Workers comp penalties turn employers into targets

Published: Monday, Jun. 30, 2014 - 4:06 pm

Re "Legislature is letting down California's injured workers" (Viewpoints, June 26): The proponents of massive new workers' compensation penalties would have readers believe insurance companies are the only target. What they don't say is that any penalty regime would impact every employer in California, including cities, counties, school districts and other public agencies at a huge cost to taxpayers. Poor claims handling should be punished, particularly when harm occurs to an injured worker. Existing law provides numerous ways to impose financial and other penalties on employers. What the law doesn't provide is any redress for medical and legal malpractice, or abuses by other system stakeholder that can have tragic consequences for injured workers. Expanding penalties on employers isn't about helping workers. It's about helping lawyers who use such penalties to shake down responsible employers with good claims handling over minor, technical issues. -- Carolyn Richard, Roseville

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