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A Retro Group’s annual coverage period lasts 12 months and can begin any calendar quarter. Although induvial businesses can be part of the retro program, most commonly we see and deal with Retro Groups, businesses independent of the employer of injury but contracted by them to represent their financial interests in the claim. A little known fact outside of the workers’ comp world is that many of the representatives of these groups are former employees of the Department of Labor and Industries, some previously in claims manager or claims unit supervisor roles.
A website for a popular Retro Group advertises their results in order to attract business, boasting of more than 28 percent in premium refunds for one employer, 37 perfect for another and over $452 million in premium refunds for their clients over a 20 year span.
The unwarranted roadblocks caused by aggressive Retro Group interference can cause severe instability for injured workers who are simply trying to access the benefits that they paid into through their employment in the hopes of returning to their former lives. This brings me back to the injured worker and the issue of safety: the founding idea of this program and the concept that DLI actually has to create incentives for employers in order to keep work environments safe.
Unfortunately, we do not simply see this type of thing happening in one or two cases where a Retro Group is involved. With over 35 years of experience representing injured workers in Wisconsin, he is listed in Best Lawyers in America (2014-15 Milwaukee Workers' Compensation Law-Claimants Lawyer of the Year) and as a Wisconsin Super Lawyer.
Charlie’s advocacy earned him recognition in Best Lawyers in America and in Wisconsin Super Lawyers.
Sam has a passion for representing injured workers, spending his young career practicing Wisconsin workers’ compensation law. State of Wisconsin Department of Workforce DevelopmentInformation about the benefits you may be eligible for under the Wisconsin Worker’s Compensation Act.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)The go-to agency for information about harmful physical agents and substances, research on new safety and health problems and on-site investigations about the toxicity of materials used in workplaces. United States Department of Labor's Occupational Health & Safety Administration (OSHA)OSHA’s mission is to prevent work-related injuries, illnesses, and occupational fatality by issuing and enforcing standards for workplace safety and health.
This entry was posted in Firm News, worker’s compensation, workers comp basics, workers compensation, workers-compensation, workers' compensation law and tagged Wisconsin Super Lawyers on November 23, 2014 by Charlie Domer. Very often, clients are confused about the laws governing scarring, disfigurement in the Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation system. TRUTH: You do not have to have missed work in order to receive payment for compensable scars.
Check back next week for part two in this series on scarring, disfigurement, and Massachusetts law.
This entry was posted in workers compensation, workers compensation basics and tagged scarring, scars on September 19, 2013 by Charlie Domer. In addition to helping our clients receive the benefits they are entitled to through the courts and other adversarial means, we are prooud to work with our elected officials to produce legislation that will benefit working people. The legislation aims to protect injured workers whose workers’ compensation claims overlap with Medicare coverage. The Medicare Secondary Payer and Workers’ Compensation Settlement Agreements Act establishes clear and consistent standards for an administrative process that provides reasonable protections for injured workers and Medicare. The legislation has widespread support from groups such as the American Insurance Association, the American Bar Association, the National Council of Self-Insurers, Property Casualty, Insurers Association of America, UWC-Strategic Services and the Workers Injury Law and Advocacy Group (WILG). The CDC latest statistics show close to 40,000 drug overdose deaths each year in the United States, more than half of which involve prescription drugs. This entry was posted in health insurance, workers compensation and tagged Codeine, deaths, Duragesic, Fentanyl, Fentora, Hydrocodone, Methadone, opiods, overdose, Oxycodone, Oxycontin, Percocet, prescription, Vicodin on June 17, 2013 by Thomas Domer. The most important part of that first meeting takes place before you ever set foot in the attorney’s office.
This entry was posted in workers comp basics, workers comp qanda, workers compensation and tagged first meeting, hurt at work, medical records, preparation, questionnaire on May 2, 2013 by Charlie Domer. A new study calls into question the notion that workplace wellness programs save an employer money. The flip side of the argument is that this intrusion into personal health becomes a meddlesome slippery slope and perhaps health discrimination.

In Wisconsin worker’s comp, an injury that takes place because of participation in a wellness program is only compensated if the program is mandatory or compensated. This entry was posted in health insurance, workers compensation and tagged wellness on April 18, 2013 by Thomas Domer. A new study by AON Hewitt indicates more employers will be using penalties to prompt participation in an employee wellness program. This entry was posted in health insurance, workers compensation and tagged wellness on April 11, 2013 by Thomas Domer.
The work-relatedness of these personal relationships resulting in violence at work is a contested issue. This entry was posted in Workers' Compensation, Workplace Injury, Workplace Safety and tagged aging, fatalities, older workers, violence on October 1, 2015 by Thomas Domer. Recently there have been many discussions and lawsuits about NFL player safety arising out of serious brain concussions from football. The serious violations include failing to ensure electrical equipment was free from recognized hazards, provide adequate machine guarding while operating industrial sewing machines, provide a fall protection program to prevent fall hazards from the basket of a powered industrial truck and implement a respiratory program.
Elyria, Ohio-based Riddell, which employs about 25 workers at the San Antonio site, paints helmets for various sports, such as football and hockey.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. This entry was posted in workplace accidents, Workplace Safety and tagged hazards, heal concussions, NFL, Riddell, violations on September 2, 2013 by Charlie Domer. However, in Washington State there is another major player working the sidelines in a big way. As a plaintiff firm specializing in workplace injuries, we have certainly not seen a decrease in client intakes since the initiation of these groups. Their employment history at DLI provides them with a unique knowledge base of the DLI system  and its policies, the life cycle of a claim, as well as access to employees at the DLI level, many of whom they have a personal working relationship with already. The list of clients that they represent is alarming to me only in that I wonder if the employers who hire them  to represent their interests fully understand the scope and lengths that the Retro Groups go to in order to post such returns. Here is a brief list of some of the truths and myths about scarring, loss of function and disfigurement. Any scar that is visible to your hands neck or face is compensable under the Workers’ Compensation Statute.
In fact, the vast majority of claimants seeking payments for scarring have not missed any significant time (or any time at all) as a result of their scar. As long as the scar is on your hands, neck or face it will be measured and calculated to determine how much your payment will be. A few days ago, a bill we support, the Medicare Secondary Payer and Workers’ Compensation Settlement Agreement Act, was formally proposed. Far too often, these claims are subjected to lengthy and cumbersome reviews by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to determine appropriate set-aside amounts to pay for future medical costs in which Medicare may have an interest.
It would benefit injured workers, employers and insurers by creating a system of certainty, and allows the settlement process to move forward while eliminating millions of dollars in administrative costs that harm workers, employers and insurers. While politicians, lobbyists, and service organizations grapple with potential resolutions, there is no disputing the existence of illegal immigrants working for employers in our country.
Some harshly argue that these workers should receive no benefits, as they are not working legally in the country.
This post gives a brief overview of how you can prepare for your first meeting with your attorney after you have been hurt at work. For your attorney, the goal of the first meeting is to gain an accurate understanding of the facts surrounding your injury. In a study tracking hospital employees for two years, although hospitalization for employees and family members dropped by over 40% for six major health conditions, increased outpatient costs erased those savings. Many companies have wellness programs and even include gym memberships and on-premise exercise, attempting to changing employees’ bad habits.

Many employers use incentives for participation in wellness and health management programs such as Health Risk Questionnaires, biometric screenings, and smoking cessation programs. For example, biometric screenings could be used against employees who may later file worker’s compensation claims for occupational exposures. In a ironic turn, a company who manufactures football safety gear has itself been cited for serious safety violations at its own manufacturing facilities. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Riddell All-American Sports Co.
A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s San Antonio office or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Like most things of this nature, the devil is in the details and in this case, the details lie in the concept of keeping the cost of a claim lower. If claim costs for the coverage year are below what is expected, the employer or group could earn a partial refund of the difference between the Retro premiums and the standard premiums. Just recently I had a Retro Group create a light duty, modified return to work position for my client without checking with the actual employer if such a position could even be offered. Section 36 of the Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Statute is the section that governs compensable scars and disfigurements. Also, you can be compensated for every scar you receive to a compensable part of your body in one injury. We encourage you to call and email your representatives and let them know that you support this law.
The drug overdose deaths are more numerous that motor vehicle crash deaths and the numbers have gone up every year since the turn of the century. The study found in the journal Health Affairs and its results help to address a debate taking place in companies around the country about how much incentive and pressure an employer can put on workers to increase healthy lifestyles by quitting smoking, losing weight, and exercising. Those incentives include health insurance premium increases and other penalties, and potential reward such as premium discounts, gift or cash cards. Additionally, such pre-existing conditions that are revealed in the screening programs may prove an additional barrier to employees receiving worker’s compensation benefits for a later claimed injury or occupational disease.
If claim costs are higher than the amount of standard premium paid, it could result in an employer being assessed and having to pay an additional amount.
One contributing factor is that many work-related injuries are back injuries, for which doctors increasingly prescribe opioids for both short and long term to address pain.
All these penalties and rewards are aimed at an effort to prompt employees to participate in wellness initiatives.
Time-loss was terminated and the claimant appeared for the first day of the job with the work restrictions in hand and was told that no such job existed within those restrictions.
If you cut or burned yourself while working in a kitchen, you do not have to have missed any time at work to receive payments for the lasting disfigurement. Our firm had previously tried to get the Retro Group to address our inquiries about the questionable modified job, but we were ignored.
Leonard Paulozzi recently noted worker’s compensation medical providers may be exceeding guidelines from the American College of Occupational Environmental Medicine regarding the use of opioids and how long they should be used. Paulozzi noted 42% of workers with back injuries had opioid prescriptions in the first year after the injury, most of them after their first medical visit, but 16% of those workers were still receiving opioids a year after the injury. He noted while opioids might be good for use as acute medication, for example within six weeks after the injury, continuation of opioids is not indicated beyond that short term use.

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