Five Things You Need to Know: 8/20, Monday Edition


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1) WCI’s 2018 Cosmic Conference Begins Today, After a Weekend of Giving 

While some traveled from across the country, or state, to get to WCI’s 2018 conference set to take place today-Wednesday this week, 1,100 volunteers took to the Give Kids the World Village (GKTW) on Saturday to donate their time and hard work to improve the campus in many ways. Those volunteers did two years’ worth of work in a matter of hours. Next up was the Gala, which highlighted not only that work, but the wonderful efforts of the year-round volunteers and staff that keep the organization going on a day-to-day basis. Announced at the gala: $100,000 was raised! Now, we move to a different constellation, more geared toward work comp, and the industry members involved. It is go time. Check back for up-to-date coverage, and follow/Tweet at @wcconnections and @DaraBarney for live conference news.

2) CT: Amazon Warehouse Building Project Halted Due to Work Safety Issues

Amazon might be a household name, to buy, well, anything, but its new warehouse in North Haven isn’t storing any cooking gadgets or groceries yet, writes Luther Turmelle of The Hour. “…Construction of the sprawling, 1.2-million-square-foot warehouse started in mid-February. The $255 million project is expected to be finished and operating by May or June of next year,” per the article. It is also expected to add thousands of jobs to the CT community. The stop work order was released to steel workers on the project, but no representatives were available by press time to comment on the specifics.

3) WA: Pie Insurance Secures $11M Slice in Series A Funding

Workers’ comp distribution company Pie Insurance “…announced the completion of an $11M Series A funding round” recently, according to a Business Wire press release featured in the Digital Journal. “…Founded in May 2017, Pie Insurance has disrupted the small business (SMB) workers’ compensation market with frictionless, near-instant online direct distribution. The company built a full stack managing general agent (MGA) operation and secured the necessary regulatory approvals in less than 12 months,” per the release. Where will this sweet funding go exactly? “…The new funds will be used to scale the company's operations and to expand geographically, as workers’ compensation is a requirement for SMBs in every state except Texas.” The company operates in eight states currently.

4) OH Mobile Park Handyman in Trouble for Work Comp Fraud 

Jason Smith pleaded guilty this week to stealing more than $41,000 from TS Tech USA Corp. while working as a mobile home park maintenance man, writes Joseph Cooke of ABC 6 on Your Side. He “…(pled) guilty to a felony count of workers’ compensation fraud Tuesday. Along with having to repay the money, a judge also sentenced him to a year in jail which was suspended in exchange for three years’ probation,” according to the article. Smith was caught by investigators accepting disability benefits while still working.

5) NY Resident Busted for Collecting Work Comp Benefits While Starting a Real Estate Rep Position

Jacqueline Gilchrist (of Syracuse) “…defrauded the workers' compensation system and improperly collected more than $26,000 in benefits, state Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott said Friday,” writes Robert Harding of The nurse assistant was allegedly hurt on the job in 2013, and began collecting benefits while out of work. But, it was later discovered that she had signed a contract with a real estate company the day before her injury. “Over a two-year period, Gilchrist claimed at workers' compensation medical exams that she hadn't been working since the injury. Gilchrist collected $26,270 in benefits, according to the state inspector general's office,” writes Harding. She was arrested, and will appear in court this week.

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