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Workplace Safety

Debates in the Community: How Differing Opinions in the Virtual and Political Spheres Are Creating More Discussion

By August 1, 2016No Comments

1608-wc-4With change in the air and the politics of the 2016 election polarizing people to extreme views, it’s helpful to understand that radical opinions about anything often have a ripple effect. The Republican party was galvanized by the ideas that liberals have simply failed to step up to the plate, that hand-outs have become too prevalent and that the common person has lost their sense of trust for the government. Now, you’ve likely already noticed that they’re not screaming about workers compensation, but the active people who want change in this sphere take it upon themselves to start using the discussion to their advantage. We’ll show you some recent events that have happened so you can get a sense of the underlying principles of what’s happening within the charged conversations.

From Michigan to California

Disability leave, workers comp, pensions: they may all be covered by an employer. It stands to reason that this could cause some overlap, but how exactly it is meant to overlap can feel a bit murky to decision makers. A Michigan judge recently ruled that it was possible for GM to use disability pensions as a supplement to workers comp costs to help cover the cost of injured workers. This decision was challenged because, while it’s legal for GM to do this, they had previously agreed not to when it came to union workers. While this case may seem specific to GM, it does signify a change and a precedent when it comes to coordinating the two measures, and of course shifts the burden of payment around to different budget lines within the company. In California, comp cases are being decided based on subtle language, which increases the fears of both lawyers, insurance companies and employers. Simply not having the correct contract language could spell big trouble for everyone.

New Ideas, Possible Changes

No one knows how the wind will blow exactly, but there is evidence to suggest the new ideas could weave their way into workers compensation rates. When people on one side live in fear, like currently it may seem like employers do with rates going up and major fraud cases making headlines, there may be a tide shift away from rights to employees. This will hopefully increase personal responsibility and lower rates across the board. However, workers comp, like everything in our political system, has to be all about keeping a balance. Being aware of what’s going on can help you understand where the tipping point is and when it’s crossed. The more you can deduce from national discussions (especially during these upcoming critical times), the better you can keep your wits about you when it comes to going forward.