For most, if not all, of your work career, you’ve known that workers’ compensation benefits are required by law in South Carolina for any business employing over four people. It’s something every human resources department goes over in orientation meetings for new employees as well as in memos and refresher training. But did you realize that workers’ compensation benefits can change? They can, and this is being debated in our state right now.
Legislation was introduced in Columbia in 2015 that would allow businesses to opt-out of traditional workers’ compensation plans. Instead, these businesses would be able to create their own benefit plans for injured workers. Other states, such as Oklahoma and Tennessee, are also considering such measures. They believe that employer-sponsored plans will save money and reduce claims.
Saving money sounds great—especially when tax dollars are involved. However, workers’ compensation advocates worry that such plans won’t provide consistent coverage and benefits from one business to another. The proposed South Carolina plan (which has not yet been passed by the legislature) does include provisions that are similar to existing workers’ compensation procedures. However, it does give employers decision-making authority as to how benefits are paid. Some settlements may even be involuntary. The proposed plan also makes no mention of an appeals process.
It’s too early to say whether or not this legislation will pass. But no matter what happens at the State House, the workers’ compensation attorneys at Jordan Law Firm will be here to help you. We’ll be fighting for your interests from the time you file your claim to the day your case is resolved. And through it all, you’ll be able to trust that we have a detailed understanding of the law. We’ll stay on top of this and any other developments in the field of workers’ compensation so that we can give you the representation you deserve. Call our offices in Rock Hill and Columbia, SC if you need to file a workers’ comp claim. Our team is ready to fight for your rights.