Alternatives to Workers’ Compensation: Responsible or Reprehensible?

Apr 28, 2015 | WC & Other Laws


One of the best things about workers’ compensation insurance is the fact that almost every state requires corporations to carry it. That means any worker almost anywhere in the country, if injured on the job, is entitled to benefits Denver disability lawyers and Greeley workers’ comp attorneys help their clients access to their greatest advantage. A new lobbying group called the Association for Responsible Alternatives to Workers’ Compensation—ARAWC—is working toward changing the rule and allowing bigger corporations to provide their own alternative to workers’ compensation insurance.

Lobbyist so-called advocate groups often mean larger varieties of solutions to problems that can be regulated on a state or government level. The good in allowing corporations to decide for themselves what kind of compensation for injured workers is necessary creates, in theory, a more varied process for different companies. A company can choose a program that works for itself, taking into consideration factors like the type of business it runs, what level of risk is generally seen for injured workers, and whether certain programs like wage reimbursement or funeral benefits are cost effective and even necessary. The separate state systems mean, in theory, this kind of customization on the state level versus federal but splitting the system into a kind of corporate choice is arguably a natural continuation of this line of thought.

Related: Things Colorado Injured Workers Do (Without Knowing It) To Cause Insurance Companies To Deny Their Claims

The complicated thing about workers’ compensation insurance for Denver workers’ compensation attorneys is how it differs from state to state. However, on the state level, the rules are the rules. One company that provides workers’ compensation insurance is responsible for providing the same level of service to its employees as another in the same state. The division of workers’ compensation remains the same no matter the company where a worker is injured.

In Texas, the state law allows for companies to provide their own form of workers’ compensation instead of the state one and over half of the company plans provide no compensation for families whose loved ones are killed as a result of workplace accidents. While this may make sense to any number of companies with little to no death risk on the job, accidents are by definition unpredictable and denying a grieving family any aide in terms of funeral expenses for a loved one killed on the job seems a bit far, even when the benefit is a smaller corporate cost for workers’ compensation insurance. A bill in Tennessee which was sponsored by a senator of that state and proposed by ARAWC gave employers carte blanche where it comes to injured employees’ artificial limbs, funerals, or home care resulting from a workplace accident leading to serious injury. These kinds of exceptions are a bit more difficult to justify.

Many people in the United States spend over 40 hours in the workplace. It is in the best interest of everyone to make the workplace as comfortable and safe a place to be as any, particularly when workplace injuries happen in all career fields and can necessitate anything from time off work for physical therapy to surgeries and more. Customization of workers’ compensation insurance from company to company may be the wave of the future but whether the benefit extends more to workers or corporate bottom lines is highly questionable.