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Workers’ Compensation, More Like Workers’ Complication
November 29, 2016

 

We know you have been inundated with news about workers’ compensation court cases and rates going up, but there is more news. On November 23rd, a Circuit Court judge blocked the 14.5% increase in workers’ compensation rates, which were to go into effect on December 1st. The court ruled that the passing of the workers’ compensation rate increases did not comply with Florida’s Sunshine Laws.

The Sunshine Laws establish a basic right of access to most meetings of boards, commissions and other governing bodies of state and local governmental agencies or authorities. The case was brought before the court by a Miami attorney who represents injured workers and he claimed that the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) and the Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) held multiple secret meetings, minutes were not kept and there was no advance notice to the public. OIR claims it has complied with applicable open meeting and other Sunshine Laws.

At this point there is a lot up in the air, but we know that NCCI plans to appeal the decision and seek a stay pending appeal. If a stay is not granted by December 1st, the rate increase will not take effect as planned. What is not clear is when the appellate court will hear the case and whether either side would want to take this to the Florida Supreme Court. If OIR and NCCI were to prevail, it is uncertain if the 14.5% increase would apply retroactively back to December 1st. What we do know is that there will be more news on this topic, and we will continue to keep you informed.

If you would like to learn more regarding this topic, please reach out to your BKS Advisor at Baldwin Krystyn Sherman Partners at 813.984.3200.