There are four types of Income Protection Programs. They are workers’ compensation, unemployment benefits, disability income, and life insurance. Two are legally required by the Federal Government (Workers’ Compensation and Unemployment Insurance) but are administered by the states, with the differing state to state requirements. Employers take the primary responsibility for paying for these two programs. Short Term and Long Disability Benefits as well as Life Insurance are provided by the employer voluntarily.
Answer the following questions:
Workers’ Compensation is a no-fault insurance program that covers workers for a job-related accident or for a job-related illness. This is the case even if the worker is careless and exhibited unsafe behaviors causing the accident or illness. At the same time, employers who allow such unsafe behaviors to occur (or may even motivate such behaviors through incentive programs that emphasize speed over safety) have limited liability for the consequences as bad overall “state claims experience” costs all employers. In these cases, parties who are primarily responsible for accidents/illness are protected and those who are more conscientious are penalized.
Should changes be made to the WC program to solve that problem? If so, what changes would you recommend? If you think no changes should be made to the current approach, why not?
As you think about Worker’s Compensation, the benefits, the structure, and the issues that confront it, provide 3 HR opportunities that can help alleviate or lessen the problems for an organization?
Most employers lay off employees for economic reasons. Economists now generally agree that laid-off employees with Unemployment Benefits are less likely to try to find work until their benefits have almost expired. Do you agree? If so, why? If not, why not?
In your opinion, what responsibility, if any, should an employer have to support those employees it terminates? Provide 3 reasons for that responsibility or alternatively, 3 reasons why there is no need for the employer to be responsible.
Why do employers offer disability insurances to employees, especially when many times the coverage is paid for entirely by the employer and the employee unless they experience a disability, sees the limited value of such programs? Provide 3 reasons why an employer would provide disability insurances to employees.
And, does just providing short term disability benefits and limiting the employer liability to 26 weeks seems a more reasonable approach than providing employees with an open-ended long-term disability benefit program on top of the short term disability benefits? Explain why or why not
From your perspective, list and explain 3 advantages as well as 3 disadvantages of an employer offering life insurance to employees as an employee benefit?
In many countries, income protection benefits (Workers Compensation, Unemployment Insurance, Short Term Disability, Long Term Disability, and Life Insurances) are run by the government and supported by taxes on citizens and businesses.
What 3 arguments would support and what 3 arguments would reject income protection benefits being provided through the U.S. Federal Government as they are in other countries?
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