Younger: The 2021 Employees Comp Zone Quiz| Employees Compensation Information

By Julius Young

Monday, January 25, 2021 | 28 | 0 | min read

Every January the Workers Comp Zone starts the year with a quiz. The quiz gives fortune tellers a chance to learn about likely events and trends we’ll see in the California Workers’ Association over the next year.

Julius Young

Without further ado, take out your crystal ball and have it (note in some cases that there may be more than one correct answer or no correct answers).

1. The effects on workers of Donald Trump’s assumption of presidency by Joe Biden will be:

  • a) Moderate, mainly due to increased compliance with federal health and safety standards.
  • b) Huge as the Biden government is trying to control the pandemic.
  • c) Significant as health care reforms affect employee compensation.
  • d) All of these.
  • e) Negligible.

2. Efforts to create a new medico-legal fee plan for establishing payments to qualified medical assessors will:

  • a) To be finally reached in early 2021 to get broad approval from the QME community.
  • b) Be late again as recent stakeholder comments on the forum persuade the Workers’ Compensation Department to make further changes before a final version is adopted.
  • c) Adopted in early 2021, well received by some stakeholders but not by a significant number of QMEs and payers.
  • d) Create a significant increase in the total QME cost.

3. Proposal 22 was adopted in 2020 and defines an alternative model for gig platform employees. In 2021 we will see:

  • a) Trade unions successfully question the constitutionality of Prop. 22.
  • b) The constitutional contestation of Prop. 22 by Labor fails.
  • c) Other companies and sectors threaten to seek relief within the framework of the initiative procedure if they do not receive exemptions from AB 5.
  • d) Prop. 22 remains in force, but the legislature grants additional exceptions to AB 5.
  • e) The judges of the Appeals Committee for Employee Compensation will examine cases in which the question is whether there is employment for employee compensation purposes in the context of the “ABC test”.

4. In the 2021 legislature in California, employee comp bills will be passed that:

  • a) Limit cumulative trauma claims.
  • b) Also limit the trust fund for consequential loss benefits.
  • c) Extend the COVID assumptions and request employer-funded personal protective equipment.
  • d) Address worker smoke exposure.
  • e) Regulate copy services and record retrieval.
  • f) Combating genetic discrimination and biases based on race-based factors.
  • g) No significant non-COVID invoices will be submitted.

5. By the end of 2021, the pandemic will have the following effects on the workforce:

  • a) The pandemic will largely be over as face-to-face conferences and trials resume, personal medical treatment and assessment resume, and workers essentially return to their offices.
  • b) The pandemic will not be under control as vaccines do not offer the hoped-for immunity to mutations in the virus.
  • c) The pandemic is largely controlled, but many conferences, trials, and deposits continue to be held remotely and many stakeholders continue to work from home.
  • d) Widespread economic distress leads to a further decline in comp claims.
  • e) Layoffs of stakeholders as the pandemic causes some comp stakeholders to lose overheads due to business declines.

6. Big problems for DWC in 2021 will be:

  • a) Continuation of the exodus of QMEs from the system.
  • b) Establishing a revised regulation for the fee schedule for copier services.
  • c) Whether optional video tests, conferences and QME assessments are permitted even after the pandemic has subsided.
  • d) Changes to the rating plan.
  • e) Updating or replacing the electronic adjudication management system.

7. The cost of California employee compensation is:

  • a) Keep going down as claims continue the pandemic-related decline.
  • b) Start to increase as pandemic-related claims prove costly.
  • c) Compensation costs paid by employers begin to rise after years of decline due to increased injuries as the economy recovers.
  • d) Not be affected by cumulative trauma claims as the expected number of such claims will not occur due to pandemic layoffs.

8. The use of telemedicine in the California Workers’ Association will:

  • a) Start to decrease when the need decreases due to the beginning pandemic.
  • b) Stay updated as the pandemic continues to be a cause for concern in 2021.
  • c) The transition to telehealth will remain strong as convenience and increasing technological sophistication make it a preferred option in many cases.
  • d) be subject to increased regulation.
  • e) Integration into the network offering for medical providers for rural areas in order to enable larger pools of available practitioners.

9. An accomplished bettor might say:

  • a) Governor Gavin Newsom will survive a recall attempt.
  • b) Workers ‘Comp is in the news as employers leave California complaining about regulations and Workers’ Comp.
  • c) 2021 will be one of the quietest years for workers as dealing with COVID rules out major developments in the California Workers’ Association.
  • d) The economic and medical pandemic effects on the state and Newsom fatigue tire a successful recall.
  • e) There is growing concern that the ratio of system operating costs to compensation and medical care costs is unsustainable.

10. By the end of 2021 it will be clear that:

  • a) Temporary disability and permanent disability costs increase as workers delay treatment due to COVID.
  • b) The COVID costs for the Comp system were significantly lower than in early projections.
  • c) The Comp community excelled in working through and bypassing the difficulties caused by COVID.
  • d) AB 5 introduced claims into the Comp system that did not previously exist.
  • e) COVID costs are rising and rocking the system.

Bonus: Do you see events / trends for “black swans” on the rise and if so, which ones?

Submit your answers here.

Julius Young is an attorney for candidates and an associate at Boxer & Gerson law firm of Oakland. This column was reprinted from his Workers Comp Zone blog on the company’s website with his permission.

Comments are closed.