Magazine article Risk Management

Ohio Risk Managers Can Tip Balance This Fall: Fatal Distraction

Magazine article Risk Management

Ohio Risk Managers Can Tip Balance This Fall: Fatal Distraction

Article excerpt

Few movie fans will forget the final scenes of "Fatal Attraction" when the presumably dead Glenn Close character sprung out of the bathtub, knife in hand, to attack an off-guard Anne Archer from behind. It's the standard stuff of thrillers. More of you might be surprised to find that, other than the knife and the bathtub, law-making often works the same way.

In a year when few people are expected to go to the polls (the only major statewide elections are in New Jersey and Virginia, where there are gubernatorial races), two prime examples of the surprise-ending principle may be seen at work in Ohio this fall. Just when risk managers thought they had won the fight for workers' compensation and tort reform, challenges to recently enacted legislation have popped up on the horizon from two different quarters.

This spring, the business community rejoiced at the enactment of SB 45, which provided for adoption of the American Medical Association Guides for permanent impairment; the elimination of wage loss benefits for injured workers who are able to work but cannot find a job; and the overturning of an Ohio Supreme Court decision that required age, education, work record and psychological and psychiatric factors to be considered in permanent total disability determinations.

The reform romance was short-lived, however. On July 22, the day the new laws were scheduled to take effect, the Coalition for Workplace Safety filed a petition to have the law overturned by referendum on the November 4 ballot. Members of the coalition include the Ohio Academy of Trial Lawyers, the Ohio AFL-CIO and the United Auto Workers. The group needed more than 200,000 signatures to put the issue on the ballot, and it was able to obtain more than twice that number. This will be the first such referendum in Ohio since 1939, and the challenge has delayed implementation of the new law until after the voters cast their ballots next month.

To preserve these reforms, RIMS chapters have already been in touch with several coalitions aiming to defeat the referendum, including Keep Ohio Working. To assist their efforts, Ohio risk managers cannot afford to stay away from the polls this November. This is an issue that will affect companies' workers' compensation expenses, and one in which risk managers can influence the final outcome in the voting booth. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.