Five Things You Need to Know: 2/28, Tuesday Edition

1) Ride-Hailing Services Protested in NY 
A group formed outside the Buffalo Niagra Partnership on Monday to gain legislature attention and protest ride-hailing services in Upstate New York cities, writes Michael Mroziak of WBFO, Buffalo's NPR station. "Among their top claims was that ride-hailing drivers are exploited, working for low wages while not enjoying some of the benefits others enjoy including taxi drivers and other transport operators," writes Mroziak."...Other complaints included a lack of access for people with disabilities. While Uber was singled out by speakers through most of the news conference, participating activists say other companies including Lyft are of the same model." Protesters said the ride-hailing services need to level the playing field and develop more in-depth business models. 

2) Former CT Police Sergeant Busted While on Benefits  
A former Cromwell, CT police sergeant has been caught working on his home while on leave and receiving workers' compensation benefits, according to CT (an NBC station). "Inspectors from the Workers’ Compensation Fraud Control Unit in the Office of the Chief State’s Attorney arrested 51-year-old Jonathan Mantel, of Cromwell, and charged him with one count of fraudulent claim or receipt of benefits," according to the article. "The arrest warrant affidavit says Mantel received disability benefits because of a knee injury he reported suffering in June 2016 that left him unable to work as a Cromwell Police sergeant, according to the Division of Criminal Justice." He received almost $27,500 in benefits, and almost $15,300 in salary to bring him to full pay, according to the Division of Criminal Justice. 
3) Former CA Supervisor Files Workers' Comp Claims 
Former San Diego County Supervisor Dave Roberts was threatened by a man with kitchen tools in October of 2013, writes Joshua Stewart of The San Diego Union-Tribune. He has filed "...workers’ compensation claims for psychological stress from a threatening incident, and for an overuse-injury to his right hand, wrist and arm and other body parts," writes Stewart. A man came at Roberts at a political event with a fork and then an 8-inch kitchen knife. He was charged with a misdemeanor. "...In the second claim Roberts is seeking money for 'cumulative trauma of repetitive tasks and stressful work environment' over a year to his right hand, wrist, arm, shoulder, and his back and neck sustained while serving his district." Roberts is currently a consultant, according to the article. 
4) TX Woman Alleges Insurance Co. Didn't Pay Her Overtime 
Belinda Tamez of Houston, TX has filed a complaint against Suzanne Brown Agency LLC and Suzanne L. Brown. She alleges that the insurance company violated the Fair Labor Standards Act, writes Philip Gonzales of the Southeast Texas Record. "According to the complaint, between Dec. 16, 2015 and Sept. 15, 2016, she worked an average of approximately 15 overtime hours per week as an inside saleswoman with Suzanne Brown Agency without receiving overtime compensation. Instead, the suit says, Tamez was paid a rate of $45,000 per year, plus commissions," writes Gonzales. "...Tamez seeks trial by jury, all unpaid overtime wages, liquidated damages, attorney fees, court costs and all other equitable relief."
5) IL Woman Appointed to Workers' Comp Board  
Deborah Simpson of St. Charles has been appointed to the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission as a Commissioner by Gov. Bruce Rauner, according to a Daily Herald report. "Deborah Simpson currently serves as an arbitrator for the board, where she reviews, approves and sends corrections contracts between injured workers and employers," Rauner's office said in a news release referenced in the report. "She also ensures parties understand what happens when entering into contracts. She previously served as Illinois' assistant attorney general for 11 years, representing state agencies in federal and state court." She is a DePaul University graduate, and The John Marshall Law School law graduate. 

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