Door creaks open further.Last fall's congressional victories by Democrats open the door further for the feds to regulate workers' compensation workers' compensation, payment by employers for some part of the cost of injuries, or in some cases of occupational diseases, received by employees in the course of their work. . Washington will not seek outright control; it is not even directly interested in workers' comp. But their electoral and legislative ambitions will encourage the Democrats to expand work disability safeguards. This could trigger the most sweeping increase in workers' comp protections since a federal commission in the 1970s scared many states into reforms.
Congressional Democrats appear intent on passing an immigration reform Immigration reform is the common term used in political discussions regarding changes to immigration policy. In a certain sense, reform can be general enough to include promoted, expanded, or open immigration, but in reality discussions of reform often deal with the aspect of bill with a strong guest-worker provision, and on strengthening the terrorism insurance Terrorism insurance is insurance purchased by property owners to cover their potential losses and liabilities that might occur due to terrorist activities.
It is considered to be a difficult product for insurance companies, as the odds of terrorist attacks are very backstop program, initially enacted by Congress in late 2002.
The Senate favors immigration reform to increase the legal supply of foreign workers foreign workers
Those who work in a foreign country without initially intending to settle there and without the benefits of citizenship in the host country. Some are recruited to supplement the workforce of a host country for a limited term or to provide skills on a . The new House leadership appears to endorse this approach, one that the White House has wanted all along. Most of the 7.5 million illegal workers would be allowed to stay, within the confines of a guest-worker program.
This program gives to these workers full workers' comp protections. It will sweep away Verb 1. sweep away - eliminate completely and without a trace; "The old values have been wiped out"
destroy, destruct - do away with, cause the destruction or undoing of; "The fire destroyed the house"
2. a clutter of prohibitions and unintended barriers caused by law or court precedent in many states. And it will make it illegal for guest workers to be other than an employee: i.e., independent contractor A person who contracts to do work for another person according to his or her own processes and methods; the contractor is not subject to another's control except for what is specified in a mutually binding agreement for a specific job. status will be prohibited. This measure is designed to eliminate gray labor markets. It affords these workers more protections than many legal workers, including Fed Ex drivers.
I expect the protective impulse of the guest-worker program to penetrate labor markets for millions of legal workers. The state of California got it right in 2006 when it conducted a study of "low-wage immigrant" labor, not just illegal labor. Jobs requiring relatively little education continue to grow in numbers, and risk management for working immigrants is responding. Last year, for example, a construction industry executive proposed that supervisors learn how to speak Spanish, rather than expect workers to speak English well enough to take instructions.
TRIA TRIA Terrorism Risk Insurance Act of 2002
TRIA Term Requirement in Average
On another note, it is not widely understood how expansion of workers' comp benefits sits like a time bomb within the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act The Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) is a United States federal law signed into law by President George W. Bush on November 26, 2002. The Act created a federal "backstop" for insurance claims related to acts of terrorism. of 2002, and its extension in 2005. I inferred from a conversation I had last year with an influential Democratic representative that Congress may begin to pay more attention to holes in coverage for work-related terrorist losses.
The next major terrorist act may involve biological agents. Some covered workers will die, more will be made physically ill and many will suffer mental anguish When connected with a physical injury, includes both the resultant mental sensation of pain and also the accompanying feelings of distress, fright, and anxiety. As an element of damages implies a relatively high degree of mental pain and distress; it is more than mere disappointment, . Estates of those killed will receive death benefits. The physically ill will have to claim disease benefits, typically a torturous legal process. Those with posttraumatic stress disorder Posttraumatic stress disorder
An anxiety disorder in some individuals who have experienced an event that poses a direct threat to the individual's or another person's life. will maybe be precluded from workers' comp awards because their state laws either forbid or discourage "mental" claims.
Sooner or later, a Democratic Congress will conclude that TRIA is good policy only if workers are reasonably assured of having their claims accepted within the workers' comp system. Otherwise, the losses turn into fodder for third-party liability suits. We can see this scenario playing out among the World Trade Center cleanup work force. Congress may write into TRIA a requirement that states expand coverage to meet the real scope of terrorist risk.
PETER ROUSMANIERE, a Vermont-based consultant and writer, is the workers' comp columnist for Risk & Insurance[R]. He can be reached at email@example.com.