The business lobby is working hard on Gov. Asa Hutchinson to give it immunity from lawsuits by workers and customers damaged by them during the coronavirus emergency.
They already enjoy immense protection. As the governor has made clear, the only meaningful option for a worker infected by COVID-19 after being forced back to work by the state’s denial of unemployment benefits (even to an old, fat person with a heart ailment who’s fearful of going back into a congregant setting), is to claim workers compensation. But there’s a Catch 22: All agree that proving causation of a virus in the workplace will be just about impossible.
It is to laugh to hear legislators caterwaul about how “their” businesses could suffer in ratings that determine things like workers comp and unemployment benefit contributions.
We provide the shortest coverage for unemployment compensation in the U.S., 16 weeks. And workers comp for on-the-job injuries?
We have among the lowest workers comp rates in the country because the legislature has made it so hard to claim. It’s from a newsletter by howmuch.net
This ranking is by the average cost per $100 of payroll.
Imagine if an Arkansas legislator asked for more consideration for workers. Billionaire heir Steuart Walton, named by the governor to lead an “economic recovery task force” has made it clear its focus on businesses. Because see, if businesses prosper, workers also will be trickled upon.