worker's compensation

Republicans continue to ignore fraud and abuse by employers

Apparently they're too busy arresting octogenarians for peaceable assembly to worry about the real lawbreakers:

Last year, a News & Observer series revealed that many employers, even in high-hazard industries, fail to provide workers’ compensation coverage to those they employ. In response, N.C. Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin chaired a bipartisan commission focused on figuring out how this was possible and how the state might stop it. So why has the legislature, when faced with a clear course of action that amounts to simply strengthening enforcement of existing law and protecting residents from those who violate it, suddenly stopped paddling forward?

That's pretty simple, really. When you worship at the Church of the Blessed Dollar, the deacons of said church (business owners) can do no wrong. And the more of them that engage in a certain behavior, the more valid it becomes. I'm surprised they haven't tried to solve this problem by simply doing away with the laws in question. Of course, that would probably lead to other laws that would need to be struck off the books:

Injured workers beware: Industrial Commission getting an ideological makeover

And the wrong target will be in their crosshairs:

The shift at the Industrial Commission means more than just new appointments for Republicans. It will likely bring a mind-shift in workers’ compensation cases. Conservatives have long complained that commissioners coddle injured workers, liberally awarding compensation at the expense of businesses and their insurers.

Once again, GOP lawmakers ignore the realities staring them in the face, and clutch their ideological memes instead. It's not the workers who get injured on their jobs trying to "game the system", it's the businesses themselves:

Real worker's compensation reform needed

And that doesn't mean pandering to lobbyists:

The quick fix concerns transparency. Last summer, in response to a Raleigh News & Observer report that as many as 30,000 North Carolina companies did not have required coverage, the General Assembly made most of the data confidential.

Is that how our Legislature should approach widespread systemic problems, by sweeping them under the carpet (or closing the drapes so nobody can see)? Of course not. But aside from the issue of the casual disregard of established law, there are some other very good reasons to bring these companies into compliance:

Harry Payne on worker's comp bill

Injured on the job, injured by the State:

House bill 709, "Protect and Put NC Back to Work," is a shining example of the latest in that dark art where the bill title says one thing and the text of the bill does the opposite. A more accurate title would be "House Bill 709, An Act Pushed by Insurance Companies to Reduce Payments to Workers Permanently Disabled on the Job and to Tilt a Delicately Balanced Legal System Against the Interests of Every Injured Worker."

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