area residential roofing projects between August and November 2017. The company faces $281,286 in proposed penalties. Manuel Gallardo, whose business is based in Palatine, was cited for four willful and three…

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