A Note About HB 2011: Act Now To Protect Your Rights!
Workers in West Virginia understand that corporations operating in the state have not always had the best interests of workers at heart. In fact, there have been an alarming number of accidents over West Virginia’s history that has led to a number of injuries and fatalities. Most of these accidents share one thing in common. They were caused by the outright neglect of an employer, a neglect that put the lives and livelihoods of West Virginia’s citizens in great peril. These employers have been held accountable in the past, and they should be held accountable now and into the future.
However, there is currently a bill before the state’s legislature that seeks to let these negligent employers off the hook, and we want to tell you more about it. It’s called HB 2011, and it seeks to offer immunity to employers from the state’s deliberate intent laws. We understand that you may have a few questions about this, and we hope to answer them.
What Is Deliberate Intent?
The deliberate intent laws are designed to protect workers and to offer compensation in addition to workers’ comp in cases where the negligence of an employer is especially egregious. It’s important to note that these laws are already incredibly rigorous, requiring a high burden of proof for establishing that an employer’s negligence was especially egregious. Namely, there are five things that must be proven in order for the deliberate intent laws to apply in any given case:
- The unsafe condition that poses a risk to safety must be specific.
- The unsafe condition must clearly violate regulations establish by the state or federal government or must fail to meet established industry standards.
- The unsafe condition must be known to the employer.
- In full knowledge of the unsafe condition, the employer still allowed workers to be exposed to it.
- The unsafe condition led to a death or injury.
As you can see the burden of proof is very high. This begs the question of why the state government is seeking to further immunize employers from fault in such cases. We can only assume that the lawmakers in West Virginia’s legislature are heeding the needs of their corporate benefactors more than they are West Virginia’s workers, who are the lifeblood of the state’s economy. Therefore, we at Heavens Law believe that its vitally important that West Virginia’s workers make their voices heard.
What Can I Do?
The best thing that you can do is to contact your local representative to let him or her know that you’re aware of what HB 2011 is attempting to do, and that you won’t allow it. West Virginia’s workers deserve to be protected, especially in light of the alarming number of accidents that have been caused by the deliberate intent of many of West Virginia’s employers. If someone in West Virginia were to murder someone else, that person would be held accountable. Shouldn’t employers who willfully put their employees in grave danger be held accountable as well?
If you’d like to stand up for your rights and other workers’ rights in the state of West Virginia, then we encourage you to visit the website of the West Virginia Association of Justice. They have an excellent resource that will connect you with your local representative so that you can let that representative know that you won’t stand for HB 2011. Make your voice heard, and remember that Heavens Law is always here to protect the rights of West Virginia’s workers and to hold those businesses that endanger their lives and safety accountable.