BI’s Article search uses Boolean search capabilities. If you are not familiar with these principles, here are some quick tips.
To search specifically for more than one word, put the search term in quotation marks. For example, “workers compensation”. This will limit your search to that combination of words.
To search for a combination of terms, use quotations and the & symbol. For example, “hurricane” & “loss”.
The Tennessee Employee Injury Benefit Alternative triggers questions about how it would affect workplace safety.
To help determine pricing, insurers assign experience modification factors based on an employer's claim history. More claims could result in higher workers comp pricing.
Opting out of the state system could be seen as a way for an unsafe employer to “wash his (experience modification) away,” said Bruce Wood, Washington-based vice president and associate general counsel with the American Insurance Association.
Rather than employers trying to improve workplace safety, they could just opt out and purchase alternative benefit plans, Mr. Wood said.
Exclusive remedy protections don't apply in the Tennessee model, when there's a limited benefit mandate and limited negligence liability.
“That liability exposure requires that employers pay special attention to training, maintenance of equipment and other safe practices in the workplace,” said Bill Minick, president of Dallas-based PartnerSource, a consultant on alternative workers comp plans.
Regardless, all employers still would be subject to rules of the Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration, said Abbie Hudgens, administrator for the Workers' Compensation Division of the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development in Nashville.
Backers hope Tennessee becomes the third state to allow employers to opt out of the state's workers compensation system, but experts expect most employers would stay in the system to realize savings from recent reforms.