The latest piece in ProPublica’s “Insult to Injury” series on workers’ comp issues frames a discussion about “cost containment” firms and their influence in state comp systems with a critique of the lavish entertainment at the annual National Workers’ Compensation and Disability Conference and Expo in Las Vegas. ProPublica economics and labor reporter Michael Grabell describes the conference scene in decadent terms, contrasting it heavily with the supposed simplicity of workers’ comp as a concept:
“A scantily clad acrobat dangles from the ceiling, performing flips and splits as machines puff smoke and neon lights bathe the dance floor in turquoise and magenta. Dancers in lingerie gyrate on poles to the booming techno. Actors dressed as aliens pose for selfies with partygoers. There’s an open bar and waiters weave through the crowd passing out chocolate truffles […] At the National Workers’ Comp and Disability Expo, vendors gave away Apple watches, bottles of bourbon, and a Vespa scooter. There were free massages and shoeshines, a superhero caricature artist, more than one mentalist, and a live alligator named Spike.”
Read this article and all of the series from ProPublica here.