Saturday, April 16, 2005

Worker's Comp Rally

Just received an e-mail thru the Redwood Peace and Justice Center's Announcements list advising of a rally in Sacramento protesting the Governor's signing of legislation gutting "worker's rights". Rights, in this case, meaning right to Workmen's Compensation, or whatever.
I don't recall all the details of the legislation in question but I have a problem with the way State Disability and/ or Workmen's Comp actually works, and it's not in sympathy with these folks.

I have no problem with people being compensated for injuries received in the course of their employment. I'll have to say, though, in my entire life I can count on one hand the people I've personally known that have a legitimate work related injury. I've met dozens over the years that claim to have injuries and were living life as usual and, often, in very physical jobs.

Met a guy getting pemanent lifetime social security disability for a supposed bunch of bone problems yet he was working, under the table I assume, as A MAINTENANCE GARDENER! Just a couple months ago one of the other maintenance gardeners told me of a problem she had with one of her past employees: She was going to write all her tax info down but found she couldn't list this employee's salary cause he was on disability and it would "screw his disability up if they find out...". I could go on and on about the people and cases I've known like that. The vast majority of disability cases, in my opinion, consist of just such scams.

That's not to say there aren't a number of legitimate claims, but most aren't. I don't have a problem with deserved compensation but the fraud in the system is running the current system into the ground. I suspect even the people holding the rally in Sacramento would like to see the fraud eliminated, although they'd disagree on the extent that fraud exists. Something needs to be done but I wonder if the problem is fixable.


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