In a new
report released by the Labor Department, “working people are at great risk
of falling into poverty,” due to changes in state workers’
comp laws. Because of this, the Labor Department is asking for an exploration
of federal oversight and federal minimum benefits.
NPR, the report states that over the last 10 years, states have implemented
new laws and policies that limit benefits, reduce the likelihood of individuals
successfully filing a workers’ compensation application, and discourage
injured employees from applying for benefits. The report comes after Democratic
lawmakers asked that the Labor Department take action in order to adequately
protect injured workers in the aftermath of workers’ comp laws in
up to 33 states.
This is where federal action comes in. The Labor Department is urging that
officials take a closer look into recommended minimum benefits and oversight
on the workers’ compensation system as a whole. Labor Department
Secretary Thomas Perez said without minimum benefits, the system is “really
putting workers who are hurt on the job on the pathway to poverty.”
By implementing fair and just minimum benefits, the workers’ compensation
system could work to make sure injured employees across the nation would
not be subject to receive lesser benefits simply because they live in
a state where officials drastically slashed workers’ comp costs.
At the very least, this report opens the door for discussion on the possibility
of federal intervention – the report outlines, in detail, the government’s
involvement in boosting the standards for national benefits, spanning
back from 1939.
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experience. Because we believe our clients are deserving of quality representation,
regardless of their financial situation, we take cases on a contingency
fee basis – you don’t pay unless we are able to secure compensation for you.
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