Students React to Hike in Workers’ Compensation

As employers band together in opposition of three worker’s compensation proposals being considered for the ballot, not all students support the hike in benefits paid to permanently disabled workers.

One proposal would a strike a 1913 statute that requires injured workers to give up their right to sue their employers for medical care and health benefits.

Businesses, government and nonprofit organizations could soon feel the financial strains if these workers’ comp initiatives are qualified for the ballot and approved by voters, latimes.com reported Feb. 21.

"The magnitude of these increased costs would be major — potentially in the billions of dollars annually for private and public employers," the state legislative analyst’s office told the publication.

Steve Affat, a HowardUniversity senior majoring in advertising, is for the dismantling of the 93-year-old law and said its promises "may be faulty."

"I’m not sure how much security an individual receives with such benefits," he said, "[but the

benefits] don’t always amount to what they are supposed to."

Another initiative would strike a 2004 law that requires injured workers to go to medical clinics and pharmacies chosen by their employers. All of them would hike the amount of benefits employers pay their injured workers.

Courtney Battle, a HowardUniversity freshman majoring in broadcast journalism said, "I feel that the proposals are very important issues, and they should definitely be included on the ballot because they really affect just about everyone in some way."

Although Battle supports the initiatives, Affat is not completely sold on the idea of benefits being raised for workers’ comp €” across the board.

"I don’t think it’s entirely necessary [unless] it is a labor-related industry, then the hike is possibly valid," Affat said.