Big Win for Injured Workers

By: James R. Burn, Jr.

In recent years, many large corporations and insurance companies have been conspiring to write legislation—state-by-state—that would allow for employers to “opt out” of state workers’ compensation. These opt out laws would allow employers to write their own workers’ compensation laws.

Workers’ compensation laws across the country were written to protect injured workers’ rights and access to due process. Some states’ laws are better than others, however, because some states have handed over the ability to write Workers’ Compensation laws to the companies. This is like giving the fox the keys to the henhouse.

Early attempts in the State of Oklahoma created an incentive for companies and insurance companies to take these laws to other states in order to see if they could enact them, further restricting employee’s rights across the United States.

Studies clearly showed that the types of laws which employers were writing were incredibly restrictive on employees. The plans normally showed much lower benefits and fewer rights for the injured worker, which directly contradicts the humanitarian purposes of most workers’ compensation acts including the act here in Pennsylvania.

States have begun to strike down these restrictive and oppressive laws. The most recent court to do so was the Supreme Court of the State of Oklahoma, one of the states where these attempts began.

Please know that, despite recent State Supreme Court victories which is struck down such oppressive laws, we are fighting an enemy with unlimited financial resources. They will continue to attempt to find ways to write legislation and create difficulties, roadblocks, and obstacles for injured workers to get to just compensation they deserve. This firm will continue to fight with others in Pennsylvania and across the nation to prevent that from happening.