Five Things You Need to Know: 8/9, Thursday Edition


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1) FL: Orlando Allegedly Cancels Mediations for Officer Exposed to Mental Stress after 2016 Pulse Nightclub Shooting

Police officer Gerry Realin was on the scene at the horrible Pulse nightclub tragedy in 2016, and was later diagnosed with PTSD, writes David Harris of the Orlando Sentinel. “…He is suing the city and the Orlando Police Department in Orange County circuit court, claiming lost wages and medical benefits, as well as Occupational Safety and Health Administration violations,” per the article, but his wife, Jessica, alleges June mediations were cancelled, as the city of Orlando had backed out of the settlement option. “…In a response to the lawsuit, the city denied all the allegations and said some of Realin’s lost benefits could be offset if he found other work,” writes Harris. “…Spokeswoman Cassandra Lafser said the city’s risk management committee must approve any settlement over $25,000.”

2) FL Business Association to Bring Work Comp Coverage Services to Policyholders

“…The Florida United Businesses Association (FUBA) is now offering workers’ compensation coverage to small businesses across the state through Lancer Indemnity Co. of New York,” according to Insurance Journal. FUBA provides comp coverage and legislative liaison services for small businesses. “…FUBA is a lobbying and trade association representing over 7,000 small businesses in Florida. FUBA is both a lobbyist at the state Capitol and a source for education on state laws and regulations that affect small businesses,” per the article.

3) If TX Health Dept. Building is ‘Not Unsafe,’ Why is There Mold?

State Health Services Commissioner John Hellerstedt told recent town hall meeting attendees that a Texas Department of State Health building may have been “ugly” with a mold infestation, but it was “not unsafe,” writes Marissa Evans of The Texas Tribune, featured in GoSanAngelo. 127 employees were removed from said building at the end of July. “…The Aug. 2 meeting was held nearly two weeks after State Health Services employees whose job it is to analyze data on tuberculosis, HIV and sexually transmitted diseases were relocated from the Austin State Hospital 636 building where a mold infestation had invaded some of their desks, chairs, carpeting and keyboard hand rests,” per the article. “…Currently, state employees are scattered around other state buildings including the Tower, Moreton, Winters and the Austin State Hospital 634 building. Some are also teleworking or desk sharing.”

4) CT Detention Facility Police Officers’ Staff Numbers Fall Short, as Almost 40 percent are Receiving Work Comp

A whopping 22 out of 55 police officers at the Bridgeport detention facility are receiving work comp, according to AFSCME Council 4 spokesman Larry Dorman, writes Josh Kovner of the Hartford Courant. While steps are underway to bring on more officers, the officers receiving benefits suffer from concussions to other sprains/strains. “…(Union President) DellaRocco said a news release describing the officers’ plight went out Tuesday ‘because the officers are at the end of their rope.’ He said a series of grievances over safety issues have so far failed to correct the problems,” per the article.

5) KS: New Admin Law Judge to Replace Steven Howard

“Kansas Secretary of Labor Lana Gordon approved Troy Larson, of Shawnee, for the position of Kansas Department of Labor Administrative Law Judge, Workers’ Compensation Division in Lenexa,” according to the Shawnee Dispatch. Judge Steven Howard held the position previously, for 27 years. Before the nomination, Larson was a research attorney for the state, representing work comp-related claims for employers and insurers. He is based out of Shawnee.

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