Florida Chamber Jobs Agenda Seeks Workers’ Comp Fix
As a business leader, you know all too well the fight for free enterprise never ends. The cost of doing business is a daily reminder of the challenges job creators face.
Florida’s business community has faced a $1.5 billion impact from workers’ compensation rates that remain 14.5 percent higher than they should be. Florida’s bottom five legal environment is an open invitation for “gotcha” lawsuits that cost Florida families an average of $3,400 each year in lawsuit abuse costs. And discouraging and discriminatory tax policies, like the Florida-only business rent tax, are uncompetitive.
Despite the economic, political and demographic shifts that have placed Florida in a fragile position, I believe Florida’s best days are yet to come. By reducing the cost of living and cost of doing business, redoubling efforts on workforce and investing in infrastructure, Florida’s economy will continue to strengthen jobs, wages and opportunities for Floridians.
Year after year, the Florida Chamber has been at the forefront of solving issues that impact the competitiveness and future of Florida’s business climate. And the Florida Chamber’s 2018 Jobs Agenda – reinforced by the united support of Florida’s business community – once again will be the driving force to create economic opportunity and grow jobs.
Legislative leaders, including House Speaker Richard Corcoran, former House Speaker Will Weatherford, more than a dozen members of the Florida Senate and House of Representatives, along with Florida Chamber Board Chair Bob Grammig joined us at Florida’s Capitol recently as we unveiled the jobs agenda, and called on lawmakers to strengthen Florida’s economy, spur smart growth, and create jobs and economic opportunity.
Among the 41 priorities on the 2018 Jobs Agenda is a fix to Florida’s workers’ comp system. By addressing the true cost drivers of the system, including attorney fees, Florida can experience stability to the system and lower unnecessary costs.
See What Others Are Saying
“I think workers’ comp is one of the biggest issues facing the state of Florida, especially if you put it in the context of working families. There is a tremendous amount of pressure for companies, like mine, that provide basic services to keep wages low.” – Senator Keith Perry, Florida Chamber Bottom Line.
“A competitive and predictable workers’ comp system that protects workers and job creators is vital to making Florida more competitive. Lawmakers should consider the long-term ramifications for the future of the state if they fail on reform this session.” – Carol Roberts, President and CEO, Bay County Chamber of Commerce.
“When it was first developed it had a good purpose. But, by the time you allow government to take over and attorneys to get involved, it has been completely run amuck. – Todd Gates, Southwest Florida Region Chair, Florida Chamber Board of Directors and Founder and Chairman of GATES.
Workers’ Comp Task Force
The 2018 Legislative Session begins January 9, and the Florida Chamber and its Workers’ Comp Task Force will once again be leading the charge to reform Florida’s broken workers’ comp system. As a leader in Florida’s business community, your help is needed.
Here are three ways you can help:
- Share this message,
- Join our Worker’s Comp Task Force,
- Engage with our lead lobbyists on this issue, Carolyn Johnson (firstname.lastname@example.org) for in-depth legislative details.
As always, thank you for your support of the Florida Chamber of Commerce.
Todd Gates: Florida’s Workers’ Compensation System Has “Completely Run Amuck”
Todd Gates, a member the Florida Chamber Board of Directors and Chair of Southwest Florida Regional Board, talks about the workers’ compensation system, rate hikes and the challenges it presents to job creators in this installation of the Florida Chamber’s Series on Free Enterprise Podcast.
“When it was first developed it had a good purpose. But, by the time you allow government to take over it and attorneys to get involved, it has been completely run amuck,” Gates said. “The cost of doing business – especially for small or medium-sized businesses – to carry the workers’ comp is incredible. It is outrageous, to be honest with you as far as the cost.”
Gates explains how the Castellanos Supreme Court case that eliminated the limits on attorneys fees has had a major impact on businesses and the proposed 9.5 percent workers’ comp rate decrease is only temporary.
“Our industry has seen a huge increase in claims cost as well as an uncertainty in the system itself. When you have uncertainty in this type of business, it becomes very challenging to actually do business,” Gates said. “The decrease is kind of a fallacy. The rate decrease is only using 2014 and 2015 data. It basically ended roughly six months before the Castellanos court decision. The rates are still 14.5 percent higher as a result of the court decision despite the decrease.”
The Florida Chamber of Commerce Workers’ Comp Task Force is committed to fighting for Florida business leaders like you. Click here to learn more about the Florida Chamber’s Workers’ Comp Task Force.