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On Wanting More Than Golden Eggs

National Workers’ Compensation costs appear to have declined in 2009 by 4.4 percent, according to a report released by the National Academy of Social Insurance.  The report, upon closer inspection, provides a more accurate headline: the decrease in workers’ compensation costs is due not to better laws, fewer injuries, or zealous advocacy.  The decline is due to a drop in covered workers – less jobs, less employees, and less expense for workers’ compensation coverage.

However, as discussed in an earlier post, California still experiences increased expenses for the total costs for the industry.

Whatever the trend elsewhere in the Union, the employers of the Golden State are finding themselves to have laid too many golden eggs, and are now facing the knife.

Jan Norman of the Orange County Register tells us that several companies are leaving California over various costs, among them workers’ compensation.  Arizona, for example, boasted $0.66 dollars in benefits paid for every $100 in covered wages in 2009.  California demanded $1.26 for the same coverage.

In other words, bringing justice and equity back to workers’ compensation continues to be a tough road to hoe – the costs per worker continue to increase.  Furthermore, as more companies vote with their feet and take their votes, their litigation war chests, and their public influence across state borders, those left to hold the line become more spread out.

Unless California, her leaders and officers, come to their senses, before too long there will be no injured workers because there will be no jobs.

I hate to preach doom and gloom, but none of us should expect to take a victory lap any time soon, especially while other states gorge themselves on California Geese.

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