April 2012 News


Workers Comp 4.30

San Francisco to launch workers’ compensation hotline in Tagalog San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon will launch a workers’ compensation hotline in Tagalog and other languages in a bid to curb labor abuses. Currently, the hotline, formed in response to pending cases involving workers’ compensation abuse, is available in English, Cantonese and Spanish. Aside from Tagalog, Mandarin will also be added later.

Injured NFLer Says His Lawyer Screwed Up Former St. Louis Ram linebacker Jamie Duncan claims in court that his attorney cost him big bucks by botching his worker's compensation claim against the Rams. Duncan sued Mark L. Floyd and The Floyd Law Firm, in City Court.

This Week: Midnight is deadline for supermarket pacts This could be a big day in the eight-month-long labor negotiations in the Northern California supermarket industry.

A Time to Honor the Fallen, Protect the Injured and Prevent Future Fatalities  Every year on April 28th, working families nationwide gather to commemorate Workers Memorial Day and honor those who’ve lost their lives to work-related injury. The occasion commits every one of us to prevent additional fatalities and minimize workplace injuries -- and always call on others to do the same.


State News 4.30

On 'Face The Nation,' Jerry Brown Tries Managing Expectations  Asked by Bob Schieffer on the CBS public affairs show "Face the Nation" for any advice he might have for politicians, Brown said, "I've learned you don't get things done overnight. It does take time.


Workers Comp 4.27

Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis observes Workers' Memorial Day at Action Summit for Worker Safety and Health, announces fall prevention campaign Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis today announced a new campaign led by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration

Brown moves to protect labor-friendly contracts  Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill Thursday that would deny state construction funds to cities that have bans on labor-friendly development contracts, potentially affecting three local municipalities.

For Back Pain, Steroid Shots No More Effective Than Placebo A randomized trial of steroid injections for back pain has shown that they are no more effective than a placebo.


State News 4.27

Walters: California's fiscal mess put in focus by recent events  California's fiscal mess – which is more political than financial – was brought into razor-sharp focus Wednesday by three events.


Workers Comp 4.26

Delays, denials plague medical treatment for injured workers By Brad Chalk | At a series of public forums held this month by Christine Baker, Director of the Department of Industrial Relations, and Rosa Moran, Administrative Director of the Division of Workers’ Compensation, injured workers have graphically described their experiences in California’s workers’ compensation system.

California unemployment: Some federal jobless benefits to end  Close to 100,000 jobless Californians will lose as many as 20 weeks of federal unemployment insurance benefits in three weeks, state officials warned.

Rare charges accuse CEO of over-billing San Jose for spinal implants In a YouTube video on her website, Trudy Maurer offers spinal injury patients help as they "navigate through the maze of bureaucracy" for insurance coverage. Her company advertises key spinal implants at no cost to hospitals.

Fallen workers honored Saturday Annual event remembers those who die or are injured on the job Ukiah Daily Journal A local group dedicated to remembering fallen, injured and disabled workers is holding Mendocino County's 12th annual Workers' Memorial Day Saturday.


State News 4.26

Analyst predicts state budget gap "a few billion dollars" worse  With state revenues slowing to a trickle as the end of April draws near, the state's top fiscal analyst said late Wednesday that California could be "a few billion dollars" shy of Gov. Jerry Brown's budget projections through June 2013.

Poll: More back Brown’s tax plan than Munger’s  Almost two-thirds of California’s likely voters favor raising income taxes for the state’s wealthiest residents to pay for public schools, but most oppose increasing the state sales tax for the same purpose, according to a new Public Policy Institute of California poll.


Workers Comp 4.25

California Roofing Company Finally Brought to Justice after Years of Fraud An April 23 press release issued by California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones announced the owners of Hallmark Roofing of Belmont, were arrested on 29 felony accounts for workers' compensation and unemployment insurance fraud, including failure to report employee wages.

Walmart Bribery Bombshell: Case Could Cost Company Billions Over the past week retail giant Walmart has squirmed in the unflattering news spotlight. There was a wave of stories about one of Walmart’s Thai shrimp distributors treating its workers as little more than captive laborers, and another barrage of pieces focused on  corporations dropping their affiliations with the right-wing American Legislative Exchange Council even as Walmart holds onto its ALEC membership card.


State News 4.25

Is a California public pension overhaul dying this year?  A key legislative committee isn't going to act on a package of public pension reforms proposed by Gov. Jerry Brown and adopted by Republicans in their own bills.

Judge says state controller has no power to block Legislature's pay  Post has been updated throughout the afternoon with responses and additional reporting. A Sacramento Superior Court judge has tentatively ruled that the state controller has no authority to judge whether the state budget is balanced or block lawmakers' pay as he did last June.


Workers Comp 4.24

The Buzz: Buyout packages help California agency avoid layoffs Hundreds of California state jobs that were on the chopping block have been spared. The State Compensation Insurance Fund avoided the move after a buyout program in which nearly 1,000 workers at the quasi-governmental agency took severance pay and renounced their civil service rights.

Migraines caused by psychological injury not compensable In California, an injured worker cannot recover for the physical manifestations that directly and solely result from a psychological injury suffered as a result of a good-faith personnel action.

Study: Construction workers at greater risk along Calif. highways than nationwide A recent study from the Associated General Contractors of America suggests construction crews working alongside California highways are at a greater risk of being injured or killed by passing motor vehicles than around the nation at large.


State News 4.24

Lawmakers Pushing To Tie California Minimum Wage To Consumer Price Index Gasoline was selling for $3.33 a gallon, Jerry Brown was attorney general, and California was bracing for a budget crisis when the state's hourly minimum wage rose to $8 in early 2008.

California Fed-Ed Jobless Benefits To End Mid-May As of this week, California no longer qualifies for the federal program that provides up to 20 weeks of jobless benefits to the long-term unemployed in high-unemployment states.


Workers Comp 4.23

California WCIRB Releases Report On Q4 2011 Insurer Experience The WCIRB recently completed and has released its report on insurer loss and premium experience through December 31, 2011.

California jobs aren't booming back  VIDEO: Dan Walters explains what's going on with jobs in California.

Company Owner Charged with Insurance Fraud  A Mountain View company owner has been charged with felony workers’ compensation insurance premium fraud, county law enforcement officials reported today.

California workers comp aims to save $350 million  The California State Compensation Insurance Fund is out to slash $350 million in expenses in wake of diminishing premiums.


State News 4.23

Cost of public retiree health care soars in California  Stockton contemplates a bankruptcy filing, cities, counties and school districts throughout California are grappling with the same issue that has led the delta port city to the brink of insolvency - soaring costs for retiree health care.

Bills, bills, bills this week at state Capitol  There's a growing debate about whether legislators under the Capitol dome are so busy introducing and debating bills that they are left with too little time to consider California's more systemic -- and serious -- problems.

Walters: California Democrats searching under every fiscal rock  With the state budget mired in deficits, Gov. Jerry Brown and legislators, especially his fellow Democrats, are searching under every fiscal rock for money to spend.


Workers Comp 4.20

California workers compensation written premiums rose to $10.8B in 2011 California workers compensation underwriters reported that written premiums rose $1 billion to $10.8 billion during 2011, the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California reported Wednesday.

California Worker’s Compensation Battle Worthy of National Attention Given the tradition of California as legislative trend-setter for the nation, it may be worth paying attention to the recent calls for reform within the state’s worker compensation system.

Working Moms' Challenges: Paid Leave, Child Care Many working mothers say their employers don't support them when they need to tend to a sick child. In this file photo, a single mother holds her child at a health clinic in Colorado.

As Workers Age, Oil Industry Braces For Skills Gap The Deepwater Horizon oil rig burns in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010. The rig's crew were new to their positions just before the explosion. Such staffing reorganizations are increasingly common as the industry grapples with a staffing shortage.

California State Fund Reappoints Two To Board Of Directors California’s State Compensation Insurance Fund, recently announced that two of the State Fund’s board members have been reappointed for another term of service.

Hundreds of public workers in $300K club  Local governments in California had 407 workers in the $300K club in 2010, according to the most recent numbers from the state controller’s office – and eight of those folks were from Orange County.


State News 4.20

Steinberg wants to put initiative process changes on 2014 ballot  Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg pledged today to put forward for the 2014 election a package of major changes to California's initiative process, including a provision to make it easier for legislators to place tax measures on the ballot.

CalBuzz: Press Clips: Pippa, Kim K Star on Prince Gavin Show  Within the tangled Politics-Media-Entertainment complex, it’s hard to find two people more self-absorbed, self-important and self-regarding than Kim Kardashian and Gavin Newsom.


Workers Comp 4.19

How Labor Helped Win Marriage Equality in Maryland, Washington: What We Can Learn As a straight, black labor organizer, Ezekiel Jackson is not the conventional face of gay rights. But as a visible defender of queer justice to the non-queer population, Jackson was the ideal choice for the presidency of Marylanders for Marriage Equality, a coalition of progressive groups.

NFL seeks to seal the deal against players filing in California  The National Football League Management Council and the Atlanta Falcons are suing the National Football League Players Association and several former players who filed workers' comp claims in California. The suit seeks "confirmation of an arbitration award that certain NFL players cease and desist from the pursuit of workers' compensation benefits in the state of California," the suit says.

Biotech Worker’s Illness Raises Worries About the Growing, Largely Unregulated, Industry David Bell was a senior at University California at Davis when he began to work at Agraquest, a start-up biotech firm. In the five months and nine days between when he was hired, in August 1998, and June 1999, when he was laid off after he fell sick, he worked primarily on two bio-pesticide projects: Laginex and Serenade.


State News 4.19

Skelton: Is kicking the state's neediest 'manning up'?  The Legislative Analyst’s “concern” that funding is not available for the High Speed Rail (HSR) comes at the same time that the federal government – a source counted on for HSR funds — appears to be turning against the High Speed Rail.

Fox: You Can’t Build High Speed Rail with No Money  The Legislative Analyst’s “concern” that funding is not available for the High Speed Rail (HSR) comes at the same time that the federal government – a source counted on for HSR funds — appears to be turning against the High Speed Rail.


Workers Comp 4.18

Workers' Pay Divide Persists  Labor Department figures released Tuesday show that between the end of the recession in mid-2009 and the first quarter of 2012, earnings of Americans at the top—meaning those who earned more than 90% of all workers—rose 7%, before adjusting for inflation. During the same period, wages of those at the bottom—meaning those who earned less than 90% of all workers—rose 2.5%.

Dan Walters Daily: Employers winning Capitol battle  VIDEO: Dan Walters says job-killer bills don't do so well at the Capitol.

UC students call on state legislator to support workers’ rights legislation UC students participated in a statewide call-in on Tuesday to California Senator Christine Kehoe, D-San Diego, to push legislation that would expand the rights of California’s domestic workers.

Chevron Pays $350 Fine after Oil Worker Boiled to Death Labor leaders are outraged over a California worker-safety agency’s decision to fine Chevron only $350 for an accident that resulted in an employee being sucked underground and boiled to death.


State News 4.18

Jerry Brown says budget gap could grow by $1 billion or more  Gov. Jerry Brown said this afternoon that the state budget deficit could be $1 billion or more greater than the $9.2 billion he previously thought.

Jerry Brown says budget gap could grow by $1 billion or more  LATIMES


Workers Comp 4.17

Seeking more cash, less waste for workers’ comp recipients Typically, when it comes to lawmaking, what happens in California doesn’t stay in California. So this workers’ comp fight in the state is worth keeping an eye on. Gov. Jerry Brown (D) is calling for reform of California’s workers’ compensation system, and labor unions as well as many employers have taken up the cause.

Waste Adds $2.1 Billion to Workers' Compensation Pharmacy Costs, Express Scripts Reports Unnecessary Use of Higher-Priced Medications Leading Cause of Waste; Lower-Cost, Clinically Equivalent Alternatives Would Save Billions for Workers' Compensation Payers


State News 4.17

Walters: Jerry Brown's up to his old say-anything tricks  Two years ago, when Jerry Brown was trying to reclaim the governorship he had left 28 years earlier, he often said that his age, maturity and lack of political ambition would allow him to succeed where others had failed.

Dan Walters Daily: Jerry Brown calls out California Democrats VIDEO: Dan Walters says Jerry Brown's dispute with fellow Democrats was to be expected.


Workers Comp 4.16

Recent hearing portends impending changes to California workers comp system Recent California State Assembly hearings portend change for workers comp laws. Last month, the California Assembly conducted a hearing regarding proposed overhauls to the state’s workers compensation system.

Workers’ comp premiums may rise A proposal Thursday by a state insurance rating agency may cost employers more for their employees’ work-related injury and illness premiums. The planned rate of increase, 4.1 percent, is smaller than in previous years but is expected to ignite yet another political fight around the program.

Workers Compensation California and the Increasing of Disability Costs In the starting of 2012, CA Workers Comp legislators plan on increasing the charges for temporary total disability. Each the minimum as nicely as the highest TTD (short-term overall disability) charges will be effected by this change.

Sacramento DA Files Felony Workers’ Comp Charges Against CHP Officer District Attorney Jan Scully announced today the filing of charges against California Highway Patrol (CHP) Officer Tony Yao for felony workers’ compensation insurance fraud.

California DIR Calculates 2012 Assessments To Fund DWC Budget The California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) has calculated the 2012 assessments and surcharges that state labor code requires all workers' compensation insurance companies to collect from policyholders to fund the Division of Workers' Compensation (DWC) budget and five related programs established by state lawmakers.

CSU workers take strike vote  Some 24,000 California State University employees are beginning a two-weeklong vote on whether to authorize their union to declare a strike after 22 months of negotiations failed to yield a new contract.

Legally Required to Take a Lunch Break? If you're a non-exempt, hourly employee, you're probably entitled to a lunch break under state law. But there's undoubtedly been a time when you've wanted to work through lunch.


State News 4.16

Skelton: Brown takes a page from the opposition playbook  A wise man learns from his foe. Democrats have carefully studied Republicans, and now Gov. Jerry Brown may be benefiting. Or maybe not.


Workers Comp 4.13

California hearing focuses on workers compensation system At a recent hearing in Sacramento of California’s Assembly and Senate brought focus to the state’s workers compensation insurance system.

California Supreme Court: It's not the boss's problem if employees work during breaks California's bosses must lead their workers to lunch, but they cannot force them to eat. That was the bottom line in a closely watched California Supreme Court ruling Thursday clarifying the law on an employer's obligations to ensure workers actually take their legally required meal and rest breaks.

Courts to California Workers: Eat Lunch at Your Desk  If you work in California, the lunch break you’d always assumed to be a right just became a privilege. And you can thank the California Supreme Court for giving your boss the legal tool to make your workday that much more miserable.

Agency wants 4.1% increase in Cal workers compensation premiums The Workers Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau Thursday proposed a 4.1 percent overall increase in employer-paid premiums for insurance to cover work-related injuries and illnesses, thus adding another element to the Capitol's looming battle over the multi-billion-dollar program.


State News 4.13

AM Alert: Jerry Brown takes to Bay Area radio airwaves In today's video report, Dan Walters details the $9.1 billion in tax revenue -- billion with a B -- that California is hoping to take in this month. Will that money come in? Gov. Jerry Brown takes to the airwaves this morning, appearing on KGO Newstalk 810's "The Ronn Owens Program," starting at 9 a.m. Click here to listen live. You'll find information about Owens and his program at this link.

CalBuzz: This Just In: Market Soars on Rumors of Calbuzz Sale  Dear Mark, In a week when Calbuzz landed among the 1 million most popular websites in the world, Topic A in our executive suite has been Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram.

High-speed rail board approves final plan for California bullet train  Let the great bullet train battle begin. Even as the California High-Speed Rail Authority unanimously approved the massive project's final blueprint Thursday, supporters led by Gov. Jerry Brown began a fast-and-furious sales campaign to convince skeptical lawmakers to jump on board.


Workers Comp 4.12

California workers' comp overhaul effort is stirring The goal of the latest effort to overhaul California's workers' compensation system is to provide more care to injured workers without raising premiums for ...

Southern California Toll Group Drivers Join Teamsters Union Teamsters have been working since last summer to organize the drivers. Employee drivers who work for the Toll Group logistics company in Southern California won an historic election Wednesday to become one of the few harbor trucking fleets in the U.S. to become unionized.

WCIRB: 2011 accident year combined ratio may be 'slightly lower'  The estimated statewide combined loss and expense ratio for accident years 2009 and 2010 of 130 percent is the highest since accident year 2001, according to the California Workers'

Calif high court to decide lunch break lawsuit In a case that could affect thousands of California employers and millions of workers, the state Supreme Court will decide whether managers must order workers to take rest and meal breaks at regular intervals throughout the workday.

California grape grower sued by workers A Hispanic advocacy group is suing a grape grower in California's Central Valley to recover wages for Latino employees it claims were forced to work extra hours without pay.


State News 4.12

Skelton: Reforming government step by step  Good reform ideas are a dime a dozen. Look in any faculty lounge. But successful strategies for implementing those ideas are rare.


Workers Comp 4.11

Flaws Revealed in the System at First Workers’ Comp Forum  Despite having a full roster of attendees, most people who showed up at the Department of Industrial Relations’ (DIR) first workers’ comp forum in Sacramento preferred to listen as attorneys, doctors, employers and especially injured workers weighed in on what ails the system.

CHP officer accused of workers' comp insurance fraud Sacramento County District Attorney Jan Scully announced Tuesday that charges have been filed against a California Highway Patrol officer for workers' compensation insurance fraud.

L.A. firefighter busted for MMA fights while on workers comp On the surface, it doesn't seem like a big deal: A firefighter in Los Angeles competes in mixed martial arts fights in his spare time. The problem is, the fireman's "spare time" happened to be while he left the firehouse on worker's compensation, declaring he was unfit to do his job.

State News 4.11

Walters: Politicians should act instead of expecting budget miracle  The Capitol is preoccupied with Gov. Jerry Brown's efforts to persuade voters to raise taxes and the complicating effects of a rival tax measure sponsored by civil rights attorney Molly Munger.

CalBuzz Panel: What Santorum’s Pullout Means  When the Ayatollah Santorum announced on Tuesday that he’s aborting his campaign for president, drivers of the Romney Campaign Juggernaut breathed a sigh of relief because they now can turn from crushing Santo under the wheels of their temple car to concentrating their fire power against President Obama.

Feinstein praises Jerry Brown's high-speed rail plan  U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein praised Gov. Jerry Brown's revised approach on California's high-speed rail project today, but cautioned that the federal funding for the project could depend on final cost projections.


Workers Comp 4.10

California Workers’ Comp Reform Taking Shape – Again At a recent joint hearing in Sacramento on workers’ compensation in California with the Assembly and Senate statistic after statistic flew out of the mouths of speaker after speaker during the nearly four-hour session.

California IC Announces Arrest Of Southern California Man For Comp Fraud California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones recently announced that Julio Santiago, 53, of Rowland Heights, has been arrested on two felony counts for violating Insurance Code Section 1871.4 (a) (1), making a knowingly false or fraudulent statement to obtain compensation, and two felony counts for violating Insurance Code Section 1871.4 (a) (2), presenting false or fraudulent written material to obtain compensation, and one felony count for violating Penal Code Section 487 (a) Grand Theft.

From the notebook: California's government hiring trends under Jerry Brown We can never get everything we learn into a news story. "From the notebook" posts give you some of the extra details behind the news. Our report in today's Bee looks at how many first-time state workers the state has hired during Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown's return to the executive branch.

California unions get contract extensions  Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration is finalizing labor agreements with four unions representing a total of 24,000 state workers, including doctors, crafts workers and psychiatric technicians.


State News 4.10

Pension reform panel looking at alternative hybrid plan  State lawmakers considering pension reform are taking their show on the road to Chino on Friday and say they are looking at a hybrid pension plan offered by the state teachers retirement system as a possible model.


Workers Comp 4.9

Contracts expire for many at AT&T; talks continue About 40,000 AT&T landline workers are staying on the job this week without a contract, their union said Sunday. The workers' contracts expired over the weekend, raising the possibility of a strike. But the Communications Workers of America and AT&T Inc. said that they'll keep working on a new deal.


State News 4.9

Legislative panel working on ‘hybrid’ pension  A two-house legislative committee is working with Gov. Brown’s Department of Finance on a ‘hybrid’ retirement plan for new state and local government hires, a committee member told a forum here last week.

Brown lobbies schools behind closed doors on budget, tax plan  Gov. Jerry Brown and high-ranking members of his staff have been reaching out in recent weeks to the education community in a series of closed-door meetings aimed at articulating several key messages – some say warnings – tied to the budget and the November election.

Walters: California high-speed rail plan still has shaky finances  When the state's bullet train impresarios unveiled a much-revised plan for the statewide project last fall – with campaign-style hoopla, one should note – they said it settled all of its outstanding questions and doubts. Not by a long shot.

California state government hiring slowed in 2011  California state government hired 25 percent fewer employees last year, according to new payroll figures, although departments still added thousands of workers while squeezing their budgets during the economic downturn.

Walters: Experts disagree on future of California economy  Jerry Nickelsburg and Bill Watkins are two university economists with doctorates who specialize in charting and forecasting California's $2 trillion economy. That's just about all they have in common.


Workers Comp 4.6

California Workers’ Compensation Bureau to Make Midyear Filing California workers’ compensation insurers will be seeking a midyear correction — a 7.7 percent increase — in pure premium rates. The Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California reported that it will submit a July 1 advisory pure premium rate filing indicating a pure premium rate of $2.51 per $100 of payroll. This is 7.7 percent above the average pure premium rate of $2.33 proposed by the WCIRB in its Jan. 1, 2012 recommendation.

Featured Fraud: SoCal Security Breach One man’s days in the sun could be numbered after he allegedly committed insurance fraud to collect more than $40,000 in undeserved workers’ compensation benefits. 


State News 4.6

CalBuzz: Press Clips: The Princess DiFi vs. Orly the Taitz Show  It’s a terrifying but true fact that state Republicans stand a fair chance of waking up on Wednesday, June 6, to find that the candidate carrying their proud banner against Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein is widely known whack job Orly Taitz.


Workers Comp 4.5

The Truth Behind the Chamber's So-Called 'Job Killer' List For years, the California Chamber of Commerce has put out a list of so-called “job killers.” It’s never been clear to us what qualifies a bill as a job-killer. Last year, our sponsored bill to keep your boss from using your personal credit report to deny you a promotion was on that so-called "job killer" list. 

California Workers' Compensation Looms as a Major 2012 Legislative Issue On March 28, two California legislative committees met to hear concerns about the California workers’ compensation system. The chairs of the committees declared that the hearing was the Legislature’s first-step in this year’s effort to solve problems that plague the system.

V. Manuel Pérez' guest-worker bill a misfire, Mary Bono Mack says State bill 'noble,' but immigration issues are in the federal domain, congresswoman says .S. Rep. Mary Bono Mack on Wednesday criticized a local legislator's plan to create a guest worker-style program for California, saying immigration is the exclusive responsibility of the federal government.

WORKPLACE: Union membership in California dropped in 2011  The percentage of California workers who belong to a union declined in California last year, but the state still has one of the higher percentages of union members nationwide, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported earlier this week.

State Fund, Cal/OSHA Spread Heat Illness Prevention Awareness As part of its commitment to make California's workplaces safer, State Fund is partnering with Cal/OSHA Consultation Service to offer a series of more than 15 heat illness prevention seminars throughout the state. This is the seventh consecutive year State Fund is co-hosting these seminars to urge the importance of protecting workers from heat illness.

Calif. workers compensation bureau seeks midyear rate increase The Workers' Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California said Wednesday that it will seek a midyear increase in workers comp advisory rates in the state.

California Construction Company Failed To Remit Workers' Fringe Benefits Fresno-based Explore General Inc. and Jaime M. Gonzalez have been ordered to restore $519,601 to the company's 401(k) profit-sharing plan, according to the terms of a judgment and order entered in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California.


State News 4.5

Jerry Brown confident he will meet deadline on new tax proposal  Gov. Jerry Brown is no longer collecting signatures for his original tax hike ballot proposal, confident that a compromise unveiled late last month will get enough signatures to meet a tight deadline to be placed on the November ballot, his top political advisor announced Wednesday.


Workers Comp 4.4

New WCRI Webinar: Hospital Outpatient Costs and the Impact of Fee Schedules As legislators, employers and other stakeholders look for ways to control the rising costs of medical care for injured workers, the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) is offering a series of webinars on important workers' compensation topics and research that will be both interesting and actionable. The first of the series is a webinar based on WCRI's recent study, Hospital Outpatient Cost Index for Workers' Compensation.

‘The Help’ Today — domestic workers try to give their children brighter futures (VIDEO) This video is the final installment in a three-part multimedia series examining the lives of domestic workers – “The Help” – in the Bay Area. Part I of the series focuses on the domestic workers who have come together to advocate for fair wages and labor practices. Part II profiles Enma Delgado, a Bay Area nanny from El Salvador who left her own three children behind to work caring for American children.

Kim Kardashian, it's time to move to Nevada This message is dedicated to you, Kim Kardashian. Let’s be blunt. The state of California sees wealthy successful people and business owners as targets of opportunity. Just like a petty thief, or home invader, or car-jacker. They see your money as their money. Their goal is to remove it from you.


State News 4.4

Lawmakers to Consider Health Care Districts' Future  After an investigation by The Bay Citizen revealed that many of California's taxpayer-funded health care districts no longer run hospitals — a departure from their original mission — the state Assembly's top watchdog committee plans to take a closer look at how those districts are using their resources.

Workers Comp 4.3

Tata Wage Suit in California Wins Class-Action Certification - Bloomberg Tata Sons Ltd. employees sent to the U.S. from India to work in information technology jobs who are suing over wages in California won permission to proceed with class-action status.

Tata Wage Suit in California Wins Class-Action Certification - Reuters Tata Sons Ltd. employees sent to the U.S. from India to work in information technology jobs who are suing over wages in California won permission to proceed with class-action status.

2 onion workers sue farm over wages, housing Two onion workers have filed a federal lawsuit against a farm alleging they were underpaid and forced to live in squalid conditions on the edge of the fields.

A bill of rights for state workers?  Trust us, says Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s chief “bioengineer,” whotold San Francisco Chronicle writer David Perlman that the genetically engineered microbes the UC Berkeley-run lab’s microrganisms “will now be made even safer by the thoroughness of engineers.”

Safety issues plague designer gene, nano workers  Trust us, says Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s chief “bioengineer,” whotold San Francisco Chronicle writer David Perlman that the genetically engineered microbes the UC Berkeley-run lab’s microrganisms “will now be made even safer by the thoroughness of engineers.”

Whistleblower & Injured Pfizer Biotech Worker Becky McClain now reluctant biotech safety spokeswoman  Former Pfizer Inc. molecular biologist Becky McClain calls herself a "reluctant activist" now that she has become a national spokeswoman for biotech safety after winning a $1.37 million judgment two years ago against her former employer.

Workers Comp 4.2

‘The Help’ Today — Bay Area domestic workers advocate for fair labor practices (VIDEO) Many have lauded the bestselling book and hit film, “The Help,” for its portrayal of life as an African American nanny and maid during the turbulent 1960s civil rights era. Today, the appearance of a domestic worker has changed, but working conditions for the men and women — often immigrants — who clean homes and care for children and the elderly can still be difficult.

ACIC Says Changes to California’s Workers’ Compensation Must be Balanced with Tangible Savings Today, the California Senate Industrial Relations Committee held a joint hearing with the Assembly Insurance Committee to examine California’s permanent disability ratings process and consider potential changes. 

Jeff Mitchell / Under the Dome: Fetherolf paid $100K in workers' comp Salinas' last police chief, Louis Fetherolf, who retired in December after 42 years in law enforcement, will enjoy a pension of a little less than $113,000 annually, according to information from the California Public Employees Retirement System.


State News 4.2

Skelton: A telling GOP defection  Loss of Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher should be a wake-up call for party in California.

Survey finds growth a factor in Sacramento hiring plans  Sacramento employers say in a just-released survey that they are as optimistic about hiring as they have been in several years, but that they continue to fret over rising fuel prices and a skills gap among job candidates.

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