skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Consumer health advocates urge governor to sign bill package; NY protests for Jewish democracy heighten as Netanyahu meets UN today; Multiple Utah cities set to use ranked-choice voting in next election.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

The Pentagon wants to help service members denied benefits under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," advocates back a new federal office of gun violence prevention, and a top GOP member assures the Ukrainian president more help is coming.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

An Indigenous project in South Dakota seeks to protect tribal data sovereignty, advocates in North Carolina are pushing back against attacks on public schools, and Arkansas wants the hungriest to have access to more fruits and veggies.

Workers' Comp Alternative Probed by U.S. Labor Dept.

play audio
Play

Wednesday, May 25, 2016   

SEATTLE - The U.S. Department of Labor is investigating a new method for employers to opt out of state-regulated workers' compensation plans. Seattle-based retailer Nordstrom is one of the proponents of the opt-out system in which employers provide their own compensation to workers hurt on the job.

Larry Shannon, government affairs director at the Washington State Association for Justice, said these new plans have little or no legal oversight and added that, in the end, businesses could pass costs on to taxpayers.

"What happens to these families when they are crushed financially because of a workplace injury? Well, ultimately, the only place that they can turn are to the taxpayers," he said.

Shannon said the string of employers opting out of workers' compensation in several states is a dangerous trend that amounts to a massive subsidy for corporations. Under opt-out plans, compensation for workplace injuries is doled out at the discretion of employers. The U.S. Labor Department has not said when its investigation will conclude.

In a study released this month, the International Association of Industrial Accident Boards and Commissions reported harsh criticism of the alternative compensation plan. The study focused on Oklahoma, where employers can choose opt-out plans over the state-regulated system. In theory, the report said, employers could voluntarily offer more generous benefits than current state plans. However, Shannon said he finds that prospect unlikely in most cases.

"The problem, of course, is that goes back to that inherent conflict of interest," he said. "Every dollar they save in an opt-out plan, every dollar not paid in benefits, every benefit not offered or not paid is a dollar back in their pocket."

Opt-out laws have not yet come to the state of Washington. Here, all workplace injuries must be covered and are subject to oversight under Washington law and the Department of Labor and Industries.

The IAIABC report is online at iaiabc.org.


get more stories like this via email

more stories
Among 12- to 17-year-olds nationwide, 2.08 million or 8.33% report using drugs in the last month. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

play sound

In the wake of the devastating overdose epidemic in North Carolina, the state's Department of Health and Human Services is stepping up to aid …


Social Issues

play sound

In cities across the globe, including the Michigan city of Midland, various organizations are commemorating International Day of Peace today…

Social Issues

play sound

Georgia's young people could shift the political landscape of the state in the near future. New data from the Brookings Institution indicates that …


According to the EPA, tropical storms and hurricanes have become more intense during the past 20 years.(Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

In rural Alabama, where hurricanes and tornadoes are a constant threat, communities often struggle with damage and limited resources for extended …

Social Issues

play sound

A group of West Virginia Democratic delegates is calling for a special session to address West Virginia University's budget shortfall. Del. Evan …

Arborglyphs, or tree carvings, created by Hispanic sheep herders in the Medicine Bow National Forest date back to the early 1900s. (Amanda Castañeda)

Social Issues

play sound

While many Wyomingites of Hispanic descent came from Mexico, there is a lesser-known population from the old Spanish settlements of northern New …

play sound

People in rural America are five times as likely to live in so-called "ambulance deserts," areas far from an ambulance service or station, than those …

Health and Wellness

play sound

The prevalence of Type 2 diabetes is on the rise in Mississippi. About one in seven Mississippians lives with diabetes. Jernard A. Wells, cookbook …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright © 2021