Castillo: Don't Forget the Injured Workers
Wednesday, August 28, 2019 | 269 | 0 | min read
As our country looks to celebrate the achievements of the labor movement this weekend, along with the hard work Americans put in every day, we remind everyone to remember those who get injured on the job.
They are living with massive delays in obtaining medical care that keep them from returning to the job they need. California has the slowest workers' compensation system, as reported by the Workers Compensation Research Institute last year.
Another report issued by the WCRI this past June compared outcomes for injured workers who have health insurance to those without, and came to the unsurprising conclusion that those with insurance other than workers' comp get faster treatment, are more satisfied with their care and get back to work quicker than those without alternative health insurance.
A third of middle-income Americans don't have the ability to cover an unexpected $400 bill.
More than 720,000 people in greater Los Angeles are classified as severely rent burdened, spending more than 50% of their income on housing.
More than 40% of people experiencing chronic homelessness have some form of physical disability.
These Californians can't afford to get hurt on the job. With our current system, it could spell financial disaster.
Meanwhile, workers' compensation insurers are mounting an attack on cumulative trauma claims — wear-and-tear injuries that accumulate over time — as their profits rise and employer premiums fall.
The labor movement was born of the need to protect workers from corporate greed.
As we celebrate Labor Day, we ask policymakers not to forget injured workers.
Michael Castillo is communications director for the California Applicants' Attorneys Association. This opinion is republished, with permission, from the CAAA website.