Five Things to Catch Up On: 1/29, Weekend Edition

John Ruser and WCRI: Let’s Keep The Dialogue Alive (1/27, FRIDAY EDITION)
    • As the Workers’ Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) enters its 34th year and prepares for its annual conference in March, checked in with WCRI President and CEO, Dr. John Ruser. To read the original story, click here.
Making Workers' Compensation Great Again: How will Trump's Presidency Affect the Industry? (1/26, THURSDAY EDITION)
    • Like the rest of the nation, workers’ compensation experts are wondering how President Trump's campaign promise to make America great again will affect their field and policy. Catch up on an original story as industry experts weigh in on what changes are coming.  Published here
No Compensation for Medical Marijuana Use in North Dakota (1/25, WEDNESDAY EDITION)
    • North Dakota lawmakers ruled medical marijuana can't be paid for by workers' compensation yesterday in an 81-9 vote. "House Bill 1156 was introduced in response to the measure approved by voters last November that legalizes medical marijuana in North Dakota for defined medical conditions," according to Forum News Service. "The bill prevents North Dakota Workforce Safety and Insurance, the state's workers' compensation system, from paying for medical marijuana for a workplace injury." Any wages lost because of medical marijuana use also won't be covered by workers' compensation. 

Florida Releases Supplement Report with New Data on Litigation Trends, Attorney Fees (1/24, TUESDAY EDITION)

    • The State of Florida Division of Administrative Hearings has released its Supplement 2016-2017 Annual Report of the Office of the Judges of Compensation Claims (OJCC) on Monday, Jan. 23 covering additional information post-publication of the 2015-2016 version. The supplement is intended to cover litigation trends and more thoroughly investigate attorney fees in workers' compensation. To read the full story, click here. 
Florida Business Owner Duo in Trouble for Unpaid Coverage and Wages  (1/23, MONDAY EDITION)
    • VHU Express, a courier company owned by Lisa Dianne Bythewood and her husband Dr. Craig Bythewood, grew as a business after contracting with Amazon to deliver packages in South Florida, Boston, and other places, according to Phil Ammann of the SaintPetersBlog. Lisa was a finalist for the Tampa Bay Business Journal's 2015 Businesswoman of the year. Craig is self-titled "The Finance Doctor: Providing your prescription for financial healing." But in a Jan. 10 complaint, the pair is involved in owed workers' compensation coverage to the tune of $627,000, according to the article. The Boston Business Journal, referenced in the article, reported that the pair owed $80,000 "...for violating the state’s wage law." From December 2015 to February 2016, 52 employees hadn't been paid for their work with the company, according to the Attorney General's office. The pair is also in hot water for unpaid wages. "...the Miami-based firm FairLaw announced they were seeking a punitive class-action lawsuit against VHU in federal court for 'allegations of unpaid minimum wages, overtime wages, and violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act,'" according to SaintPetersBlog. 

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