Panel Urged to Require Workers’ Comp
By Nathan Bernier and Tyler Pratt
When a panel of state lawmakers got together today at the Capitol, they were urged to require companies to provide workers’ compensation insurance.
The insurance gives benefits to people who are injured on the job. Texas is the only state that allows employers to opt out of providing coverage.
Employees can still sue their bosses. But Emily Tim with the Workers’ Defense Project told the Senate Committee on State Affairs that that’s not always possible.
“A Houston construction worker was installing insulation systems on the roof of a commercial project when he fell and landed on his back on iron planks,” Tim said. “He was paralyzed from the neck down, but his employer didn’t provide workers’ compensation, and his employer proved to be pretty much judgment proof because he had so few assets, and could not receive benefits in a court of law.”
The Texas Department of Insurance says one out of five employees in the state works for a company that does not provide workers’ comp. That number has stayed relatively unchanged for two decades.