Earlier this week, the Governor’s Panel to Review and Make Recommendations for Improvement of the Maine Human Rights Commission and Its Operations issued its report finding specifically that “there was no evidence that the MHRC or its staff ever intentionally meant to be unfair or biased toward any party.” The Report, however, did contain 13 recommendations. Specifically:
I am just back from an invigorating seminar put on by the national group to which we belong as the sole Maine member, the National Workers’ Compensation Defense Network and want to share some highlights. This year’s seminar, held in Chicago on September 22, included presentations on lots of relevant topics, but a few really inspired me.
The seminar kicked off with a panel including risk managers from retail, healthcare, trucking and manufacturing discussing various innovative ways to “Make our Work Comp Program Great Again!” The panel discussed claims costs management tactics including creative medical management systems, initiating early investigations and setting workable and real metrics to measure progress in claims management. Next, we learned all about traumatic brain injuries, including the medical science behind legitimate claims and signs of illegitimate claims. A session on reducing narcotic use featuring a risk representative from a large national retail chain was also very well-received and timely. But one of the most informative session, in my humble opinion, was presented as an “ad-on” by my colleague from Washington State, attorney George Goodman and it is this session that I’d like to bring to our reader’s attention.
On June 7, 2016, Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy signed into law Public Act 16-125, which allows employers to pay employees using payroll cards and to deliver certain wage and hour information to employees by electronic means. The new law takes effect on October 1, 2016. For a recent article discussing the new law, click here.
If any Connecticut employer has any interest in exploring these new options, a member of Verrill Dana’s Labor & Employment Group would be happy to assist.
Despite Recent Challenges to Overtime Rule, Employers Should Continue Preparing for Implementation on December 1
On September 20, two lawsuits were filed in federal court seeking to stop the new overtime regulations from going into effect on December 1. One lawsuit was filed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with a number of other business groups. The other lawsuit was filed by a coalition of 21 states (Nevada, Texas, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Iowa, Maine, New Mexico, Mississippi, and Michigan). Both lawsuits were filed in the Eastern District of Texas and seek an injunction to block the overtime rule from going into effect.
As the sole Maine representative to the National Workers' Compensation Defense Network, Beth Smith, will be attending the NWCDN Annual Conference in Chicago later this week. Why? Fellow NWCDN member Bob Wilson explains in a blog post entitled "The NWCDN Road Show Hits Chicago and I Won't Miss It This Year": http://www.workerscompensation.com/compnewsnetwork/from-bobs-cluttered-desk/24536-the-nwcdn-road-show-hits-chicago-and-i-won%E2%80%99t-miss-it-this-year.html
See you in Chicago!
Stories of the horrors of opiate over-prescription and abuse are abundant, and Maine has not been spared the ravages of that epidemic. In response to the growing problem, Governor LePage, in April of this year, signed into law a bill intended to place some limits on the prescription of opioids in situations involving both “acute pain” and “chronic pain”. Under the new law, health care providers will be limited to prescribing no more than a 30-day supply of opioid medication in any 30-day period for patients with chronic pain. However, there is no limit on the number of times that a 30-day prescription can be written by a provider. The practical impact on chronic pain patients in the workers’ compensation system will be one of two outcomes: either, patients will now have to visit their providers every thirty days rather than the every three to six months schedule typical in long-term workers’ compensation chronic pain cases; or providers will be decreasing the number of opioid prescriptions issued to chronic pain patients as their practices suffer from limits on the ability to accommodate every-thirty-day appointments for medication renewal.