Tennessee Legislature Workers Comp Mistake
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.
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.
©J&L Risk Management Inc Copyright Notice