Background

Employers "Opting Out" of State Workers' Compensation Systems

Posted By Recalde Law Firm || 30-Mar-2016

United States Labor Secretary Thomas Perez states that there is an investigation regarding “opt out” alternatives to workers’ compensation. In Texas, an employer can be a subscriber to the state workers’ compensation system or a non-subscriber. Labor Secretary Perez states that the investigation of the Labor Department focuses on employer workers’ compensation practices in Texas and Oklahoma.

Many companies have chosen to go to a non-subscriber status. This means, rather than purchasing workers’ compensation insurance employers in Texas (and other states) are choosing benefit plans that tend to offer less benefits to an injured worker when they suffer an on the job injury. The US Labor Secretary indicates that he believes these opt out programs really create a “pathway to poverty” for injured workers.

In Texas if you have suffered an on the job injury, you have 30 days to report it to your employer under the Texas Workers’ Compensation System. This may seem like a significant amount of time. However, sometimes with repetitive trauma injuries or in situations where injured workers mistake a serious injury for a strained muscle- it may take this long to determine that an injured worker has suffered an injury. The 30 days reporting period ensures that the injured worker is allowed to ensure that he or she has in fact suffered an injury.

Secretary Perez reports that some of the “opt – out” plans require that injured workers report an injury within 24 hours or by the end of their shifts. The failure of an injured worker to report the injury within this short time span can be used by companies to deny the injured worker all benefits.

For the full article on the US Labor Secretary’s Interview and additional information go to http://www.ktoo.org/2016/03/25/labor-secretary-calls-workers-comp-opt-plans-pathway-poverty/

If you have questions regarding your employer and their workers’ compensation coverage. Contact The Recalde Law Firm, we are ready to answer any questions you might have regarding your work related injury.