Well, the birds must be chirping and the flowers blooming with color in the vast Peoples Republic of North Dakota, because it appears that a major news provider in that state has finally awakened from its long winter hibernation to acknowledge a potential WSI scandal that has been going on for months. While the main stream media largely slumbered in the PRND, bloggers such as me were talking about a records tampering scandal that was rocking the agency.
Two whistleblowers at the offices of Workforce Safety and Insurance claim that they were asked to alter claimant's records, allegedly to deny those claimants proper payments.
Finally, one of the state's main publications, the Fargo Forum, has stepped forward with a bold opinion; an editorial referring to the allegations as “recent revelations of WSI missteps”.
Missteps? Certainly, if true, altering claim files with the intent to deny benefits would be a misstep. The editorial just fails to acknowledge what the agency might be “misstepping” in. I find it interesting that this whole affair, which seems on the surface to be potentially far more sordid and evil than the last scandal that rocked that state, when Sandy Blunt bought soda for his employees, can barely gain acknowledgment from the establishment there. Never wanting to disappoint, the people of the PRND once again turn standard logic on its head, and continue to confound the rest of the country. I think even toilet water must swirl the opposite direction in that state.
It is clear that there are good people in the PRND, and that those good people are not getting the full news from their government or their media. Therefore, I have, as a public service, developed a useful list that should help people who have been injured in that state. Following is my “Top Ten Ways to Know You Are a North Dakota Injured Worker”:
- The First Report of Injury includes a Loyalty Oath
- Your claim records are stored on an Etch O’ Sketch
- The agency refers to it as a “tablet computing device”
- If you receive benefits, it is referred to as “winning the lottery”
- Your adjuster cautiously looks around, shows you a $5 Applebee’s gift card, tells you she got it from her boss for good performance, and blurts out “for Christ’s sake, DON’T TELL ANYONE!”
- That adjuster disappears. The body is never found.
- Your Insurance carrier subscribes to the CEO of the Month Club
- Background music at the claim office is Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries”
- The sign over your adjusters desk reads “Arbeit wird euch frei machen” (Work will make you free)
- Any appeal filed with the agency must begin with “Thank You Dear Leader”