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4. SAIF ordered to reinstate CEO after replacing him


State-chartered workers compensation insurers may be subject to strict transparency requirements, even in relation to personnel matters, as Oregon’s state insurer learned the hard way.

A Marion County, Oregon, judge ordered SAIF Corp., Oregon’s state-chartered comp insurer, to reinstate terminated CEO John Plotkin on grounds that Salem, Oregon-based SAIF improperly terminated his employment in violation of state open meeting laws. An article about judges order was the fourth most read Workers Compensation story on Business Insurance’s website in 2017.

The ruling voided SAIF’s decision to terminate Mr. Plotkin's employment and entitled him to nearly three years of back pay and retirement benefits, Dana Sullivan, Mr. Plotkin’s attorney, said in an interview with Business Insurance in January 2017.

In a negotiated settlement, Mr. Plotkin would agree to “separation from employment with SAIF effective May 9, 2014, and all claims to litigation would be dismissed,” SAIF said in statement in January. The insurer agreed to a $1.7 million settlement.

“This is not an amount of money we take lightly, but we can assure our policyholders that this will not impact costs or service levels. We look forward to finally putting this behind us and continuing to focus on our mission to help injured workers and make Oregon the safest place to work,” SAIF said.

Mr. Plotkin is now a principal at Sedona, Arizona-based JCP Law & Consulting, and Kerry Barnett serves as SAIF’s CEO.

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