As I mentioned in my last President's Message, Executive Director Jennifer Comer and I attended the Delaware Trial Lawyers Association Annual Convention from June 6-8 at Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. I gave a presentation on National Workers' Compensation Trends. Our hosts, Ed Carter and Joe Rhoades, introduced us to many of the worker' compensation leaders in Delaware. Jennifer and I spoke with many of them and hope that they become WILG leaders. We also were able to visit with some new friends from Ametros and meet other companies that could possibly become future WILG sponsors and partners. All in all, it was a most worthwhile couple of days.
An incentive for Delaware members to join WILG is that our Northeast Regional Conference will be moving from New York to Philadelphia. It will be held on Friday, December 6 and Saturday, December 7 at the Logan Hotel in Philadelphia. The agenda is almost complete, and all of us at WILG have full confidence that Cathy Surbeck (PA) and Aida Carini (CT) will do an outstanding job developing a great program for our northeast members. We hope that all of you can join us.
The Nominating Committee and Executive Committee recently met. Among the many topics discussed was the appointment of the Convention Chairs for our 25th Annual Convention which will be held at the Boulders from October 5-7, 2020. Roger Finderson (IN), Cathy Surbeck (PA), and Bob Wisniewski (AZ) are going to be the co-chairs. As this will be our 25th, it was thought that three people will be needed as there will be extra events at the Convention to celebrate.
The next Board of Directors meeting will be held in San Diego at the end of July in conjunction with the AAJ Conference. Our Long Range Planning meeting will take place on July 26 with the Board of Directors meeting on the 27th. We hope that you take this opportunity to come and meet with other WILG leaders and take this opportunity to become more involved with WILG.
WILG members have also been quoted in a national media, presenting the workers' point of view on important issues in workers' compensation. Treasurer Malcomb Crosland was quoted in WorkCompCentral.com speaking about the misguided legislation that was proposed in Ohio in which its State Board do not provide for benefits for undocumented workers. It is unfair for companies to benefit from the work provided by undocumented workers yet try to prevent them from receiving workers' compensation benefits. Additionally, this would incentivize employers to hire undocumented workers as they would not have to provide them with workers' compensation benefits.
Long-time FECA Section Chair, Steve Brown, discussed a report that was issued by the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General criticizing the U.S. Postal Service for not reducing the amount of opioids provided to injured USPS workers in relation to other federal workers. The timeframe included in the study was prior to the adoption of OWCP rules pertaining to opioid use in May, 2017. Steve pointed out that there was a 31 percent decrease in in the number of opioid users since then. Steve commented that OWCP has done a good job of reducing the amount of opioids provided to its injured workers. WILG also provided background information and comment to Business Insider on medical devices. It is good to see that the national media is continuing to look to WILG to present the injured workers' perspective on important issues in workers' compensation.
In addition to our July meetings in San Diego, Secretary Mack Babcock will be speaking at the Montana Governor's Conference taking place in Big Sky, MT August 21-23 and I will be going to the Maine Workers’ Comp Summit on August 26. In both cases, we will be presenting the WILG perspective on workers' compensation rules and trends. Please let us know if WILG can provide its speakers for your state's organization. We have a national perspective that advocates for injured workers find useful and enlightening.
As you can see, there is much going on with WILG throughout the summer. Please let us know how we can be of assistance to you.
Gerber & holder
16 Lenox Pointe
atlanta, Georgia 30324
Click here to read President Tom Holder's President's Messages
Click here to read President Amie C. Peters President's Messages
Click here to read Immediate Past President's Messages by Michael K. Gruber