|Good night 2015!|
What a year this past one was!
I get asked all the time how I can write so profusely on workers' compensation - a post every single business day (except when I went to Italy for a couple weeks). It really is easy - just read the news. There's always something going on that either defies logic, challenges promises, or frankly just reflects plain stupidity.
Workers' compensation is really, really simple. Employers put money into a bucket. Some expenses are paid out to people for custodial services and management. The rest of the money is to go to and for injured workers.
Sometimes people get more than they should (and sometimes getting anything is wrong). Sometimes people get shortchanged.
But otherwise, it's not a difficult process to execute.
Until our own personal interests get in the way - then we make things more complicated than they need to be.
Some employers, for instance, either don't believe in the workers' compensation institution, or are just plain cheaters, and don't pay into the bucket, or don't pay what they should.
Some workers either feel they deserve more than what the law allows, or are just plain cheaters, and collect when they shouldn't.
Some of the people that are paid for custodial services and management feel the money employers give them is their own money, ignoring their fiduciary responsibilities.
Some of those providing services to and for injured workers get greedy, and sometimes are dangerous, or are just plain cheaters.
There's enough of these characters on a day to day basis that finding something to write about is not much of a challenge.
More of a challenge is finding the stories about workers' compensation done good. General media publications this past year have certainly painted a picture of a benefit system gone awry.
But, the reality is that the American work injury protection scheme hasn't gone awry. For every bad case that gets reported in the news there are likely hundreds that don't get media attention because of the simple fact that they are not remarkable; things worked out the way they were supposed to.
That has been a personal challenge for me these past couple of years - finding the people and their tales that show what workers' compensation is really about, and how it plays an important role in our society and economy.
That's why the WorkCompCentral Comp Laude was invented, and why WorkCompCentral has worked with Pepperdine University to educate and bring new people into this "industry" (I use quotes around the term industry because workers' compensation is much more than an industry - it is an institution).
Over the next couple of weeks I hope to get a little more rest by sleeping past my normal 3 a.m. Pacific Time wake up habit (no, I don't use an alarm clock). I'll read the news fastidiously every morning, and I know I'll feel the compulsion to write.
I'll save it for the New Year though.
In the meantime, think about the good stories. Tell them to me, and tell them to the rest of the world.
Comp Laude 2016 will occur November 4 and 5 in Burbank, CA. We'll start accepting nominations around late February or early March.
I hope those good stories I know you have get turned into nominations.