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Workers' Compensation Advisory Council March 7, 2007 minutes
Voting members Stan Daniels Wayne Ellefson Don Gerdesmeier Mike Hickey Mike Wilde for Glen Johnson David Olson Susan Olson for James Cavanaugh Reed Pollack Gary Thaden Andrea Trimble Hart Ray Waldron Voting members absent Julie Schnell Nonvoting members Representative Bob Gunther Nonvoting members absent Senator Tom Bakk Senator Geoff Michel Representative Mike Nelson Staff Kate Berger Scott Brener Debbie Caswell Julie Marquardt Patricia Todd Visitors Buzz Cummins; WCRA Mike De Rosa; IBT/BMWE Steve Hollander; MARP Todd Johnson; WCRA Karl Knutsen; IBT/BMWE Matthew Lemke; Winthrop & Weinstein Bob Lund; State Fund Mutual Andy Morrison; Koll-Morrison Charlie Olson; USW Robert Otos; Alaris Group/MARP Thomas Perkovich; Locomotive Engineers Phillip Qualy; United Transportation Union Dorothy Quick; Columbia Park Medical Group Ed Reynoso; Teamsters Jim Searls; Searls and Associates Scott Sexton; Corvel Pete Thrane; Leonard, Street & Deinard Kelly Wolfe; Leonard, Street David Wulff; MTLA

Commissioner Scott Brener called the meeting to order at 9:35 a.m. Roll was called. A quorum was present. Brener pointed out copies of legislation in the members' packets that had been introduced at the Legislature. There were no legislators present to testify regarding their bills, so Brener offered to include those proposals for consideration as the Workers' Compensation Advisory Council (WCAC) progressed toward an agreement. Brener reviewed nine items, which comprised the WCAC's 2007 legislative proposal. He noted that this proposal would be voted on as a package. Karl Knutsen, IBT/BMWE, spoke as a representative of the railroads. Those workers are covered by the Federal Employers' Liability Act and are, therefore, exempt from Minnesota workers' compensation statutes per Minnesota Statutes §176.041. Medical providers in Minnesota are not aware that the federal railroad workers are excluded and they classify their records as workers' compensation records, which would be available to parties to the workers' compensation claim. Their industry is ruled by tort liability and employers do not have
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Workers' Compensation Advisory Council Minutes


March 7, 2007

the right of access to their medical records. Contractors hired by the railroad call and get the medical records by directly claiming, or implying, that they have access to those records under Minnesota's workers' compensation law. Knutsen asked that guidance for health care providers be provided in Minnesota Rules about how to apply these exceptions. Gary Thaden noted the mining and airlines industries have separate workers' compensation provisions so it is not just the railroad workers in this situation. If this is a good idea, everyone should be involved. Brener agreed to consult with Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) staff members to find out if there was an administrative way to deal with this problem that would be acceptable to the railroads and asked the railroad representatives to call and set up an appointment. Brener called a break for separate caucuses at 9:55 a.m., to review the WCAC legislative proposal. He reconvened the WCAC at 11:16 a.m., and announced that an agreement had been reached. Brener reviewed the revised proposal and distributed copies. A copy of the revised proposal is available online at www.doli.state.mn.us/pdf/wcac_proposal030707.pdf. Don Gerdesmeier made a motion for a roll call vote to approve the WCAC legislative proposal, as amended, with an opportunity for all WCAC members to sign off on the final draft language. Ray Waldron, David Olson and Commissioner Brener agreed to testify in support of the legislative package and to send a letter to the legislators when the bill was introduced. Reed Pollack seconded the motion. The following roll call vote was conducted with unanimous approval of the package as stated and the motion passed. Employee representatives Stan Daniels Wayne Ellefson Don Gerdesmeier Mike Wilde for Glen Johnson Julie Schnell Ray Waldron Employer representatives Andrea Trimble Hart Gary Thaden Susan Olson for James Cavanaugh Reed Pollack Mike Hickey David Olson

Yes Yes Yes Yes Absent Yes

Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Reed Pollack made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 11:22 a.m. Thaden seconded the motion. All voted in favor of the motion and it passed. Respectfully submitted,

Debbie Caswell Executive Secretary dc/s