The greed and selfishness of corporate America knows no bounds. In a world where workers are seen only as a cost to be minimized—a.k.a. a necessary evil—corporations work to curtail workers’ protections wherever they can. A new trend sweeping corporate America aims to stop the corporate lobby from convincing states to slowly chip away at workers’ compensation…by doing away with it altogether.
Of course, the lawyer behind this, Bill Minick, says this isn’t about taking away a necessary protection for workers, according to ProPublica. Minick has created schemes in Texas and Oklahoma that allow companies to opt-out of the state’s workers’ comp laws and put their own policies in place. In doing so, he’s pulling the typical corporate trick of harming workers and telling them how their lives will be better for it.
Don’t believe us?
Below is a list of just a few ways in which benefits in these two states are actually worse, via ProPublica:
- McDonald’s doesn’t cover treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome;
- Brookdale Senior Living doesn’t cover bacterial infections;
- Taco Bell is allowed to accompany workers to their doctors’ appointments;
- Costco doesn’t cover external hearing aids that cost more than $600;
- Sears can deny all benefits if workers don’t report injuries by the ends of their shifts;
- Many don’t cover wheelchair vans or asbestos exposure;
- Many don’t even cover assault unless the employee is defending the employer’s property or business;
- Many won’t cover treatment for anything for more than two years.
Worse, employees must either accept what’s offered, or go without any protections at all should they get injured on the job. If they apply to receive benefits and the company denies their claim, they can appeal…to a committee the company chooses.
Minick, of course, says that this addresses the endless cycle of cuts to workers comp benefits. All it really does is further destroy what paltry protections we have in place to protect workers from corporate abuse. Our labor laws are woefully inadequate as it is, and people like Minick are not helping that.
Oddly enough, ProPublica reports that an unusual alliance has formed to try to fight this opt-out scheme. Trial lawyers, insurers and labor unions are all against this plan, because it returns us to the Industrial Age, before any worker protections were really codified.
That’s what corporate America — and the conservatives who support them — want. They want a return to the days when workers were nothing more than paid slaves, while the corporate fat cats were able to rake it in. That’s what this does; allows corporate fat cats to keep even more money for themselves, and shirk responsibility for their workers while letting them twist in the wind.
Corporate America is soulless and sick with greed.