PNS National Newscast

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the Public News Service (podcast)"
"Hey Google, play the Public News Service podcast"
"Alexa, play Public News Service podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

2020Talks

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Hey Google, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Alexa, play Two-Thousand-Twenty Talks podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - May 6, 2021 


Ahead of Mother's Day, a new survey reveals what pandemic-burdened women really want, and President Biden moves to lift patent restrictions to assist vaccine-strapped countries.


2021Talks - May 6, 2021 


The White House waives COVID vaccine intellectual property rights to aid other nations, the president chides the GOP over the potential ouster of Liz Cheney from her leadership position, and immigration reform heats up.

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

Downloading Audio

Click to download

We love that you want to share our Audio! And it is helpful for us to know where it is going.
Media outlets that are interested in downloading content should go to www.newsservice.org
Click Here if you do not already have an account and need to sign up.
Please do it now, as the option to download our audio packages is ending soon

Opt-out alternatives to state regulated workers' compensation plans have little or no legal oversight, according to a new study. (pixabay)
Opt-out alternatives to state regulated workers' compensation plans have little or no legal oversight, according to a new study. (pixabay)
 By Eric Tegethoff - Producer, Contact
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.

Best Practices