Rebecca Shafer, J.D. and Michael Stack, CPA are the president and principal ofAmaxx Risk Solutions, Inc., respectively.
This morning, on their blog, Rebecca wrote an article about the six things employers should do to avoid being a part of a ProPublica report.
You may be aware that ProPublica and NPR have recently reported on the harm many injured workers have received not only at the hands of medical personnel and the workers compensation industry, but even from their own employers.
I decided to write a response to Rebecca and Michael. Here is the text of my email to them:
Rebecca and Michael,
There should be a seventh item to your list. Employers should respect the health, welfare, dignity and honest hard work of their employees so that the treatment these workers have been subjected to, as stated in the reports, do not occur.
But the problem is, the American employer historically believes he is lord and master of his domain, which includes the workers and the materials he uses to make the employer wealthy.
If you don’t believe me, here is a quote from someone who knew what real industrial hell does to workers and workers’ lives:
“Capital is reckless of the health or length of life of the laborer, unless under compulsion from society.”
We are seeing a recrudescence of 19th century, laissez-faire industrial capitalism, with its grinding poverty, income inequality, and now thanks to ProPublica and OSHA, a return to the days when workers lost limbs all in the name of ever greater profit for the owner, but misery and despair for the worker who is injured.
There was a case a few years ago about a company in Alabama that had serious injuries to their employees and not even OSHA could shut them down, This company was featured in a series of articles in the New York Times and on PBS, and because the business owner believed that no one had the right to tell him how to run his business, he could do whatever he pleased.
This is libertarianism, or also known as classical liberalism, and was the modus operandi of American business throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries, until reforms such as workers’ comp, unemployment insurance, the eight-hour day and other legislation consigned these problems to the dustheap of history. But one political party, with the backing of big business and billionaires, are taking us back to the bad old days.
Until the American worker is treated with dignity and respect by their employers, there will continue to be more reports from not only ProPublica, but from Mother Jones, PBS, the New York Times, and many other journalistic outlets.
The culture of greed at any cost, the culture of adversarial labor/management relations, and the push for ever greater return on investment for those who sit on their behinds and reap the benefits of the sacrifices made by workers, whether it is an arm, leg, foot, hand, or fingers must end. That will only happen when workers are treated like human beings and not like the machinery that takes their limbs or their lives.
Addressing the problems reported by ProPublica will not be solved merely by telling the employer to do a better job of managing their claims, their TPA’s and carriers, and getting better communication with their employees, but rather the discarding of the mean-spirited, and vindictive attitudes many employers manifest against any employee who gets hurt or files a claim, files a grievance, or any other proactive stance that is seen as a threat to an employer and his precious bottom line.
Without workers, nothing gets done. Without workers, there is no business, no profit, no return on investment. We are still far from a completely automated industrial production system whereby no human will ever be hurt or maimed again, so rather than go back to the bad old days of the Industrial Revolution, as many Libertarians and Republicans, and the Koch Brothers would wish, why not be more respectful and open and honest with your employees and treat them as you would want to be treated if you were them…with dignity.
I am willing to work with any broker, carrier, or employer who is sick and tired of being bled by the Wall Street vulture capitalists and the entire medico-legal system known as workers’ comp, to save money, and to provide the best care for their injured workers or their client’s employees, while at the same time, helping to break the monopoly of the American health care cartel.
Call me for more information, next steps, or connection strategies. Email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Ask me any questions you may have on how to save money on expensive surgeries under workers’ comp. Connect with me on LinkedIn and follow my blog at: richardkrasner.wordpress.com. Share this article, or leave a comment below.