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A Look at Your Plan’s Coordination of Benefits Provisions

‘Happy’ New Year?  If you are an Alabama fan, it certainly is. While the Crimson Tide’s domination may frustrate those of us who are not rolling the tide, there is no denying the team’s process for winning involves a great defense. Those on any Texas injury benefit program team (Dallas Cowboys: I’m looking at you here, too), can utilize a great defense.

Let’s begin 2021 by studying your work-injury program’s legal and conceptual basis for “defending” the integrity of an occupational injury benefit plan while also protecting the viability and intent of federal benefit programs.  

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CASE LAW UPDATES

Many businesses use electronic onboarding for employees. Companies with Texas injury benefit plans are increasingly using electronic onboarding for applying arbitration policies to negligence liability disputes that Texas employees could bring for Texas work-related injuries. PartnerSource is monitoring a case reviewed by the Texas Supreme Court, Aerotek, Inc. v Boyd, No. 05-18-00579-CV (Tex. App. – February 25, 2020), regarding electronic onboarding of arbitration policies for Texas employees.

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In Ortiz v. Builders First Source S. Tex. LP,  2020 WL 7711294, *__ (Tex. App. – Houston [14th Dist.] Dec. 29, 2020, no pet.), the Court of Appeals for the 14th District of Texas denied Ortiz’s request to add pre-judgment interest and costs to his favorable arbitration award. Ortiz’s claims were arbitrated under the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) and governed by the American Arbitration Association’s Employment Arbitration Rules and Mediation Procedures. In this matter, the arbitrator awarded Ortiz compensatory damages and post-judgment interest for an injury he claimed to have sustained while employed by Builders FirstSource (“Builders”), a nonsubscribing employer. The arbitrator did not award pre-judgment interest and denied Ortiz’s motion to modify the award noting that under AAA’s rules, an arbitrator may not redetermine the merits of a decided claim but may only address errors in computation or typographical errors.

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PARTNERSOURCE NEWS & EVENTS

Jennifer Hurless, president of PartnerSource, and Bill Minick, chairman of PartnerSource, will present a 2021 Update on Texas Injury Benefit Programs to the Dallas Bar Association’s meeting of the Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Section via Zoom on January 21.

This program will discuss recent, major industry developments for Texas injury benefit programs, which are subject to ERISA and cover over one million Texas employees as a competitive, high-performing alternative to workers' compensation.  

Included in this update will be:

  • Components of Texas Injury Benefit Programs
  • Market Overview
  • Top Five Improvements to Texas Injury Benefit Programs
  • Highlights from the 2020 Program Performance Report
  • The Important New QCARE Designation and Its Standards 

When: Thursday, January 21, 2021, at 12 p.m. Noon CST

To learn more or to sign up, please visit: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_rlnf5qqwTI-hudEmqLa_Ow

Please share this information with any of your colleagues who are attorneys, as they may want to attend.

She will don a Batman mask for a PartnerSource video, cheer on soccer teams in the freezing cold, and bring a smile or laugh to anyone she meets. Her fun, outgoing spirit is just part of the warm, driven individual that is vice president of Partnership Services at PartnerSource. Get to know Nan Dillon. 

Meet Nan Dillon...

2021 Texas Legislative Session Begins

On January 12, both the Texas House and Senate gaveled in to begin the 87th regular legislative session. Roughly 1,300 bills have been filed so far, and thousands more are expected. The government relations team at ARAWC (Association for Responsible Alternatives to Workers’ Compensation) will remain intimately involved and will issue updates, including sending regular bill tracking, throughout the session. Texas nonsubscription will face challenges and opportunities in 2021 at both the state and federal levels. To help ensure the sustainability and success of your Texas injury benefit program, join ARAWC [link to attachment].  All 2019 and 2021 Texas legislative updates are available on the Members section of the ARAWC website.

PartnerSource Employers' Conference 2021

Planning is underway for the PartnerSource Employers' Conference 2021, an in-person event to be held October 1-2. Mark your calendars for sponsor and exhibitor registration, which will open February 1!

Reminder:

DWC005/205 Filings will be due on April 30, 2021. Your PartnerSource team coordinator will be contacting you soon for an updated location list.



Janice Van Allen named Comp Laude’s 2020 Risk Professional of the Year

Congratulations to Janice Van Allen for being recognized as Comp Laude’s 2020 Risk Professional of the Year, an award announced at the annual Comp Laude Awards and Gala Virtual Event on December 3. In her role as senior director of worker’s compensation at Walmart Claims Services, Van Allen’s experience and knowledge practically go unmatched, as she is responsible for managing the workplace injuries for more than 1.5 million associates. To learn more about Janice’s selflessness and generosity, and the background of this inspiring professional of color who rose from poverty to lead the largest workers’ compensation program in the country, see Van Allen’s video interview.



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