After 21 years as a building engineer for Macy's department stores, Kevin Schiller was left unable to work as the result of a 2010 workplace accident.
Schiller keeps a note on his refrigerator to remind him to take his medicine every morning.
Bill Minick, president of PartnerSource, a Texas company that writes and administers opt-out plans for employers who want an alternative to state workers' compensation laws, says ERISA ensures that injured employees are treated fairly. After working for Macy's department stores as a building engineer for 21 years, a workplace accident has left Kevin Schiller unable to work since 2010. Bill Minick, president of PartnerSource, a Texas company that writes and administers opt-out plans for employers who want an alternative to state workers' compensation laws, says ERISA ensures injured employees are treated fairly.
With 21 years on the job, the building engineer for Macy's department stores had been in and out of every nook and cranny of many of the retail giant's Texas stores, including the storage room in the Macy's in Denton, Texas. He now has to post notes on the front door and refrigerator of his apartment, reminding him to take medications and keep appointments. Schiller, 54, is among 1.5 million workers in Texas and Oklahoma who don't have state-regulated workers' compensation to turn to when they're injured on the job. As NPR and ProPublica have reported, many employers prefer this opt-out alternative to workers' comp, because the state systems, employers claim, result in expensive and long-lasting benefits, costly litigation, and delays in treatment of injured workers. When employers opt out, they avoid state regulation and write their own workplace injury plans, which make it easier to deny and cut benefits, control medical care and limit appeals of their decisions.
But don't worry, employers contend, injured workers are still protected by a federal law – the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, or ERISA. Minick and his company PartnerSource dominate a cottage industry, writing and supporting opt-out workplace injury plans, and lobbying for opt-out legislation in other states. But ERISA didn't do much for Schiller and NPR found the law doesn't provide the protections promised by opt-out promoters. Legal documents, including witness statements, medical records, depositions and internal e-mails, show Macy's was skeptical of Schiller's injury from the very beginning. If Macy's had stayed in the state workers' comp system, Schiller could have appealed the company's denial of benefits to the Texas Division of Workers' Compensation and to state courts, where he would have expected an independent review of his case.
ERISA blocks state action "because this is a federal question," says Richard Faulkner, an arbitrator and attorney in Texas who advised Schiller's attorneys.
Schiller was turned away by the state workers' comp agency and a state court, which cited a mandatory arbitration agreement in the Macy's opt-out plan.
So, Schiller was first stuck with an internal appeals process at Macy's, which is typical of opt-out plans in Texas and Oklahoma.
These hurdles to going to court may explain why many employers include in their plans provisions that directly violate ERISA, according to Handorf.
Injured workers also lose benefits in many plans in both Texas and Oklahoma if they don't report injuries by the end of their shifts or within 24 hours, even if supervisors are witnesses or the injuries initially don't seem serious. These provisions are "an impediment to bringing claims and really isn't what ERISA is designed to do," says Handorf. So, Minick and PartnerSource added a strategic benefit to 90 percent of the opt-out plans in Oklahoma. Minick says that any misuse or violations of ERISA will be addressed by federal regulators. Trupo also says the agency has never litigated a single case involving possible misuse or violation of the law by employers who have opted out of state workers' comp. ERISA requires employers to inform workers of those rights and of the process for filing complaints. When Schiller's case went to mandatory arbitration, his lawyers worried about a process they consider pro-employer.
Chalk also said medical records failed to show "any serious attempts to thoroughly examine, diagnose, and treat Mr. Ted Lyon, Schiller's attorney, believes his client would have done far better if the case had gone to state court. Schiller "would have worked until he was 65, so that's a million and a half dollars at least," Lyon says. Most of the arbitration award paid legal fees, arbitration costs and existing medical bills.
Schiller has hardly worked since, given persistent headaches, memory loss, disorientation and extreme sensitivity to bright light and loud sound. He carries a letter from his doctor in case he's stopped by police, which says he may appear drunk due to a head injury.
Millions more may join them as more states consider giving employers the right to opt out of state workers' comp systems. The 1974 law initially applied to pension plans but has evolved to include health care and other workplace benefits.
Most of the 50 Texas plans obtained by NPR and ProPublica contain mandatory arbitration clauses. But federal judges, under ERISA, must first determine whether employer decisions are "arbitrary and capricious" and can only reject benefits decisions if employers were unreasonable or did not adhere to their plans.
The federal law explicitly states that it does not apply to plans "maintained soley for the purpose of complying" with state workers' comp law. Plans reviewed by NPR and ProPublica typically contain that information, but most are more than 50 pages long. He wants others to know what can happen to injured workers, despite the promised protections of ERISA. Schiller, Chalk ruled, suffered a "mild" traumatic brain injury and was subjected to "scattered, intermittent [and] non-focused" medical treatment.
THESE VERY SAME ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES, WHO HAVE SWORN TO PROTECT AND SERVE, OUR COUNTRY, AND CITIZENS ,ARE BUT SOME, OF THE CORRUPT,GREEDY TRAITORS .ENGAGED IN THE TYRANNY AND TORTURE. In case he is stopped by police, he carries a letter from his doctor that says he may appear drunk owing to a head injury. As NPR and ProPublica have reported, many employers prefer this opt-out alternative to workers' comp, because the state systems, employers claim, result in expensive and long-lasting benefits, costly litigation and delays in treatment of injured workers.
But don't worry, employers contend, injured workers are still protected by a federal law — the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, or ERISA.
Minick and his company, PartnerSource, dominate a cottage industry, writing and supporting opt-out-workplace injury plans and lobbying for opt-out legislation in other states.


But ERISA didn't do much for Schiller, and NPR found the law doesn't provide the protections promised by opt-out promoters.
They'd tell me point-blank, 'We're here to observe you, not treat you.' " Macy's did not respond to NPR's multiple requests for comment about Schiller's case. Legal documents, including witness statements, medical records, depositions and internal emails, show Macy's was skeptical of Schiller's injury from the very beginning. State law, you're irrelevant." Schiller was turned away by the state workers' comp agency and a state court, which cited a mandatory arbitration agreement in the Macy's opt-out plan. So Schiller first went through an internal appeals process at Macy's, which is typical of opt-out plans in Texas and Oklahoma. The school district has moved to a biometric identification program, saying students will no longer have to use an ID card to buy lunch.A  BIOMETRICS TO TRACK YOUR KIDS!!!!!i»?i»?A TARGETED INDIVIDUALS, THE GREEDY CRIMINALS ARE NOW CONDONING THEIR TECH! The federal law explicitly states that it does not apply to plans "maintained solely for the purpose of complying" with state workers' comp law. So Minick and PartnerSource added a strategic benefit to 90 percent of the opt-out plans in Oklahoma. Spokesman Michael Trupo says the agency "is aware of, and studying, the issues you note." Trupo also says the agency has never litigated a single case involving possible misuse or violation of the law by employers who have opted out of state workers' comp. The agency has not received a single complaint, Trupo adds, which "may be due, in part, to workers not knowing their rights under [ERISA]." ERISA requires employers to inform workers of those rights and of the process for filing complaints.
Schiller's job-related injury." But Schiller would likely recover within five years, Chalk ruled.
I mean I've gotten no, no justice." Most of the arbitration award paid legal fees, arbitration costs and existing medical bills. Transcript RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: We return now to an ongoing NPR and ProPublica investigation of workers' compensation. That is now possible to do in Texas and Oklahoma, but NPR's Howard Berkes has found that federal law doesn't protect injured workers as promised. HOWARD BERKES, BYLINE: Fifty-four-year-old Kevin Schiller sits in the dark in his apartment outside Dallas, holding a doctor's note addressed to police. Schiller was a building engineer at a Macy's department store five years ago when a mannequin fell 12 feet from a shelf. KEVIN SCHILLER: All I heard was a loud crack, and I found myself looking up on people looking down on me.
BERKES: Stuttering, memory loss and confusion persist, along with headaches from bright light. But Macy's downplayed the injury, according to legal documents including medical records, witness statements, internal e-mails and depositions.
I have made $80,000 a year at times, and I'm going to give that up to be on a Social Security check or food stamps? But workers are still protected by federal law, they say - the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, or ERISA.
BILL MINICK: ERISA comes in and says the benefits must be administered in the best interest of employees. BERKES: Bill Minick and his company, PartnerSource, sell and service benefits plans that are alternatives to workers' comp. BILL MINICK: And there are very detailed claim procedures that must be followed to make sure that the employee gets a full and fair review of their claim, including opportunity to appeal any denial of benefits, and then access to state and federal courts. He wasn't able to appeal to the independent Texas Workers' Comp agency because Macy's had opted out of the state system. State court was cut off by mandatory arbitration, a feature of most Texas plans we've reviewed.
Paul Weindling, history of medicine professor at Oxford Brookes University, describes his search for the lost victims of Nazi experiments.
BERKES: ERISA also strictly limits the role of federal courts when they consider benefits denials according to Karen Handorf, a former ERISA official at the Labor Department. KAREN HANDORF: You really have to show that it was irrational or contrary to the terms of the plan. BERKES: So employers will likely prevail no matter how unfair their plans may seem, as long as they don't violate the plans. The chairman of the board at ESL a€” then proprietor of the desert wasteland in Nevada known as a€?Area 51a€? a€” was William Perry, who would be appointed secretary of defense several years later. RICHARD FAULKNER: Consequently, you have to think long and hard about what exposures you may be generating for a client if you attempt to pursue some of these ERISA remedies because ERISA can be incredibly dangerous for an injured worker.
EUCACH.ORG PanelIn a 2-hour wide-ranging Panel with Alfred Lambremont Webre on the Transhumanist Agenda, Magnus Olsson, Dr. BERKES: So Schiller was stuck with the Macy's appeals process, where people paid by Macy's decide whether Macy's is fair.
Henning Witte, and Melanie Vritschan, three experts from the European Coalition Against Covert Harassment, revealed recent technological advances in human robotization and nano implant technologies, and an acceleration of what Melanie Vritschan characterized as a a€?global enslavement programa€?.Shift from electromagnetic to scalar wavesThese technologies have now shifted from electromagnetic wave to scalar waves and use super quantum computers in the quantum cloud to control a€?pipesa€? a reference to the brains of humans that have been taken over via DNA, via implants that can be breathed can breach the blood-brain barrier and then controlled via scalar waved on a super-grid. Employer-controlled are common in dozens of alternative injury plans in Oklahoma and Texas, where Jeffrey Dahl is an ERISA attorney. JEFFREY DAHL: ERISA's been turned on its head, really, in my mind, because initially, it was passed for protection of workers, but it in fact has become a shield for employers that operate these ERISA plans. Eventually, such 'subvocal speech' systems could be used in spacesuits, in noisy places like airport towers to capture air-traffic controller commands, or even in traditional voice-recognition programs to increase accuracy, according to NASA scientists."What is analyzed is silent, or sub auditory, speech, such as when a person silently reads or talks to himself," said Chuck Jorgensen, a scientist whose team is developing silent, subvocal speech recognition at NASA Ames Research Center in California's Silicon Valley.
We numbered the columns and rows, and we could identify each letter with a pair of single-digit numbers," Jorgensen said. They also get nothing in Texas and Oklahoma if they don't report injuries right away, even if they seem minor at first or are witnessed by supervisors. Former Labor Department official Karen Handorf calls these rules - HANDORF: An impediment to bringing claims, and really isn't what ERISA is designed to do.
ERISA is based on the idea that you get your right to make the best claim you can for benefits. BERKES: But Bill Minick of PartnerSource says employers who defy ERISA risks sanctions from federal regulators. Department of labor has enforcement authority over that, so there are a variety of checks and balances in the process. People in noisy conditions could use the system when privacy is needed, such as during telephone conversations on buses or trains, according to scientists."An expanded muscle-control system could help injured astronauts control machines.


If an astronaut is suffering from muscle weakness due to a long stint in microgravity, the astronaut could send signals to software that would assist with landings on Mars or the Earth, for example," Jorgensen explained. RICHARD FAULKNER: The Department of Labor has civil and criminal authority that, if it chooses to exercise it, can go in, look at these things.
These are processed to remove noise, and then we process them to see useful parts of the signals to show one word from another," Jorgensen said.After the signals are amplified, computer software 'reads' the signals to recognize each word and sound. He also confirmed that the agency has never had an ERISA case involving this alternative to workers' comp. If Schiller's case made it to state court, he would have won big, says his attorney, Ted Lyon. TED LYON: He would have worked 'til he was 65, so that's a million and a half dollars at least.
In addition to that, pain and suffering damages and the egregious way that they treated him. Most of it paid legal fees, arbitration expenses, medical bills and living costs, and most of it's gone. The arbitrator did find that Macy's was negligent and failed to thoroughly examine, diagnose and treat Schiller's traumatic brain injury.
And after dealing with the whole process I went through and nowhere to go, I have gotten no justice. It hides cases like Schiller's, and protects employers like Macy's, which did not respond to NPR. We only know about Kevin Schiller because he decided to talk about the failed promise of ERISA protection. Our Research and Development Division has been in contact with the Federal Bureau of Prisons, the California Department of Corrections, the Texas Department of Public Safety, and the Massachusetts Department of Correction to run limited trials of the 2020 neural chip implant.
We have established representatives of our interests in both management and institutional level positions within these departments. Federal regulations do not yet permit testing of implants on prisoners, but we have entered nto contractual agreements with privatized health care professionals and specified correctional personnel to do limited testing of our products. We need, however, to expand our testing to research how effective the 2020 neural chip implant performs in those identified as the most aggressive in our society.
In California, several prisoners were identified as members of the security threat group, EME, or Mexican Mafia.
They were brought to the health services unit at Pelican Bay and tranquilized with advanced sedatives developed by our Cambridge,Massachussetts laboratories.
The results of implants on 8 prisoners yielded the following results: a€?Implants served as surveillance monitoring device for threat group activity.
However, during that period substantial data was gathered by our research and development team which suggests that the implants exceed expected results.
One of the major concerns of Security and the R & D team was that the test subject would discover the chemial imbalance during the initial adjustment period and the test would have to be scurbbed. However, due to advanced technological developments in the sedatives administered, the 48 hour adjustment period can be attributed t prescription medication given to the test subjects after the implant procedure. One of the concerns raised by R & D was the cause of the bleeding and how to eliminate that problem. Unexplained bleeding might cause the subject to inquire further about his "routine" visit to the infirmary or health care facility.
Security officials now know several strategies employed by the EME that facilitate the transmission of illegal drugs and weapons into their correctional facilities.
One intelligence officier remarked that while they cannot use the informaiton that have in a court of law that they now know who to watch and what outside "connections" they have. The prison at Soledad is now considering transferring three subjects to Vacaville wher we have ongoing implant reserach. Our technicians have promised that they can do three 2020 neural chip implants in less than an hour. Soledad officials hope to collect information from the trio to bring a 14 month investigation into drug trafficking by correctional officers to a close. Essentially, the implants make the unsuspecting prisoner a walking-talking recorder of every event he comes into contact with. There are only five intelligence officers and the Commisoner of Corrections who actually know the full scope of the implant testing. In Massachusetts, the Department of Corrections has already entered into high level discussion about releasing certain offenders to the community with the 2020 neural chip implants.
Our people are not altogether against the idea, however, attorneys for Intelli-Connection have advised against implant technology outside strick control settings. While we have a strong lobby in the Congress and various state legislatures favoring our product, we must proceed with the utmost caution on uncontrolled use of the 2020 neural chip.
If the chip were discovered in use not authorized by law and the procedure traced to us we could not endure for long the resulting publicity and liability payments. Massachusetts officials have developed an intelligence branch from their Fugitive Task Force Squad that would do limited test runs under tight controls with the pre-release subjects. Correctons officials have dubbed these poetnetial test subjects "the insurance group." (the name derives from the concept that the 2020 implant insures compliance with the law and allows officials to detect misconduct or violations without question) A retired police detective from Charlestown, Massachusetts, now with the intelligence unit has asked us to consider using the 2020 neural chip on hard core felons suspected of bank and armored car robbery. He stated, "Charlestown would never be the same, we'd finally know what was happening before they knew what was happening." We will continue to explore community uses of the 2020 chip, but our company rep will be attached to all law enforcement operations with an extraction crrew that can be on-site in 2 hours from anywhere at anytime. We have an Intelli-Connection discussion group who is meeting with the Director of Security at Florence, Colorado's federal super maximum security unit.
The initial discussions with the Director have been promising and we hope to have an R & D unit at this important facilitly within the next six months. Napolitano insisted that the department was not planning on engaging in any form of ideological profiling.
I will tell him face-to-face that we honor veterans at DHS and employ thousands across the department, up to and including the Deputy Secretary," Ms. Steve Buyer of Indiana, the ranking Republican on the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, called it "inconceivable" that the Obama administration would categorize veterans as a potential threat.



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