Get Gephardt | Stories - Labor Dept Audit Offers Fixes, Contradictions
Wednesday, April 23 2014, 09:23 AM MDT
Labor Dept Audit Offers Fixes, Contradictions
By Matt Gephardt
Produced by Michelle Poe
Edited by Aaron Colborn
Photography by Brian Morris
(KUTV) Changes are likely coming for Utah workers that are hurt on the job and file a claim for workers’ compensation. A legislative audit of the Labor Commission, which oversees workers’ compensation cases, was ordered after numerous complaints. Those complaints range from it taking too long to resolve cases to accusations that the independent doctors hired by the Labor Commission to review cases are biased in favor of insurance companies.

Utah Senator Wayne Harper called for the audit. Heather Gunnarson is the head-judge that hears Workers’ Compensation cases for the Labor Commission. Both say that they are happy with the results of the legislative audit though they seem to disagree about what the audit actually says.

When asked about the time it takes to resolve a case, Gunnarson said the report shows, "In general, we're operating within time frames." In contrast, Harper said the report shows, "[cases] are not being done in a timely fashion."

When asked about the allegations of bias, Gunnarson said the report revealed, "We are operating without bias." Harper said, "There's a perception of bias."

Both opinions are valid, as the audit does seem to contradict itself.  According to the audit, "one in four [cases] do not meet the division's time standards," though it mentions that times have been improving in recent years.

Also according to the audit, there is zero “evidence" of actual bias by judges or Labor Commission hired doctors. But the report equivocates there is a, "perception of bias," and it reports "potential conflict of interest."

Harper has proposed legislation in response to the audit results that, if passed, would allow the Labor Commission to hire a person to supervise and train the medical personnel as well as judges. Gunnerson says she would gladly take the new employee.

“[The Commission is] very excited about the idea of being able to hire a medical director who can help us with the panels."

The bill is currently working its way through the Utah senate.

(Copyright 2013 Sinclair Broadcasting Group)
Labor Dept Audit Offers Fixes, Contradictions

News Photos & Videos - Submit Your Photos Here

More Gephardt Stories

Get Gephardt: Movers destroy table, refuse to cover damage
Hidden leak costs homeowner, Insurance company refuses to help
Wallet Watch: Workers taking advantage of health care plans
Lender refuses to drop PMI
Wallet Watch: Big ticket items sitting on store shelves, Twitter ads, Seaworld shares
Major retailer refuses to honor warranty claim
Wallet Watch: Treasury department takes fake bills off streets, gas prices
Good question: Has this been a smaller fire season in Utah?
Wallet Watch: e-Cigarettes
Comcast Scam Investigation
Insurance bills for out-of-network hospitals
Late mail delivery investigation
Good Question: How did running with bulls tradition begin?
FedEx fined for drug deliveries, back to school prices rise and Utah unemployment drops further
Yellow Page scammers targeted by FTC
Airline fees, Google looks at security flaws and Microsoft announces layoffs
Comcast in damage control, automaker recalls continue and Hersheys instates a price hike
Illegible finger prints stall adoption
Citigroup pays for mortgage crisis, president pushes infrastructure projects and a new Airbus
Good Question: Why does a soccer ball bend?
Disabled woman loses benefits because of prepaid funeral plans
FTC Complaint: Amazon got rich off unauthorized in-app purchases
Woman's vehicle seized by police after bogus police report
McNeil trial witness now allegedly a deceitful contractor
RSL fans towed despite paying to park
Costly colonoscopy following a man's belly ache
Good news for job hunters and celebration cost on the rise
Arizona baseball games blacked out in Utah
Gas prices hit six year high, no guns allowed in Target and Google buys Songza
FTC seeks hundreds of millions from T-Mobile for cramming
FTC: T-Mobile made millions with bogus charges
Women's football league leaves supporters hungry, for cookies
Good Question: "Can you be arrested for not paying a debt?"
Cable company stands up customer thrice
L'Oreal's deceptive advertising, GM recalls additional vehicles and new airline threats
Kleargear ordered to pay $300k to Utah couple
Supreme Court rules against internet television streaming company
What to do when winning doesn't pay
Isolation at work, home prices jump and AT&T/DirecTV merger
Bundling delay costs consumer
Airbag recalls, Americans struggle to save and pushing for paid maternity leave
Good Question: "Why do grads wear square-caps and gowns?"
Smartphone kill switch lowers theft, Google encourages girls to code and Harley Davidson goes electric
Auto-warranty company slow to give refunds in Utah, nationwide
GM recall lawsuit, fed talks interest rates and Amazon reveilles new phone
Luggage lost for more than a year
Home construction slows, Dr. Oz testifies and tech companies target home security
Good Question "What if you leave your mail in the box?"
More GM recalls, PF Chang credit issues and Priceline merges with OpenTable
Soccer hooliganing: Scams target fans
Possible gas price spike, beer makers slow the flow and Hobby Lobby's deceptive advertising practices
Glitch shows Medicaid recipient underpaid
Frequent flier changes, Amazon's aggressive negotiations and Subway strikes deal with Keurig
Lender error leaves man with huge student loans
Utah's small business grade, smart phone wallets and Microsoft boasts games at E3
Fine Print Allows Movers Unlimited Time to Deliver
Milk Prices Rise, Amazon's New Payment Method and Job Growth Numbers
Good Question: Is Throwing Out the First Pitch Hard?
GM Recall, Beastie Boy Lawsuit and Americans Finical Happiness
Jewelry Store Balks on Honoring Promised Warranty
Advertise with us!


Pay It Forward
Fresh Living
Family Matters
Road Trippin
Hooked On Utah

Advertise with us!