It’s not just ACA; the new Administration’s changes to OSHA, the Department of Labor, immigration policy, trade, and myriad other programs and policies will significantly affect workers’ comp.
This is the first of an occasional look at these “Other Effects”.
California’s produce growers are concerned that most of their field workers will be deported, potentially leaving billions of dollars rotting in their fields. While others argue that farmers should not be employing undocumented workers, the farmers, most of whom appear to have voted for Trump, disagree:
“If you only have legal labor, certain parts of this industry and this region will not exist,” said Harold McClarty, a fourth-generation farmer in Kingsburg whose operation grows, packs and ships peaches, plums and grapes throughout the country. “If we sent all these people back, it would be a total disaster.”
Implication – if deportations begin, farmers will have to scramble to find legal residents to replace the 70% of current workers who are undocumented. Labor costs will go up, and so will workers’ comp premiums. Expect claims to rise as well, as the field work is very strenuous physical labor which most new workers will be unaccustomed to.
Of course, it’s illegal for those farmers to employ undocumented workers in the first place, so their lobbying efforts – intended to convince the President to not do what he said he would do – amount to asking the Administration to not enforce laws currently on the books requiring farmers to comply with the E-Verify program.
What does this mean for you?
The President is doing what he said he would, surprising some of his supporters and delighting others.