News Bulletins

In neighboring news:

Texas has amended Labor Code §407.045 to add §407.045(a-1) which provides that an adequate program required for withdrawal from certified self-insurance includes a program in which all workers’ compensation obligations have been insured or reinsured with an authorized insurer. Proposed 28 TAC §114.2(b)(3) amends the definition of certified self-insurer to exclude self-insurers that have withdrawn with an insuring agreement. There are also non-substantive amendments throughout Texas law to enhance clarity and to update the rule to reflect current regulatory structure, and agency drafting style.

More info here.

In economic news:

From January 2015 through December 2017, there were 3 million workers displaced from jobs they had held for at least 3 years, according to new Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers. In January 2018, 66 percent of these long-tenured displaced workers were reemployed, about the same as in January 2016. Fourteen percent of displaced workers in January 2018 were unemployed (that is, actively seeking work), and 19 percent were not in the labor force. The reemployment rate in January 2018 was highest for workers displaced from jobs in health care and social assistance.

Read more here.

In national news:

Cigna Corporation and Express Scripts announced that the Antitrust Division of the United States Department of Justice has cleared their pending merger, terminating the applicable waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976. Express Scripts is a pharmacy benefit management company that offers a product for workers’ comp called myMatrixx.

Read more here.

In local news:

Alliance Safety Council has partnered with Occupational Safety Councils of America (OSCA) to offer 20 hours of training for the building trade contractors in Baton Rouge. The training is a local response to a California requirement for safety training in this industry which went into effect on July 1st. All seminars will take place at the Alliance Safety Council building in Baton Rouge. “Principles of Petroleum Refining” is October 3rd, “Refinery Safety Overview” is October 4th, and “Safety as it Pertains to Crafts” is October 5th.

Register here.

In national news:

Purdue Pharma, the embattled maker of OxyContin facing over a 1,000 lawsuits from governments around the country for its role in the opioid crisis, is providing free doses of its new opioid abuse treatment. According to Bloomberg, the offer is an effort by the company to manage these legal challenges. The drug is a new version of buprenorphine, a medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction.

Read more from Insurance Journal here.

In industry news:

Mitchell recently released its Industry Trends Report (ITR) for the third quarter of 2018. Mitchell provides insights in the report into three industry trends: the technology-driven changing nature of insurance risk in the Age of Automation, the importance of creating an outstanding blueprint for a proper and safe automotive repair, and how having a comprehensive perspective of a claim can provide better results throughout the claims process.

Read more here.

In industry news:

Out Front Ideas with Kimberly and Mark has announced its next complimentary webinar, noting that the aging and evolving workforce and technology are all having a significant impact on the workers’ compensation industry. In the webcast, which was taped live from WCI’s 2018 Workers’ Compensation Educational Conference, a panel discusses some of the biggest challenges the workers’ compensation industry will be facing in the coming years.

More info here.

In economic news:

On the last business day of July 2018, the number of job openings was 6,939,000, the highest level on record for this data series, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The job openings rate was 4.4 percent in July, up from 4.1 percent a year earlier.

Read more here.

In industry news:

The National Labor Relations Board will publish a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking today in the Federal Register regarding its joint-employer standard. Under the proposed rule, an employer may be found to be a joint-employer of another employer’s employees only if it possesses and exercises substantial, direct and immediate control over the essential terms and conditions of employment and has done so in a manner that is not limited and routine. Indirect influence and contractual reservations of authority would no longer be sufficient to establish a joint-employer relationship.

Read more here.

In local news:

The State Apprenticeship Council approved two programs during its August meeting held at the Louisiana Workforce Commission’s (LWC) Baton Rouge headquarters. Morton Salt Inc., located in Weeks Island, La., and The Alliance for Media Arts & Culture, Inc., based in New Orleans, are the newest additions to the list of approved Registered Apprenticeships in Louisiana, nudging the total number of state programs up to 60. The Alliance’s program holds the distinction of the first-ever multimedia apprenticeship in Louisiana.

Read more here.