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The Associated Industries of Florida Shares Important Changes in Worker’s Comp Laws

June 21, 2016

The Associated Industries of Florida (AIF) hosted a Town Hall Tour at Hillsborough County Community College on June 9th. Event facilitator and General Council, Tamela Perdue, shared proposed changes in Worker’s Compensation Laws announced by the Florida Supreme Court following the Castellanos Decision of April 29th, 2016. Among the audience were members from Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. (ABC), the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), Florida’s Association of Roofing Professionals (FRSA), and independent small business owners.

Special guest Louis Stern from McConnaughhay Law Firm stressed the importance of small businesses taking worker’s compensation claims very seriously, “Be involved with the claims, pay attention to detail”. He said that any time a lawyer must get involved with a claim there is on average a 35% increase in compensation.

A representative from the NFIB addressed the changes in the Worker’s Compensation Laws and how it will affect small businesses if compensation rates increase. At the moment, there are approximately 2.2 million small businesses in Florida. In order to afford worker’s compensation most businesses apply for insurance. The average cost of worker’s compensation insurance equals 56% of employee wages. If rates were to go up, the NFIB fears that small businesses would not be able to afford those costs.

Towards the end of the meeting, Florida Senator Jeff Brandes and Florida Representative Amanda Murphy shared with the audience the importance of engaging with local legislators and state representatives to voice opinions on the recent legislation. Senator Brandes suggested that once the small business community coalesces around a solution to the Worker’s Compensation issue, the government officials who represent them will be able to introduce the solution to the Florida Supreme Court.

For more information on AIF and the positions they take on Florida Business visit their website. To contact your state legislators visit the Florida Legislature website.

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