It came in the mail this morning. It was an anonymous note, explaining that the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services “Proof of Coverage Search” system was used to identify and locate businesses, within Oregon, that have an active workers' compensation insurance policy with SAIF Corporation. The note emphasized that this is publicly available data, and that no laws or policies were violated in the retrieval of that information.

The envelope also contained a letter – a letter purportedly being sent to those SAIF customers identified in the Proof of Coverage search. The letter explains to the customers of SAIF that their help is needed to bring ethical leadership to SAIF Corporation.


The document lists several news articles, and refers them to published files and articles here on It mentions the financial consequences of the improper firing of CEO John Plotkin, and points out that these consequences could affect the premiums they pay. And it asks them to help get that states Governor off his ass on the issue (my words, not the letters), saying “We don't want SAIF to become like Cover Oregon before he will step in to do his job!”

You may view the copy of the letter I received here.

I checked the Proof of Coverage page on the Consumer and Business Services website at Fundamentally the anonymous author is correct. It is unwieldy, but by searching specific cities you can gain a list of all companies in those municipalities with active workers' comp insurance policies. I very quickly identified 10 businesses with SAIF policies using that system.

Now, if I am being completely honest, if I were a disgruntled SAIF employee (and they have a few of those) with access to that info, it would be much easier to take it as a usable database, and then point to this publicly available info and insist I retrieved it there. I have no evidence that this is what actually happened, so I take the author on face value that the state online system was indeed used.

Freakin' brilliant, actually, yet potentially devastating for the company itself. Taking this issue to the customer who is paying for the freak show is the fastest way to get the attention employees have been crying out for. There is an element of trust built into any insurance policy purchase. A business that buys that policy has to believe that the company backing it up has the strength and integrity to cover potential losses as promised. They are expected to do the right thing. When that integrity is challenged or damaged, it brings the entire validity of the operation into question.

The current leaders of SAIF have no one to blame but themselves for this. Their actions, terminating a man with no due process over allegations now known to be largely fabricated, and repeatedly failing to acknowledge the mistake and correct it, directly brings the integrity of the organization into question. The Interim CEO, members of the Executive Council, the Board of Directors, the Department of Justice, and the Governor are all directly responsible here. It is their decision process, their choices that have left an indelible stain on the integrity of the agency.

And now their customers are being told directly that there is no ethical leadership at SAIF Corporation. That is not an inspiring or confidence building message. Certainly not one the marketing department wants to have to contend with. It is another problem for an agency reeling from recent events. Let us hope this isn't just one more problem they pretend not to notice.


For a list of Bob’s other SAIF/Plotkin articles (as well as a couple old AASCIF articles that get picked up in the search), Click here.

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