Workers’ compensation programs in South Carolina and across the country and the efforts of federal agencies that deal with workplace safety issues could be greatly influenced by the election of Donald Trump. Cutting red tape and eliminating bureaucratic hurdles for American businesses was a major plank in Trump’s campaign platform, and this could prevent the U.S. Department of Labor from following through on its call to bring consistency to the nation’s workers’ compensation programs by introducing minimum nationwide standards.
President Trump has also vowed to support American business and entrepreneurship, and this has raised concern among labor advocates because workplace safety regulations are often cited by the business community as an impediment to growth. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has switched its focus from education to enforcement in recent years, but these endeavors could be curbed if Trump believes they are a barrier to job creation and economic development.
The Affordable Care Act has been widely criticized by Republicans since its passage in 2010, but industry experts say that the repeal of the landmark legislation could actually reduce workers’ compensation costs for American employers. The provisions of the ACA have prompted insurance companies to raise prices or withdraw from health insurance marketplaces entirely, but experts believe that they could return if Republicans replace the law with legislation that is less restrictive and friendlier to businesses.
Injured or sick workers who are struggling to make ends meet may have little interest in politics, but attorneys with experience in this area may pay close attention to regulatory changes and how they impact workers’ compensation claims and benefits. When the political winds shift, employers may be more likely to contest workers’ compensation claims or fire employees who have applied for these benefits. In these situations, attorneys could advocate fiercely on behalf of their clients to ensure that they receive all of the financial compensation they are entitled to.