1) Houston, TX Woman Files Class Action Lawsuit Against Restaurant Operator (FRIDAY)
Harris County resident Christina Bryant filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of herself and others similarly situated against restaurant operator Southern Komfort Kitchen LLC, alleging failure to pay overtime, violation of workers' comp acts, writes Philip Gonzales of the Southeast Texas Record. "According to the complaint, between February 2015 and Jan. 29, 2016, Bryant regularly worked 35 to 45 hours per week as a waitress without receiving the statutory minimum wage rate and proper overtime compensation," writes Gonzales. "The plaintiff alleges Southern Komfort Kitchen required her to participate in a tip pool, misappropriated tips and failed to pay the required minimum wage and overtime rate." Bryant requests trial-by-jury, unpaid wages/tips, liquidated damages, and other equitable relief.
2) AR Looks Into Formulary Possibility (THURSDAY)
A public hearing has been scheduled by the Arkansas Workers' Compensation Commission for May 23, "...as it considers adopting a drug formulary that would require preauthorization for opioid prescriptions and pose fill limits for such addictive pain medication," writes Louise Esola of Business Insurance. "According to a draft of the proposed rules, there would be a cap on the strength of opioids prescribed with limits of five days for the first fill and a 90-day maximum for refills; refills will require preauthorization." The formulary would follow the state's Public Employee Claims Division, which is responsible for state employees' work comp programs, according to the proposed guidelines referenced in the article. "...The proposal will also require that physicians prescribing to injured workers check the state's prescription drug monitoring database for any current medications prescribed to a patient being treated."
3) Conditional Governor Veto in NJ Could Potentially Help Corrections Officers After a Work Injury (WEDNESDAY)
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signed a conditional veto this week, agreeing "...to make corrections, juvenile, parole and probation officers whole — albeit on a limited basis — if they were attacked by an inmate while on the job and suffered serious injuries," writes David Foster of The Trentonian. "Under the current setup, corrections officers injured during an inmate attack or riot must wait until workers' compensation kicks in to receive any pay as they are not entitled to salary while they are out of work." These revisions comes as a surprise to some, as the same Governor opted seven years ago to eliminate sick leave benefits to a specific set of state employees which included corrections officers in incidents of work injuries. "In signing the conditional veto, Christie changed some minor language to the original bill to mandate officers suffer 'serious' injuries to entitle them to the sick leave compensation. Christie also amended the bill to limit the supplemental compensation for up to six months. The initial pay before the workers' compensation begins will also be limited to six months," according to the article. The reworked version will go back to the Senate and Assembly, which if approved, will go back to Gov. Christie, and potentially be signed into law.
4) Public Testimony Heard in CA on Drug Formulary (TUESDAY)
The California Division of Workers' Compensation (DWC) has posted the second report on the status to implement a drug formulary by July 1, according to an Insurance Journal article. The DWC accepted testimony at a public hearing held this afternoon in Oakland. "DWC will review all comments received to determine if changes to the regulatory proposal are warranted. If so, DWC will issue a revised proposal for a 15-day public comment period. Upon completion of the rulemaking action, the regulations will be submitted to the Office of Administrative Law for approval and filing with the Secretary of State," according to the article.
5) Disney Company Talked About Opioid Monitoring at PN Conference (MONDAY)
The Walt Disney Company opened up about opioid monitoring at a conference in Pennsylvania last week, writes Louise Esola of Business Insurance. "Without waiting for regulations to kick in to tell payers and providers when to monitor prescription medications and when to cut back, experts say companies can be successful in keeping injured workers off opioids and dangerous drug combinations by better keeping tabs on pills," according to the article. "That's what is working for Lake Buena Vista, Florida-based Walt Disney Parks and Resorts U.S., a representative with its pharmacy benefits management program and its claims manager told attendees at the Risk & Insurance Management Society Inc. conference in Philadelphia on Wednesday." Barry Dillard, director of claims management of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts U.S., told conference goers that Disney has onsite clinics for injured workers, and key first steps to injury proactivity involve "compassion" and "triage."
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