Evolution of Workers Compensation

Comments Off on Evolution of Workers Compensation 26 May 2016


The topic of workers compensation is one of the most discussed in the world. In the United States, it started over 100 years ago. Despite the advances that have been made in this area, it is still something that continues to be discussed. It has been talked about in conferences such as the SIIA Annual Conference. In this conference, Edward Canavan and Chris Mandel talked about the development of workers compensation.

In the American history with respect to workers compensation that started about 100 years ago, there was one key event that marked the start of the evolution, the Triangle Shirtwaist fire that occured in New York. The outrage took place because more than 150 people lost their lives and prompted the families that lost their lives in that incident to seek for the compensation for the workers that lost their lives in that incident. The incident is still a key reference point because the families got only a minimal benefit.

The struggle of workers to push for compensation has undergone major hurdles. Many states have managed to pass compensation laws. The first two states to pass workers’ compensation laws were Wisconsin and Massachusetts. Some of the challenges that employees have undergone has they try to get states to have such laws. The challenge has mainly been due to the constitution being restrictive or limiting workers’ access to the courts.

The struggle continued until workers were given a grand bargain and they could access legal medical treatment and wage loss aids in a no-fault system. The tradeoff was workers being given exclusive remedy protection and there is no need for workers to sue their employers in civil courts.

The evolution has gained some ground though there are some challenges. In some states, courts have given room for employers to challenge on the grounds that the law was not constitutional. This is the case in the state of Florida, and the courts base their argument that the laws were no longer legal on their surface because the removal of benefits by using the statutory reforms that undermine the grand giveaway of workers’ compensation.

In Oklahoma, courts have allowed a challenge because of the statutory language. Others have room for exceptions to the exclusive solution based on certain exceptions. They also allow constitutional challenges to specific components of their workers’ compensation systems including challenges to utilization in California.

Though the workers’ compensation has seen some major gains over the years, there are still a lot of challenges that it faces. The challenges are from their employers and the law. There has been significant progress, and there is a lot to be done. Claimwire is one of the websites you can get to read more on workers’ compensation.

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