Week of June 19 -  June 23, 2017             
WCI and FSU 
Colle ge of Law Partnership - Ju ris Masters Degree

The Workers'  Compensation Institute (WCI) is pleased to announce its latest partnership which is in response to an expressed growing need to enhance the quality of professionals in the workers' compensation industry. This newest innovative partnership is an arrangement with the Florida State University College of Law to sponsor an online Juris Masters Degree Program for industry employees/associates/executives who deal consistently with legal issues in their positions. It is not intended as a program to train attorneys or a seminar where participants merely obtain a certificate of completion. Rather the intent is to train non-attorneys allowing them to be able to recognize legal issues and provide a means to assist in the resolution of problems that develop in the workplace . Read more.
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Welcome to your weekly WCI Newsletter. We have selected the top stories that appeared on our website this week to help you stay up to date on what is happening in the world of workers' compensation and insurance. Enjoy.
The Center for Excellence

By Steve Rissman, Program Chair

In the last two weeks, I have written about the Industry Keynote and the Breakout for Risk Managers. This week, I will conclude these articles with a description of The Center for Excellence.
The Center for Excellence is the brainchild of Jim McConnaughhay.  Several years ago, he wondered aloud about whether the Workers' Compensation Educational Conference could have something akin to a "think tank".  What developed from those conversations was The Center for Excellence.  In the last couple of years, The Center has been masterminded by Kimberly George from Sedgwick and Mark Walls from Safety National.  They have brought it to a whole new plateau where the top experts and speakers in the country get together for a series of breakout sessions where they discuss the most important workers' compensation issues not just in Florida but around the whole country. Read more.
The 'Wild, Wild, West' of Professional Gamers and Workers' Comp Coverage

By Liz Carey

Workers' compensation for professional video game players just isn't a thing right now, some experts say, but it should be. 

Professional video game playing, or eSports, is a growing industry where professional gamers can make hundreds of thousands of dollars each year. But attorneys, organizers and team owners see the industry as the "wild, wild, West" when it comes to protecting the health concerns and benefits rights of the usually young players at the center of the industry.

According to marketing research firm Newzoo, in 2014 more than 200 million people watched or played eSports. In fact, the eSports industry brought in $493 million in 2015, and is expected to generate $1 billion in revenue by 2019. Read more.
Experts Discuss 2017 Workers' Comp Trends

By Angela Underwood

The only thing that stays the same is that everything is constantly changing.

As trends come and go, workers' compensation experts discuss in detail with what drives the Grand Bargain, at almost one hundred years since its formation. This is not National Council of Compensation Insurance (NCCI) Senior Division Executive Peter Burton's first rodeo when it comes to observing what is hot and what is not.

The former supervisor of the Underwriting Department, and Director of the New England Region for the Government in the Consumer and Industry Affairs Division, Burton has been with NCCI since 1974, and has watched trends dominate the industry. Read more.
Walmart's Retail Employees to Deliver Packages?

By Angela Underwood

Walmart E-Commerce Business CEO Marc Lore asks readers in a blog "why the big deal" in having employees drop off online orders to customers at their homes?

Enterprise and strategic management author Mike Benishek will tell you why.

"As a former underwriter, I have a problem with this. What Class Code is applicable? Is it Retail Store or is it Delivery Drivers-NOC? In most states, the highest-class code applies, with some exceptions allowed provided that there is a clear and distinct separation of payroll," Benishek said to . Read more.
WV Workers' Comp Ruling Gains National Attention

By Angela Underwood
A Supreme Court ruling recently denied an inmate workers' compensation for an injury he sustained participating in state-mandated labor. It has been a hot topic in the industry this week.

The Associated Press (AP) was one of the news outlets who reported on the story, about former inmate William Crawford's hand injury. The accident caused two of his fingers to be partially amputated and almost $100,000 in medical bills. The matter has come up in Google Top News and email Alerts for the week, with a few field experts sharing their opinion on Justice Robin Davis's ruling.

John Skaggs, the inmate's counsel with The Calwell Practice, LC, out of Charleston, has input on the situation. In an exclusive interview with the former inmate's attorney, Skaggs explained his client is cut off from any workers' compensation benefits. Read more.
East Bay Restaurant Owners Plead Guilty


Prosecutors allege that the former owners and managers of Golden Dragon Buffet in Brentwood, New Dragon Buffet in San Leandro, Golden Wok Buffet in Roseville and Kokyo Sushi Buffet in Hayward were saving money by failing to pay their workers minimum wage and pay the correct workers' compensation premiums. Investigators estimate they committed $4.5 million in wage theft from 2009-2013, and cheated California out of another $2 million in taxes.

According to the story published in the East Bay Times, a Contra Costa grand jury indicted eight of Golden Dragon's owners and managers last December - Brandon Quang, Yu Chen, Rongdi Zheng, Guo Cai Feng, Feng Gu, Lin Jiang, Zhou Xian Chen and Shao Rong Zhang - on 28 charges, including conspiracy, wage theft and workers compensation fraud. That same month, authorities raided four locations connected to the buffet chain, but Quang avoided arrest and fled the country. So did Feng and Jiang. All three are believed to be in China.

The other five defendants have agreed to plead guilty to some of the charges, and prosecutors have asked for sentences ranging from three to six years in state prison. Read more.
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