Labor Day means the end of summer for many of us. It is a long weekend. If the weather is good, you may spend time at the pool or the lake. You will probably grill out. You may spend some time watching football.
Labor Day used to be the time that children started back to school. That has changed and kids now have been back in school for many weeks.
Why do we have Labor Day?
I don’t think that many of us spend time thinking about why we have Labor Day. Labor Day is an annual tribute to our workers and what they have done for our country.Labor Day really gets me thinking about how we treat our country’s workers. Do we care about them? If so, do our laws reflect that?
A friend of mine talks often about how our nation’s buildings and companies are built on the bodies of workers. He is right. Our nation would not be what it is today without the men and women who worked and sacrificed to make it great.
These men and women often worked dangerous jobs. They worked in coal mines. They worked in factories. They worked building skyscrapers.
Just looking at the pictures of the people working building skyscrapers makes me nervous. I could never work that high, but I certainly am thankful for the people who do.
Many workers each year are killed on the job. Many more are injured. Our countries workers’ compensation laws are designed to take care of those workers.
The workers’ compensation systems in our country were set up to provide benefits to workers who were injured on the job and the families of worker who were killed. Those who regularly read this blog know that I think there are many problems with Georgia’s workers’ compensation system. Here are just a few:
- The maximum benefit is extremely low
- There is no cost of living adjustment for benefits
- PTSD and many other “mental” injuries are not covered unless they happen to be accompanied by a physical injury
- Catastrophically injured workers lose their right to benefits because of the strict unfairness of the “change in condition” statute of limitations
I’ve represented injured workers for over fifteen years. I cannot tell you how many times I have been told by my clients that they just want to be treated fairly. I also cannot tell you how many times I have had to tell them that Georgia’s workers’ compensation law is not going to treat them fairly.
When our country’s workers are injured doing their jobs, they need to be treated fairly. Their health and well being should be much more important than increasing the profits of insurance companies that write workers’ compensation insurance. Georgia’s workers’ compensation laws makes me believe we do not treat them fairly.
Please take a little time on Labor Day to think about our country’s workers and how we treat them. If you are interested in finding out more about Labor Day and its history, you might start with this article on the Department of Labor’s website.
Have a great Labor Day!