LERA Burton PowerPoint

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Labor and Employment Relations Association Annual Meeting
St. Louis, Missouri
June 7, 2013
John F. Burton, Jr.
Professor Emeritus
Rutgers University and Cornell University

Workers and Employers Generally Dissatisfied with Tort
Suits

New Jersey and Wisconsin were the initial states to
enact workers’ compensation statutes in 1911

U.S. Supreme Court interpretation of Commerce Clause
precluded a federal law covering private sector and state
and local government workers as of 1911

Although the constitutional limits on a federal program
for private sector workers changed in the 1930, almost
all private sector workers currently are covered by state
workers’ compensation programs and there are no
federal standards for these state programs

Workers injured on the job do not need to prove that
employer is negligent

Workers’ compensation is exclusive remedy for workers
for work-related injuries and diseases
◦ Workers can only receive benefits prescribed by workers’
compensation statute
◦ Workers cannot bring tort suits against employers (with very
limited exceptions)
Source: NASI (2012: Table 4) .
$2.50
Benefits
2.18 2.16
2.13
2.17
Employer Costs
2.05
2.04
1.94
$2.00
1.86
1.83
1.79
1.76
1.67
1.71 1.70 1.71
1.66
1.64
1.58
1.57
1.50 1.49
$1.50
1.57
1.53
1.46
1.17
$1.00
1.04 1.05
1.23
1.29
1.56
1.49
1.65 1.65
1.38 1.35
1.34
1.45
1.43
1.33
1.47
1.29
1.23
1.35
1.34
1.26
1.17
1.09
1.13 1.12
1.06
1.16 1.13
1.10 1.13
1.09
0.99
0.96 0.97
0.95 0.97
1.02 0.99
$0.50
Source: National Academy of Social Insurance estimates.
Benefits are payments in the calendar year to injured workers or to providers of their medical care.
Costs are employer expenditures in the calendar year for workers' compensation benefits, administrative costs, or insurance premiums. Costs for
self-insuring employers are benefits paid in the calendar year plus the administrative costs associated with providing those benefits. Costs for
employers who purchase insurance include the insurance premiums paid during the calendar year plus the payments of benefits under large
deductible plans during the year. The insurance premiums must pay for all of the compensable consequences of the injuries that occur during the
year, including the benefits paid in the current as well as future years.
2010
2009
2008
2007
2006
2005
2004
2003
2002
2001
2000
1999
1998
1997
1996
1995
1994
1993
1992
1991
1990
1989
1988
1987
1986
1985
1984
1983
1982
1981
1980
$0.00
Source: National Academy of Social Insurance
2010
2008
2006
2004
2002
70
2000
1998
1996
1994
1992
1990
1988
1986
1984
1982
1980
1978
1976
1974
1972
1970
1968
1966
1964
1962
1960
Percentage share
80
Medical Benefits
Cash Wage Replacement
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
35.0
32.1
30.0
25.0
20.0
17.7
18.2
17.9
15.0
10.7
10.0
5.3
5.0
1.9
1.8
0.0
0.0
-3.1
-5.0
-7.6
-10.0
1959-1965 1965-1970 1970-1975 1975-1980 1980-1985 1985-1990 1990-1995 1995-2000 2000-2005 2005-2010
Source: Burton and NCCI 2012.
2011
www.workerscompresources.com
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