I was pleased to read Thursday’s story “Workers’ Comp bureau ordered to refund $859M to employers.” For years, injured workers have battled the notion that benefits needed to be reduced in order to temper high premium rates. Employers have been led to believe that their inflated premiums were the result of benefits being paid to injured employees. However, this ruling shows that it is not the workers’ benefits that should be reduced, but instead the inflated rates charged by the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.
Most disturbing is that the BWC had the audacity to claim that the money rightfully owed these businesses should not be repaid because it would be a “windfall” for them. Yes, you read that right: a “windfall” of money they were wrongfully charged in the first place. That’s like a robber saying he won’t return the jewelry he stole because it would be a gift to the original owner.
I urge the BWC to refund this money quickly. It’s time the agency owned up and made amends to Ohio employers. Put the money back where it belongs and allow thousands of small businesses across Ohio to work together with their employees in moving the state forward.
Bradley E. Elzeer II, Avon
Elzeer is attorney who handles workers’ compensation claims.