skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

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

Colleges see big drop in foreign-language enrollment; Kentucky advocates say it's time to bury medical debt; Young Farmers in Michigan hope the new farm bill will include key benefits regarding land access.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

The White House presses for supplemental Ukraine aid. Leaders condemn antisemitic attacks during Gaza ceasefire protests. Despite concerns about the next election, one Arizona legal expert says courts generally side with voters and democracy.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Congress has iced the Farm Bill, but farmer advocates argue some portions are urgent, the Hoosier State is reaping big rewards from wind and solar, and opponents react to a road through Alaska's Brooks Range, long a dream destination for hunters and anglers.

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
The Mecca Hills, southeast of the Coachella Valley, are part of the proposed Chuckwalla National Monument. (Bureau of Land Management)

Social Issues

play sound

California tribes are headed to the White House Tribal Nations Summit tomorrow, where they will ask Congress and the Biden administration to create …


Environment

play sound

A new report shows Maine is exceeding the home-heating goals set forth in its ambitious four-year climate plan to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions…

Social Issues

play sound

By India Gardener / Broadcast version by Nadia Ramlagan reporting for the Kent State-Ohio News Connection Collaboration. According to Attorney …


According to the Pew Charitable Trusts, more than 400,000 people nationwide received methadone as part of their addiction treatment in 2019. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

Senate lawmakers are soon expected to vote on the Modernizing Opioid Treatment Access Act, legislation introduced this year by Republican Sen…

Health and Wellness

play sound

A new program in Utah wants to help first responders learn to recognize and work through their traumatic life events through horsemanship. This …

Sixteen states have Employment First executive orders, and 32 states have State Agency Administrative policies/regulations in place - all in support of Employment First, according to the APSE. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

play sound

A coalition of Nevada groups is behind a statewide effort to make Nevada an Employment First state. That would align the state with a U.S. Labor …

Social Issues

play sound

Government accountability groups want increased transparency in New York criminal court decisions. This comes after a new report finds only 6% of …

Social Issues

play sound

Fewer college students are taking foreign language courses, and a new report warns this could affect how well students are prepared for a globalized …

 

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