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posted: 9/13/2012 4:21 AM

Workers' comp a big state problem

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Workers' comp a big state problem

Lately you've been hearing a lot about "in sourcing jobs back to Illinois" from our political leaders. It doesn't take a political bureaucrat to see many are unemployed or underemployed with no real end in sight. Our political leaders are not seeing the real issue for the failed job-creation programs in Illinois.

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A big reason is that Illinois has the worst worker compensation laws in the country. This is significant regarding job creation. For example, an employee can claim a work injury regardless of whether the injury occurred at his place of employment. An employee can make a workers' comp claim even if an injury is an aggravated medical condition not even work-related. Is this right or even ethical?

Employers should do everything they can to ensure safe working conditions for their employees. An employer should take full responsibility if an injury took place at work. No employer should subject anyone to unsafe work conditions or put employees in harm's way. We have federal laws and regulations that insure a safe working environment for employees.

However, our state laws and regulations are heavily one sided and not employer friendly. The way the law works now, the employee can claim an injury with no or little proof against that it actually occurred at work. How does that help job creation?

The high cost of workers' compensation claims hurts business and discourages companies staying in Illinois. No tax breaks could ever offset the high cost of workers' compensation to a small-business owner. The same laws that are in place to protect and serve us are hurting small to medium size businesses. The state needs to rethink its policies regarding workers' compensation and taxes in order to be competitive with job creation.

John M. Aguilar

Aurora

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