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Workers Comp + Tennessee Legislature = Small Biz Doom


Tennessee Legislature Workers Comp Mistake

Graphic Of Tennessee Legislature State Of Capitol

A highly controversial piece of legislation just went into effect due to the Tennessee Legislature’s severe error. The error was due to the state trying to over-regulate the Workers Compensation insurance industry. On January 1, 2010 the small business people of Tennessee will bear the brunt of their error.

The Tennessee Legislature tried to rectify the situation where uninsured subcontractors in the construction industry had employees that were left uncovered for workers comp in case of an on-the-job accident. The legislators should have beefed up the ability of insurance companies to audit these companies. This would have fixed the situation in short order.

What the legislature passed in 2008 was a travesty for businesses. Sole proprietors and the very small businesses in Tennessee are going to pay up to 50% of their earnings in Workers Compensation premiums. At one time, companies with six or fewer employees were exempt from having to provide Workers Comp coverage.

Picture Employee with Head in Hands at His Desk Tennessee Legislature WC Mistake

The moral of this article is that the legislatures in any state should bring in Workers Comp expert witnesses before writing and passing such horrendous laws. There are so many intricacies such as this example where trying to correct a problem causes a much worse one. The Tennessee Legislature even had a chance to correct the law in 2009, but let it stand as passed in 2008.

I sometimes receive questions such as “Why do I write about one state’s Workers Compensation situation?” My answer is that what happens in one state can happen in yours very easily. I have seen similar types of errors made in West Virginia, California, Oklahoma, North Carolina, and many other states. Calling in Workers Compensation expert witnesses to testify will avoid these situations in the future.

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James J Moore - Workers Comp Expert

Raleigh, NC, United States

About The Author...

James founded a Workers’ Compensation consulting firm, J&L Risk Management Consultants, Inc. in 1996. J&L’s mission is to reduce our clients’ Workers Compensation premiums by using time-tested techniques. J&L’s claims, premium, reserve and Experience Mod reviews have saved employers over $9.8 million in earned premiums over the last three years. J&L has saved numerous companies from bankruptcy proceedings as a result of insurance overpayments.

James has over 27 years of experience in insurance claims, audit, and underwriting, specializing in Workers’ Compensation. He has supervised, and managed the administration of Workers’ Compensation claims, and underwriting in over 45 states. His professional experience includes being the Director of Risk Management for the North Carolina School Boards Association. He created a very successful Workers’ Compensation Injury Rehabilitation Unit for school personnel.

James’s educational background, which centered on computer technology, culminated in earning a Masters of Business Administration (MBA); an Associate in Claims designation (AIC); and an Associate in Risk Management designation (ARM). He is a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and a licensed financial advisor. The NC Department of Insurance has certified him as an insurance instructor. He also possesses a Bachelors’ Degree in Actuarial Science.

LexisNexis has twice recognized his blog as one of the Top 25 Blogs on Workers’ Compensation. J&L has been listed in AM Best’s Preferred Providers Directory for Insurance Experts – Workers Compensation for over eight years. He recently won the prestigious Baucom Shine Lifetime Achievement Award for his volunteer contributions to the area of risk management and safety. James was recently named as an instructor for the prestigious Insurance Academy.

James is on the Board of Directors and Treasurer of the North Carolina Mid-State Safety Council. He has published two manuals on Workers’ Compensation and three different claims processing manuals. He has also written and has been quoted in numerous articles on reducing Workers’ Compensation costs for public and private employers. James publishes a weekly newsletter with 7,000 readers.

He currently possess press credentials and am invited to various national Workers Compensation conferences as a reporter.

James’s articles or interviews on Workers’ Compensation have appeared in the following publications or websites:

  • Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS)
  • Entrepreneur Magazine
  • Bloomberg Business News
  • WorkCompCentral.com
  • Claims Magazine
  • Risk & Insurance Magazine
  • Insurance Journal
  • Workers Compensation.com
  • LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites
  • Various trade publications


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