No dating in the workplace policy
Today, Americans find themselves balancing work with child or elder care.
Employers have sought to facilitate these changes by innovating new working practices such as telecommuting, flexible hours or results-based employment contracts that allow workers to balance work and home responsibilities as they need.
Illinois needs a system that is as dynamic and innovative as the 21st century workplace.
Opponents of reform have focused on the conflicts between employers and employee interests, but evidence suggests that employers have been far more responsive to the needs of workers than the government programs designed to protect those workers.
New solutions such as flexible workdays and telecommuting have evolved to meet the demands of modern workers, but workers’ compensation has remained mostly the same for more than 100 years.
Today, that system no longer effectively serves the needs of workers in Illinois or across America.
And as the 21st century progresses, the emergence of the sharing economy may again radically alter the way American workers sell their labor.In fact, special interests have been able to capture the system for their own benefit, leaving employer and employee equally disadvantaged.And those same special interests have been able to combine with bureaucratic inertia to successfully block meaningful reforms.Developing a 21st century workers’ compensation system means putting more power in the hands of the people directly affected by the system.In Texas, for example, employers are able to privately establish an alternative system to workers’ compensation – an option that makes sense for many small businesses.But since the introduction of workers’ compensation, the manufacturing and mining industries have become far safer and employ far fewer Americans.The introduction of health and safety regulations has undermined much of the original rationale.And the history of the past century offers little indication that workers’ compensation will naturally evolve to meet the changing demand in the present century.If the system is to evolve into something that makes sense for the modern workplace, lawmakers must evolve workers’ compensation rules so they meet the needs of today’s workforce and are dynamic and innovative enough to keep up with changes in the future.A successful negligence claim not only forced the employer to cover expenses such as lost wages and medical bills, but could also include severe punitive penalties.For this reason, it was not sufficient that a worker was injured: There had to be actual wrongdoing on the part of the employer.