Workers' Compensation "Demise of the Grand Bargain" Seminar Papers Online
The 2016 workers' compensation "Grand Bargain" seminar sponsored by the Pound Civil Justice Institute has posted the draft seminar papers online in PDF format and are available for download. The 2016 Academic Symposium is entitled, "The Demise of the Grand Bargain: Compensation for Injured Workers in the 21st Century."
Workers’ compensation systems arose as one of the great political compromises of the Progressive Era: workers injured on the job gave up the right to sue their employers for personal injury damages in return for less generous but more certain benefits. This exchange became known as The Grand Bargain.
This bargain has survived over the ensuing century despite frequent political battles in the states, often fought below the national radar screen. Over the past 25 years, the attacks on these systems have escalated. Most recently, a politically powerful coalition has proposed further constraints on benefits through implementation of “opt-out” systems, which allow employers to substitute self-designed and self-implemented programs for the traditional statutory system. Remedies have become so constricted in some states that courts have questioned whether a quid pro quo still supports the Grand Bargain.
This conference will re-examine The Grand Bargain in light of evolving legal doctrine, a changed labor market, and changing politics. How well is the workers’ compensation system serving its original purposes of swift, sure, and efficient remedies? Does an employer-based insurance scheme for workplace injuries supplanting tort remedies remain desirable? How does the common law command of a remedy for every legal wrong affect the architecture of workers’ compensation systems? What responsibilities should employers and employees bear in this system? What are the ramifications of a move towards universal health insurance? Responses to these questions can inform debates occurring now in courts and legislatures across America.
The Challenges of the Changing Legal Structure of Workers’ Compensation and the Changing Workforce
Compensating Injured Workers in the U.S.: Back to the Future or Back to the Drawing Board?
Workplace Injuries as a Constitutional Law Issue
Alternative Structures for Addressing Workplace Injuries: Tort Law and Beyond
Paper Writers* and Discussants
Leslie I. Boden, Boston University School of Public Health
John F. Burton, Jr., Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations (emeritus)
George W. Conk, Fordham University School of Law
Charles R. Davoli, practitioner; Workers’ Injury Law & Advocacy Group
Michael C. Duff, University of Wyoming College of Law
Price V. Fishback, University of Arizona, Department of Economics
Hon. Dan Friedman, Maryland Court of Special Appeals
Monica Galizzi, University of Massachusetts Lowell, Department of Economics
Justin R. Long, Wayne State University Law School
James Lynch, Chief Actuary, Insurance Information Institute
*Alison D. Morantz, Stanford Law School
*Robert L. Rabin, Stanford Law School
*Adam Scales, Rutgers Law School
*Emily A. Spieler, Northeastern University School of Law
Hon. David B. Torrey, Workers’ Compensation Judge, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
*Robert F. Williams, Rutgers Law School