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Thursday, February 17, 2011

A National Celebration of the Workers' Compensation Centennial

Guest Blog by Alan S. Pierce

The year 1911 saw the enactment of this country’s first state-based Workers’ Compensation laws. The effects of the Industrial Revolution began some decades earlier and made it necessary to change the way the costs associated with workplace injuries and deaths were compensated.

Wisconsin claims credit for the first constitutional statute (earlier attempts failed constitutional muster) with Massachusetts and nine more states not far behind.  Thirty-six other states followed by the end of the decade.

So it’s no surprise that 2011 will see various commemorations of this social, economic, and legal milestone.  

Here in Massachusetts, generally acknowledged as the nation’s second state to pass a Workers’ compensation statute (signed into law by Governor Eugene H. Foss, July 28, 1911) plans have been underway to mark this auspicious occasion.

On April 7, 2011, Massachusetts will be holding a centennial commemoration that has attracted interest across the country.

The American Bar Associations's (ABA) Section on Tort, Trial and Insurance Section (TIPS) and the Workers’ Compensation and the Section of Labor and Employment Law (LEL) has joined in the planning of this hallmark event, and we, along with the Labor and Employment Law Committee, will be holding The 2001 Midwinter Seminar & Conference in Boston April 7-9, 2011 to coincide with the Massachusetts event.

Before detailing our plans in Massachusetts, it is worthwhile to briefly examine the historical origins of a concept of a no-fault-based system of compensating for job-related injuries and deaths.  Who then can lay claim to the first model of a modern Workers’ Compensation system?  

Early History of Workers' Compensation

According to Gregory Guyton in A Brief History of Workers’ Compensation, Iowa Orthopedic Journal, 1999, in approximately 2050 B.C., in ancient Sumeria (now Iraq), the law of Ur contained in Nippur Tablet No, 3191 provided for compensation for injury to a worker’s specific body parts.  Under ancient Arab law, the loss of a thumb was worth one-half the value of a finger. The loss of a penis however was compensated by the amount of the length lost. The manner of estimating that however, is a fact lost to history. Similar systems existed and are contained in Hammurabi’s Code in 1750 B.C. as well as in ancient Greek, Roman, and Chinese law. The common denominator in most if not all of these early schemes was the compensation for “schedules” for specific injuries which determined specific monetary rewards. This concept of an “impairment” (the loss of function of a body part) as distinct from a “disability” (the loss of ability to perform specific tasks remains with us today
Jumping ahead a couple of thousand years.

Stephen Talty in Empire of Blue Water: Captain Morgan’s Great Pirate Army, Crown Publishing, (2007) describes the legendary English privateer Capt. Henry Morgan (of the rum company fame) who in the mid-1600s had a ship’s constitution that provided for the “recompense and rewards each one ought to have that is either wounded or maimed in his body, suffering the loss of any limb, by that voyage.” The loss of a right arm was worth 600 pieces of eight; the left arm:500; right leg:500, left leg: 400, and so forth.

Today’s workers’ compensation laws owe their origin to Prussian Chancellor Otto von Bismarck who in a political move to mitigate social unrest, created the Employer’s Liability Law of 1871.  In 1884 he established Workers’ Accident Insurance.  This program not only provided monetary benefits but medical and rehabilitation benefits as well.  The centerpiece of von Bismarck’s plan was the shielding of employers from civil lawsuits; thus the exclusive remedy doctrine was born.

Centennial Commemoration in Massachusetts

Plans to commemorate this centennial originated with the Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys, which for the past decade hosted an annual Workers’ Compensation Bench/Bar Dinner.

On April 7, 2011, the Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys, the Massachusetts Bar Association, and the Department of Industrial Accidents will host a centennial commemoration of workers’ compensation, not only in Massachusetts but the country as well.

The focus will be on the recognition of 100 years of workers’ compensation remembering how this unique area of law originated and developed with a look toward the future and examining forces at work that may change how workplace injuries are compensated.  A planning committee comprised of representatives of the claimant and insurer bar, Department of Industrial Accident representatives, and other stakeholders in the system have been meeting periodically for almost three years.  

Our plans have three major components:  a symposium featuring four of the nation’s leading scholars of workers’ compensation as an economic, labor relations, and legal concept; a book covering the history of the Massachusetts Industrial Accident Board, and dinner bringing everyone together at the Rose Kennedy Ballroom at the Intercontinental Hotel in Boston.  The other bar groups coming to Boston to join us will be holding their own programming, including three mornings of informative continuing legal education program as part of the ABA TIPS/Workers’ Compensation Committee and Labor and Employment Law Committee’s annual midwinter meeting.  

The ABA’s College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers will also hold its annual dinner inducting the 2011 Class of Fellows on Saturday, April 9, 2011. 


The symposium to be held during the afternoon of April 7, 2011, will be chaired by Prof. Emeritus John Burton, perhaps the leading authority on workers’ compensation, both nationally and internationally.  Burton, who has taught economics and labor relations at Rutgers and Cornell Universities, was President Nixon’s appointed Chair of the 1972 National Commission on Workers’ Compensation which resulted in recommendations responsible for the extended period of major workers’ compensation reforms that closed out the last quarter of the 20th century.  

Prof. Burton has invited Emily Spieler, Dean of Northeastern University Law School, Dr. Richard Victor, Executive Director of the Workers’ Compensation Research Institute, and Prof. Les Boden of Boston University to join him. Among the subjects to be explored are a discussion of federal and state responsibility for workers’ compensation; the extent of coverage of injuries and disease; the impact of changes in healthcare and what “universal” healthcare may mean for workers’ compensation systems; adequacy and equity of benefits among other topics.

 Book on The Massachusetts Industrial Board

Attorney and TIPS member, Joseph Agnelli Jr. of the Keches Law Group, has authored The “Board” A History of the First Century of the Massachusetts Industrial Accident Board and the Workers’ Compensation Act.

Agnelli’s book contains a comprehensive history of workers’ compensation in Massachusetts focusing on how our Industrial Accident Board was originally organized.  The book profiles many of the fascinating commissioners, judges, and attorneys who help shape the practice of workers’ compensation law at the Department of Industrial Accidents.

The book also features a copy of the Workers’ Compensation Statute signed into law by Governor Eugene H. Foss on July 28, 1911; a copy of the first insurance policy (policy no. 1) issued to the Everett Mills by the Massachusetts Employee’s Insurance Association (M.E.I.A.), the entity that was to become Liberty Mutual Insurance Company.

According to Agnelli’s forward:  “When pondering a suitable way to commemorate such a momentous event, it became clear that something needed to be written about the countless numbers of individuals who have played a role in its long history, to the legislators who were instrumental in its passage of 1911, the members of the first Industrial Accident Board in 1912, the men and women who have served as either Commissioners or Administrative Judges on the Board, those who pioneered the early practice before the Board, and to past and current personalities, this book is a tribute to their efforts in perpetuating the spirit of the Act.”

Symposium Dinner

The Symposium Dinner on Thursday evening, April 7, 2011, will be held in a remarkable venue, a ballroom that can accommodate up to 700 people.  Early reservations are a must.  To purchase dinner tickets or for further information, contact OR contact Alan Pierce at 978-745-0914.
Alan S. Pierce practices in Salem Massachusetts. He has authored and edited several publications including Massachusetts Workers' Compensation Law, Workers' Compensation and the Law, and Workers' Compensation: Issues and Answers. Alan currently serves as chair-elect of the American Bar Association workers' compensation section and will be the national chairperson in 2010. He is a charter Fellow in the College of Workers' Compensation Lawyers.

Other Resources
Registration Information: 2011 Midwinter Meeting
Program Agenda: 2011 Midwinter Meeting

Related articles

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

New Jersey Launches Workers' Compensation Centennial Celebration

Next year, 2011, marks the 100th anniversary of the enactment of the NJ Workers' Compensation Act. For a century,  the State has embraced a no-fault system that has provided benefits to injured workers in a summary fashion.

Peter J. Calderone, Director and Chief Judge has announced that A Celebration and Recognition Dinner is planned on May 17, 2011 and a no fee Seminar with CLE credits at all vicinages will be held on May 2, 2011.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

US Workers Compensation Centennial Commission

This  10-minute video was created for the National History Day contest by students at Nimitz High School in Houston, Texas.

The Workers’ Compensation Centennial Commission was formed to celebrate the first constitutional workers’ compensation law in the United States which was signed on May 3, 1911 and took full effect on Sept. 1, 1911.  It was a recognition of society’s responsibility to the workplace, establishing workers compensation as the first form of social insurance in American history.  Today, workers’ compensation stands as a pillar within our economic system that benefits all Americans.

For over 3 decades the Law Offices of Jon L. Gelman 1.973.696.7900 have been representing injured workers and their families who have suffered work related accident and injuries.

Related Articles
Campaign for Centennial Workers Compensation Postage Stamp

Friday, January 21, 2011

Workers Compensation Blog Marks Over 100,000 Views

The Workers' Compensation Blog has now logged over 100,000 views since its inception on July 27, 2007. It continues as an academic experiment to identify and disseminate information about developments and trends in workplace injury law, and hopefully encouraging a safer work environment for future generations. With almost 700 posts on line, and a readership that reaches 7 continents, the experiment has far exceeded my expectations.

As the United States approaches its Workers' Compensation Act centennial celebrations,  and history looks back upon the catalytic events, ie. the tragic Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire, that generated the model acts of 1911, it is hoped that experiments such as this blog will  inspiring a new focus on critical issues such as workplace safety, the environment  and international commerce that will embrace the system for the next 100 years.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Atlantic Mutual Placed into Liquidation

The once viable workers' compensation insurance carrier has been placed into liquidation. An Order of Liquidation was filed to terminate Atlantic Mutual Insurance Company (AMIC) and Centennial Insurance Company on April 26, 2011.

The Court converted the rehabilitation proceeding into a liquidation action by the filing of the Order. The companies were previously the subject of a Rehabilitation Order that was entered on September 16, 2010. AMIC was found to be insolvent and efforts to rehabilitate the company were deemed futile.

Click here to view The Order of Liquidation.

For over 3 decades the Law Offices of Jon L. Gelman  1.973.696.7900 have been representing injured workers and their families who have suffered occupational accidents and illnesses.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Published: 2011 Workers' Compensation Law Treatise

The 2011 Supplement to Gelman on Workers' Compensation Law has been published and is shipping. Now in its third edition, the 3 volume hard-bound series, provides a comprehensive analysis of workers' compensation law. Published by West Publishing, a business of Thomsom-Reuters, it is totally integrated into the West citation system and Westlaw® research system. The series and updates may be ordered in hardbound, CD-Rom and/or accessed thorough the Westlaw® research system.

What's New

The newly enacted statutory changes to the New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Act and promulgated Rules permitting Emergent Medical Care Motions, new registration requirements for insurers, and new judicial enforcement powers of Judges of Compensation, including sanctions and contempt powers, are contained in this supplemental material. The judicial decision imposing direct liability against an insurance carrier for delay and/or denial of medical treatment is discussed.

An analysis of the newly adopted procedures for the reimbursement of conditional payments established by Medicare and the protocols to co-ordinate workers’ compensation claims with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is contained in this supplement. The materials also provide the authorizations required to obtain conditional payment information from the Coordinator of Benefits. Debt collection referral to the Department of the Treasury is also reviewed.

The new Community and Worker Right to Know material has been incorporated into this supplement. The current hazardous substance lists and the substances that have been deemed extremely dangerous are provided.

The supplement reviews new case law concerning electronic cancellation of coverage as well as the standard for claims to be considered casually related to the employment.

The judicial interpretation of the Exclusivity Doctrine is discussion in light of the dual capacity status of a household contact / bystander and also former employee. The evidential requirements in latent occupational claims is reviewed.

The mandatory reporting requirements of the SCHIP Extension Act of 2007 are described as well as the appeal procedure under the reimbursement provision of the Medicare Secondary Payer Act.

These pocket parts provide information concerning the requirements for medical monitoring in workers’ compensation claims. It discusses. the Asbestos Fund, which has been established for those entities where workers’ compensation coverage cannot be established. The newly designed forms that need to be utilized in filing for benefits are included. Also, the recently modified Motion for Temporary and Medical Benefits, including a form Certification, is provided and discussed.

The newly revised Judgments for Total and Permanent Disability are provided in this pocket part. The Judgments include new refinements in offsets for pensions and Social Security disability benefits. Reviewed also is the “intentional wrong exception” to the Exclusivity Bar which has been the subject of new workers’ compensation insurance policy language and regulation.

The recently promulgated administrative rules governing the disposition of Temporary Disability Benefits are discussed. The non-duplication of benefits provisions are reviewed including the multiple agency adjudication process. An expansion of benefits available to Federal public safety officers is reviewed in this supplement.

Collateral medical benefit issues are discussed in light of the recent Supreme Court decision concerning this matter. The pocket parts include a Motion to Join the Collateral Health Carrier and provide sample Certifications to be used in support of the application. New pleadings issued by the Division of Workers’ Compensation in the area of medical payment and reimbursement claims are provided and commented upon in these materials.

Additionally, these pocket parts provide information concerning the new Rules of the Division of Workers’ Compensation embodying electronic filing requirements and new procedures involving both formal and informal proceedings, motion practice, post judgment process, and judicial performance. The expanded Medicare secondary reporting requirements and the mandatory coordination of benefits are reviewed in this supplement. The recovery aspects of Medicare conditional payments as well as future medical provisions are updated and discussed. The new Child Support Lien distribution forms, computation worksheets and judgments are provided and explained in depth. The NJ Supreme’ Court ruling and the legislative enactments are discussed concerning same sex couples and the availability of workers’ compensation benefits.

This supplement reviews the newly promulgated Rules concerning the Uninsured Employers’ Fund and audio and video coverage of workers’ compensation proceedings. The horrific tragedy of September 11th, 2001 and the impact it has upon the Workers’ Compensation system is discussed. This supplement reviews the newly enacted Smallpox Emergency Protection Act as well as recent court decisions concerning acts of terrorism. The subsequent legislative changes enacted in response to potential terrorist threats are reviewed, including the Public Safety Officers’ Benefit Act as well as the liberalized legislative enactments involving rescue workers and medical personnel.

The far-reaching ramifications of the newly enacted healthcare reform legislation are reviewed. The new prototype occupational medical care program, encompassing potential occupational exposure claims, is presented in this supplement.

The impact of the newly promulgated Federal rules and regulations concerning medical record privacy and compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) medical authorization requirements are reviewed in this supplement and model forms are furnished. The recently enacted statutory workers' compensation coverage options available to proprietors and partners are discussed. The supplement reviews the recent court decisions expanding the responsibility of the Second Injury Fund for pre-existing medical conditions in cases in which latent diseases become manifest during retirement. The statutory enactments concerning State Temporary Disability Benefits are reviewed. The recently amended Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Act is explained in detail and forms are furnished and discussed.

The new administration and management of claims arising from insolvent workers’ compensation insurance is covered in this pocket part.

The recent Supreme Court decisions concerning the high judicial threshold for evaluation of scientific evidence are analyzed. The requirements for proof of scientific evidence in complex workers’ compensation cases are discussed including the admissibility of testimony from non-physicians experts. Furthermore, the evolving and expanding issues concerning medical monitoring are reviewed.

This pocket part also discusses recent changes in the application for counsel fees. The supplement includes the newly promulgated administrative directive embodying those changes.

To Order
The series and updates may be ordered in hardbound, CD-Rom and/or accessed thorough the Westlaw® research system.

More Information
Table of Contents Supp. 2011
Index, Supp. 2011
Summary of Contents

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Saturday, October 19, 2013

A Global Asbestos Battle Touches Yale

Today's post was shared by Linda Reinstein and comes from

That Stephan Schmidheiny has played a huge role in environmental matters around the world over the last 37 years is not up for debate.

What is hotly contested about the Swiss industrialist-turned-philanthropist and author is whether he's rightly portrayed as a hero or a villain. And Yale University, which gave Schmidheiny an honorary doctorate in 1996, is caught in the middle — with that degree as a global political football.

In 1976, when he was 29 years old, Schmidheiny took over the Swiss Eternit Group, a business founded by his grandfather. The company had become one of Europe's largest asbestos firms, making cement products girded with the deadly mineral throughout the continent and in Brazil. Schmidheiny was 29 and a newly minted lawyer.

Within 10 years, the Italian arm of the business, with five factories, closed in bankruptcy.

After Eternit, Schmidheiny, born rich and growing richer through ties to Switzerland's best known companies, turned his attention to ecologically sustainable development. He created a charity and endowed it with more than $1 billion, launched a nonprofit foundation that operates in 17 Latin American countries and founded a global business group dedicated to private-sector environmentalism.
That was the Stephan Schmidheiny that Yale feted, and not just with an honorary degree. In 2000, Schmidheiny was a keynote speaker at the centennial of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, which...
[Click here to see the rest of this post]

Monday, February 28, 2011

The Triangle Fire Airs on PBS Feb 28, 2011

It was the deadliest workplace accident in New York City’s history. A dropped cigarette on the 8th floor of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory sparked a fire that killed over a hundred innocent people trapped inside. The private industry of the American factory would never be the same.

Airs on American Experience on PBS Feb. 28, 2011 at 9:00pm on most PBS stations. Commemorating the workers' compensation centennial.

Monday, November 8, 2010

California Applicants' Attorneys Association Announces New Legislative Team

The California Applicants’ Attorneys Association (CAAA), whose members represent Californians injured on the job, today announced a new legislative advocacy team. CAAA President Barry Hinden said, “CAAA is announcing a new team that will be a strong voice on behalf of the rights and dignity of Californians injured while doing their jobs. Our legislative team looks forward to working with all stakeholders to insure that insurance carriers pay to heal workers’ on-the-job injuries and income support while disabled. Over the past six years many families have been left without medical care or disability compensation due to changes demanded by Governor Schwarzenegger. We look forward to working with the new governor, legislature and the workers’ compensation community to make changes to restore balance, and make the system work more effectively and efficiently by reducing unnecessary delays and costs.”

Hinden announced the following legislative representation team:

Mike Herald – Legislative & Policy Advocate – Mr. Herald, an attorney, has spent the past two decades advocating on behalf of low income Californians in the State Capitol while representing the Western Center on Law & Poverty. “My experience representing struggling California families has shown me how important it is people injured at work receive adequate insurance coverage. Workers’ compensation insurance is to provide workers the opportunity to heal, knowing they won’t lose their home or drown in debt. It is in everyone’s interest to have adequate insurance so that costs for injured workers do not fall upon the taxpayers. I look forward to collaborating with legislators, administrators and stakeholders to improve the workers’ compensation insurance system.” Mr. Herald will be CAAA’s lead legislative representative in the Capitol.

Richie Ross – Legislative and Political Consultant – Mr. Ross, a longtime California labor advocate and campaign consultant, has advised CAAA for more than 15 years. He will now serve as political and legislative consultant, advising CAAA on strategy, lobbying, and political contributions and campaigns. “I look forward to strengthening CAAA’s alliances with organized labor, civil rights and consumer organizations. Californians injured at their jobs often have difficulty getting insurance companies to pay their legitimate claims.  There are many others who face similar obstacles. And when insurance companies don’t meet their obligations, it is the taxpayers who end up footing the bill. Californians want to prevent that cost shifting.”

Sen. Martha Escutia (Ret.) – Legislative Counsel – "The Senators (ret.) Firm - legislative counsel: founded by former Senators Martha Escutia and Joe Dunn, the firm brings extensive legislative and political experience to the CAAA team. In fact, Senators (ret) Escutia and Dunn were two of the three "no" votes in the State Senate on SB899. Sen. Escutia (ret) will serve as the lead partner from The Senators Firm for CAAA. Ms Escutia, trained as a civil rights attorney, and said, “I look forward to using my experience in advocating for the civil rights of women and minorities on behalf of those injured at work. Those injured on the job often have their medical care delayed or denied, and their permanent disabilities are largely uncompensated, and insurance companies discriminate in apportioning disability compensation. I intend to involve diverse California communities in efforts to improve California’s workers’ compensation insurance system, and seeking fair compensation and prompt, quality medical care.”
For over 3 decades the Law Offices of Jon L. Gelman 1.973.696.7900 have been representing injured workers and their families who have suffered work related accident and injuries.

Monday, March 21, 2011

An Important History Lesson In Workplace Safety Laws

Guest Blog by John B. Boyd

“The only thing new under the sun is the history which you don’t know.” Harry S Truman

I am amazed at the number of Republicans and Democrats who love to credit our founding fathers with abundant wisdom, then conveniently ignore some of the historical facts about the legislation these legendary giants implemented during our early history. This is true whether for national health care, or, for appropriate workers’ compensation insurance coverage.

In 1798, the United States Congress passed an Act for Relief of Sick and Disabled Seamen. This law required all seamen who worked in the merchant marine (private companies) to pay a special tax to fund medical care and hospitals for seamen who were sick or injured. The government deemed that merchant seamen were necessary to the economic health of America and their hard labor jobs often produced injuries that if left untreated would result in an unnecessary loss of their labor and economic hardship for our country.

Thomas Jefferson was the Senate leader and John Adams the President. I dare say both of them were very familiar with our Constitution and it’s restrictions, yet they both helped put in place this common sense law and never once considered it an affront to personal liberty.

There is very little difference between that act and compulsory health insurance other than one is a tax and the other a fine if one doesn’t comply. Both require citizens to help fund their own health care. Both have the power to create a healthier workforce and consequently a healthier economy.

Next month marks the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, which is credited with the impetus for the need for strong unions; for national workers’ compensation laws; and, for states to enact safety laws regulating the workplace.

Today’s legislators would well be served by such history lessons.

John B. Boyd  practices in Kansas City, Missouri ( He was the former Acting Chairman of the Labor & Industrial Relations Commission of Missouri. John is a founding member of and Past-President of the Workers' Injury Law and Advocacy Group and a member and former Vice-President of the Missouri Trial Lawyers Association. He is a charter Fellow in the College of Workers' Compensation Lawyers. He is counsel to the Missouri AFL-CIO Lawyers Coordinating Committee and represents various labor organizations.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

A Labor Day Opportunity

Today's post was shared by US Dept. of Labor and comes from

Health Reform
Health Reform

Ed. note: This is crossposted from Work in Progress, the official blog of the Department of Labor. See the original post here.  Learn more about the history of Labor Day, and the history of the U.S. Department of Labor

Labor Day 2013 is special. This year marks the centennial of the U.S. Department of Labor – 100 years of working for America’s workers. And this past week, our nation reaffirmed the ideals of the 1963 March on Washington. This transformational event,
exactly 50 years ago, was just as much about labor rights as it was about civil rights.
For me, just like so many others then and now, these two movements are inextricably intertwined, their interests converging time and time again, their goals united in creating opportunity for all.
Watch this video on YouTube

For a guy like me who grew up in an immigrant family from Buffalo, the past few days have been pretty heady. At the Lincoln Memorial Wednesday, I couldn’t help but wonder if The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. ever imagined that half a century after he stood on these steps, another African-American man would stand there – as president?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Atlantic Mutual Insurance Co Placed into Rehabilitation

The NJ Division of Workers' Compensation has responded to an Order of Rehabilitation of Atlantic Mutual Insurance Company and Centennial Insurance Company entered by the New York Supreme Court entered on September 14, 2010. The NJ Division of Workers' Compensation has directed that 120 active cases now pending are stayed until further notice.

For over 3 decades the Law Offices of Jon L. Gelman 1.973.696.7900 have been representing injured workers and their families who have suffered work related accident and injuries.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Using the Forbidden Words-Texas Workers Compensation

The Texas Workers Compensation Agency has sent a cease-and-desist letter to to the author of the Texas Workers Compensation Law Blog requesting that he stop using the term(s), "Texas Workers Compensation" in his blog. The Lubbock, Texas workers compensation lawyer has filed a lawsuit in federal court alleging violation of his First Amendment rights have been violated.

The Texas Labor Code s 419.002 prohibits  “any impersonation, advertisement, solicitation, business name, business activity, document, product or service.” The Texas blog author, who has sought declaratory relief,  has alleged that the statute is overly broad and violates his Right to Free Speech. The blogger is certified in Workers' Compensation Law from the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

John Burton Reports That The Workers Compensation Insurance Industry Underwriting Results Continue to Improve in 2013

The current issue of the Workers’ Compensation Resources Research Report examines the profitability of the workers’ compensation insurance industry in 2013 as reported by A.M. Best. The operating ratio, which is the most comprehensive measure of underwriting results because it considers investment income, decreased from 93.7 in 2012 to 82.9 in 2013.. An operating ratio of less than 100 indicates that the workers’ compensation insurance industry is profitable, and thus the industry was profitable in 2013. The operating ratio of 82.9 in 2013 means the industry earned $17.10 of profits for every $100 of net premiums. Since 1993, the workers’ compensation insurance industry has been profitable in 17 of the 20 years – all but 2001, 2002, and 2011.

This issue provides for the first time information on profitability of the workers’ compensation insurance industry at the state level relying on data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Of the eight states examined in the article, only two had underwriting profits (combined ratios were less than 100), but in six of these states, workers’ compensation carriers had profits after investment income was included.

Download an order form for Issue 8 of the WCRRR here.

*John F. Burton, Jr. is Professor Emeritus in the School of Management and Labor Relations (SMLR) at Rutgers University and Professor Emeritus in the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University. He is a Member of the Study Panel on National Data on Workers’ Compensation of the National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI). Burton previously served as Dean of SMLR and as a faculty member at Cornell University and the University of Chicago. He has a law degree and a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Michigan.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Campaign for Centennial Workers Compensation Postage Stamp

A national campaign to petition the US Postal Service to issue a Workers' Compensation commemorative postage stamp. The stamp images above was issued in 1961 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the national patchwork of systems comprising US workers' compensation.

Click here for more information on how Jon L Gelman can assist you in a claim for workers' Compensation claim benefits. You may e-mail Jon  Gelman or call 1-973-696-7900.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Conference- The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire and its Legacy: Out of the Smoke and the Flame

The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire and its Legacy
March 24, 2011; 9 a.m. — 6:30 p.m.
CUNY Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY, 10016
Registration is Free and Open to the Public

Program Click here for a printable PDF version9 – 9:15 a.m. Musical performance from the dramatic oratorio From the Fire

Kris Kukul, pianist Matt Carr Emily Mattheson
Shaunice Alexander Carrie Crow Alicia Olatuja
Catherine Brookman Roe Hartrampf Aaron Schroeder

Music by Elizabeth Swados,

9:15 – 9:25 a.m. Welcome

William Kelly, President, Graduate School & University Center, CUNY
Gregory Mantsios, Executive Director, The Murphy Institute, CUNY
Christine Quinn, Speaker, New York City Council

9:25 – 10:45 a.m. Plenary: The Political Significance and Present Day Legacy of the Triangle Fire

Moderated by Paula Finn, New Labor Forum, The Murphy Institute, CUNY

The Triangle Fire in its Historical Context
Steve Fraser, New Labor Forum, The Murphy Institute, CUNY

From Fire to Ashes: The Changed Contemporary Political Landscape
Frances Fox Piven, Graduate Center, CUNY

The Unfinished Business of Triangle Protest: Challenges and Possibilities Confronting Labor Today
Sarita Gupta, National Executive Director, Jobs with Justice

11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Concurrent Panels

Global Perspectives on Sweatshops (LAWCHA)
Beth English, Princeton University; Mary Frederickson, Miami University; Judy Gearhart,* International Labor Rights Forum; Robert Ross, Clark University

Why No Fire This Time? Acquiescence and Resistance in Politics Today
Liza Featherstone, Journalist; Steve Fraser,* New Labor Forum, Murphy Institute, CUNY; Gerry Hudson, Executive Vice President, SEIU; Stephen Pimpare, NYU

Memorializing the Past: Using Memorials and Monuments to Teach NY History
Wendy Aibel-Weiss, Director of Exhibits and Education, Tribute WTC Visitors Center; Julie Maurer,* The Gotham Center for NYC History, Graduate Center, CUNY; Christopher Moore, Historian; Ruth Sergel, Artist; Brian Tolle, Artist; Suzanne Wasserman,* The Gotham Center for NYC History, Graduate Center, CUNY; Maribeth Whitehouse, Teacher, I.S. 190, Bronx, NY

Labor and Immigration Politics: Past and Present
Muzaffar Chishti, Migration Policy Institute, NYU; Janice Fine, Rutgers University; Ruth Milkman,*Graduate Center, The Murphy Institute, CUNY; Mae Ngai, Columbia University

Labor Standards and the State
Melvyn Dubofsky, SUNY Binghamton; Terri Gerstein, Deputy Commissioner of Labor for Wage Protection and Immigrant Services, NYS Department of Labor; Rory Lancman, NY State Assemblyman and Chair of the Subcommittee on Workplace Safety; Ed Ott,* The Murphy Institute, CUNY

Grassroots Organizing for Workers’ Health and Safety Today
Luzdary Giraldo,* New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health; Barbara Rahke, Philadelphia Area Project on Occupational Safety and Health; Richard Witt, Rural and Migrant Ministry

Art and Working-Class Movements
Esther Cohen, Artist, Cultural Organizer; Ellen Todd,* George Mason University; Clyde Valentin, Hip Hop Theater Festival

Combating Domestic Sweatshops, a Roundtable (LAWCHA)
Eileen Boris,* University of California, Santa Barbara; Narbada Chhetri, Senior Community Organizer, Adhikaar for Human Rights and Social Justice, NYC; Jocelyn Gill-Campbell, Domestic Workers United;Premilla Nadasen, Queens College, CUNY

12:30 – 1:30 p.m. Lunch Break

1:30 – 2:45 p.m. Plenary: The Global Sweatshop

Moderated by Ruth Milkman, Graduate Center, The Murphy Institute, CUNY

The Economic Role of the Global Sweatshop
Saskia Sassen, Columbia University & London School of Economics

Workers’ Resistance in the Chinese Sweatshop
Ching Kwan Lee, University of California Los Angeles

Protecting Workers’ Rights in the Global Economy
Jennifer Gordon, Fordham University School of Law

Worker Protest Today in Bangladesh
Kalpona Akter, Secretary General & Executive Director of the Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidarity

3 – 4:30 p.m. Concurrent Panels

Garment Unionism and the Garment Industry: From Triangle to Today
May Chen,* former Vice-President Workers United, currently The Murphy Institute, CUNY; Richard Greenwald, Drew University; Katie Quan, former organizer for ILGWU, currently UC Berkeley; Andrew Ross, NYU

Teaching the Triangle Fire: A Conversation (LAWCHA)
Hillary Broder, Kennedy High School, Bellmore-Merrick, N.Y.; Carmelina Cartei, Women and Gender Studies Program at Hunter College, CUNY; Tara Finneran, Bronx Arts Ensemble Teaching Artist; Rob Linné,* Adelphi University; Sharon Papp, Adelphi University; Kimberly Schiller, Huntington Public Schools, N.Y.

Child Labor: Then and Now (LAWCHA)
Sally Greenberg, National Consumers League; Hugh D. Hindman, Appalachian State University; Kriste Lindenmeyer, University of Maryland Baltimore County; Laura Lovett,*University of Massachusetts

Global Sweatshops and International Solidarity: The Case of Bangladesh
Babul Akhter, Secretary of the Bangladesh Garments and Industrial Workers Federation; Mitch Cahn,President of Unionware; Bjorn Claeson, Sweatfree Communities, International Labor Rights Forum; Mark Levinson,* Workers United, SEIU

Feminism, Low-Wage Workers, and Organized Labor
Ileen DeVault,* School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Cornell University; Susan Feiner, Francis Perkins Center & University of Southern Maine; Annelise Orleck, Dartmouth College

OSHA at 40: From Triangle to Today
Eric Frumin,* Change To Win; Gerald Markowitz, Graduate Center, CUNY; David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration; Peg Seminario, AFL-CIO

The Legacy of Triangle and Youth Labor Organizing in the US
Laura Binger, Food AND Medicine; Theresa Cheng, United Students Against Sweatshops; Jennifer Polish, STAND, Queens College, CUNY; Andres Puerta,* American Federation of Television and Radio Artists

Could Triangle Happen Today?
Peter Amato, Safety Consultant and former president of the NY chapter of American Society of Safety Engineers; Matt Connor, NYFD and The Murphy Institute, CUNY; Robert Solomon, National Fire Protection Association

4:45 – 6:30 p.m. Closing Plenary: The Contemporary Legacy of the Triangle FireModerated by Joshua Freeman, Graduate Center, The Murphy Institute, CUNY

What is the Triangle Legacy?
Alice Kessler-Harris, Columbia University

From the Triangle Fire to the BP Explosion: Protecting Workers Today
David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA

Organized Labor and the Challenges of the Twenty-First Century
Bruce Raynor, President, Workers United, SEIU

* Panel Chairperson
7 – 8:30 p.m. Gotham Center for NY History Plenary Discussion
(Separate Free Registration Required)

Rich Greenwald, Drew University
Annelise Orleck, Dartmouth College
Ellen Todd, George Mason University
Jennifer Guglielmo, Smith College
David Von Drehle (Author)
Ruth Sergel (Artist, Organizer, Remember The Fire Coalition)

To Follow: Book signing of Arcadia Press’ The New York City Triangle Factory Fire