The Way Workers Compensation Operates in Maryland – Updated
It is the way Workers Compensation should work? I could hardly believe my eyes when I read that the Maryland State Senate had passed a bill that will establish a unit with the State Department of Labor allowing labor inspectors to forcibly enter into a business without notice and review their Workers Compensation records.
The supporters of the bill say the bill would allow the state to monitor which businesses are not paying into the state’s workers compensation insurance fund that pays claims. Violators could be fined up to $5,000, under the bill. There are many other ways to track businesses that are not paying Workers Comp premiums. Maryland’s’ government can easily search through computer records of the businesses and then match them to the Workers Comp records. There is no need to have government inspectors bust into businesses like a raid to see what Worker’s Comp records can be found and if they pass some type of litmus test.
I have seen in many states where the governments are trying to figure out which businesses do or do not have Workers Compensation insurance. West Virginia did a very commendable job in searching out and dealing with Workers Comp insurance violators. I remember reading about the Department of Insurance posting signs on the front doors of West Virginia businesses that informed their workers and the public that the company did not have Workers Comp insurance.
How did the Department of Insurance know that these businesses did not have coverage? They matched it to other computer records. Maryland should take note of what West Virginia did to enforce their Workers Compensation requirements.
Opponents of the bill say the measure would allow the state to inspect home-based businesses without notice. I do not think that the inspectors’ jobs would be to barge into a home-based business as the focus would be larger businesses.
The bill now goes to the House of Delegates. Hopefully, they will turn this onerous bill away.
I try to stay very general in the blog except when there is such an unfair development in a certain state that would be very disadvantageous to businesses.
2011 Update – The Bill was not passed – remember to always keep your workers’ comp records up to date using spreadsheets.
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