Archive for Monday, February 20, 2012

Statehouse Live: House approves bill that labor says is unfair

February 20, 2012


— The House approved a bill Monday that labor organizations say would give employers the upper hand in settling workers' claims.

House Bill 2531 was approved 85-36 and now goes to the Senate for consideration.

Currently, the Kansas Chamber of Commerce and Kansas AFL-CIO make appointments to a nominating committee that picks administrative law judges in disputed workers' compensation and unemployment claims cases

Under 2531,business groups would be guaranteed nominating six positions on a seven-member board that picks the administrative law judges. Organized labor would make the remaining pick.

State Rep. Jim Ward, D-Wichita, said the bill rigs the process and denies workers a fair hearing.

Republicans said the new system would broaden the number of organizations nominating judges.


Paul R Getto 6 years, 3 months ago

"State Rep. Jim Ward, D-Wichita, said the bill rigs the process and denies workers a fair hearing." === Good point. Welcome to KochKansas, where unicorns and billionaires play. Don't worry about workers' rights, sir. Sam and his minions will take care of all this. This is a faith-based administration and we need to relax and go along with those who will someday share the truths they have been given by their imaginary friends and the C-Street Cult who will defend these truths for us. Muscular jesus the businessman is helpin the legislators; get used to it.

costello 6 years, 3 months ago

999 out of 1000 are fraudulent? Give me a break. If all those "bone headed judges" are wrongly deciding in favor of the injured worker, maybe the insurance companies need to do a better job of representing their side in the hearings.

If the judges are ruling in favor of the worker 9 times out of 10, it's probably because the insurance companies are denying legitimate claims, forcing injured workers to appeal.

Clearly4Kansas 6 years, 3 months ago

Workers injured on the job clearly should receive health care and relief. But this is an area where fraud is rampant and we pay the cost of this theft. Only 6.8% of Kansas workers belong to a union. Under the current system the AFL-CIO appoints half the board. That's disparate representation and needs to be remedied. This new selection method will result in a board that protects workers and restores integrity to the process.

jafs 6 years, 3 months ago

Why would you think that "business groups" picking 6 of the 7 participants is the right, "balanced" way to go?

Also, from what I've heard, many workman's compensation claims are wrongly denied.

Jan Rolls 6 years, 3 months ago

Along with sam the rest of the inmates are running the nut house.

headdoctor 6 years, 3 months ago

Pretty typical of Kansas procedures. Make it so difficult many will give up or mess around past the statute date for a law suit. I don't have any figures but I have a suspicion that they are spending way more money in denying the claims than if they would have paid them in the first place. Seems more like spite to me. The Government would rather hand a ton of money over to the lawyers than see the people/families get it who need it.

Clearly4Kansas 6 years, 3 months ago

KDOL picks two, HR Assoc picks one, AFL-CIO picks one , KS chamber picks one, and I can't remember who gets the other one, I need to google it. I don't think KDOL or these other associations aim to harm injured workers. You should want a board that will make decisions based on the facts of each individual case, and that doesn't happen now. This will curb the fraud that is so common in the current structure.

Greg Cooper 6 years, 3 months ago

This will curb nothing but fairness in labor relations. Who can truly think this is a fair law? Of all the goggle-eyed , goofy things the legislature could be doing, deleting fairness from the W/C system is the worst. These people have no pride and are simply minions of those who pay to have them elected. Shame on all of them.

question4u 6 years, 3 months ago

This is typical of the kind of nonsense that the Kansas House passes only to find that it has no traction in the Senate. Let's hope that Kansas Senators have more self-respect and moral fiber than their small-minded counterparts in the House.

Paul R Getto 6 years, 3 months ago

+1 So far, it appears they do on most issues. Those with 'moral fiber' are under attack by the very groups some are griping about above.

NOTcrusher 6 years, 3 months ago

WTF . . . (Win The Future) do organizations have any role in picking administrative law judges at all? Since when have we delegated government functions to private organizations? I thought we did away with that when the old Bored (sic) of Agriculture was abolished.

How about a state agency, under the jurisdiction of the goobernator, making a decision on who should be a judge based on experience and credentials? That's how the state picks other employees? And, if you don't like the goobernator, you vote and elect a new one. That way we ordinary folks have a say in our gooberment, which is the way it's sposed to be.

Stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid.

And you may quote me on that!



JayhawkFan1985 6 years, 3 months ago

The AFL-CIO and the KCCI jointly nominate judges who are then selected by the secretary of labor. Do your homework. This should be a balance of interests issue without either side dominating...

JayhawkFan1985 6 years, 3 months ago

Republicans claim to be in favor of tort reform. What isn't mentioned in this article or in most comments is that the states workers comp act is a very successful example of tort reform. Workers agreed to limit damages that businesses claim were out of control. Businesses agreed to pay claims without employees having to prove negligence. In other words, both labor and business benefit. If the scales get tipped too far to the right, labor will probably seek invalidation of the statute and restoration of tort claims through the courts. Even if that doesn't happen, there will be more cases going to district court after the administrative appeals are exhausted. This legislature and governor are dupes for the Koch brothers trust. The Koch brothers are nothing more than modern robber barons.

Paul R Getto 6 years, 3 months ago

JHF85. Simmer on down now about them Koch boys, fella. You are right to point out this is a fight about work comp. This issue is always in play because it is expensive and prone to fraud. Our fellow Kansans, who happen to be billionaires, are trying to change their environment using their resources. Masses of people, properly organized, can counteract the money men on the left or the right. Sadly, the Sheeple sleep and the plutocrats move on with their master plans. "Tort reform" and messing with the judicial system are well-worn Republican arguments. Like many of their issues, the data on tort reform and how much political money improves both the judicial selection process and the quality of justice delivered are at best unclear and often missing. Beware of faith-based politics sponsored by either extreme.

JayhawkFan1985 6 years, 3 months ago

The Koch brothers have just admitted to helping the governor of Wisconsin in his recall battle that is underway. They support him because he is the poster child for the group Americans for Prosperity. They are a major threat to our representative democracy.

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