A worker compensation lawyer in Illinois says federal law is “broken” because workers can file claims against employers who have been fired.
John F. Gaskin, a Chicago-based attorney and former federal employee, says the workers compensation insurance program is “too big a federal government” and it’s up to the states to decide how to handle disputes between employers and employees.
“The federal government has made clear that this system is broken and it has to be fixed,” Gaskins said in an interview on ABC’s “This Week.”
Gaskins also says the government has a responsibility to fix the system.
The Obama administration recently issued new rules for workers’ compensation claims, but Gaskens said they were still too broad.
“It’s not clear where this is coming from,” he said.
The Department of Labor, in its report on the state and federal systems, said the federal system has the best overall coverage of all 50 states.
“We are committed to ensuring that workers in Illinois receive the highest level of protection for their health and the safety of their families and their jobs,” it said.
State officials in Illinois say the state needs to fix its system before it can implement the new rules.
The governor of the state’s biggest city, Pat Quinn, has also called for a “massive change” in how workers get compensation.
Quinn, a Democrat, is one of the main sponsors of the federal legislation that the Obama administration is proposing.
He said the legislation should include a more robust worker protection system.
Gaskin says that the federal government should have “a lot more teeth” when it comes to enforcing worker compensation laws.