Someone who gets hurt working for a boss who failed to carry workers' compensation insurance shouldn't have to shoulder the cost of his employer's negligence.
That's the intent of House Bill 1119, which is being billed as the Colorado Uninsured Employer Act.
Colorado law requires employers to carry workers' comp insurance.
Under the proposed legislation, claims would be paid from a fund made up of penalties from employers who fail to carry workers' comp. A new board would establish criteria for benefit payouts, rates, adjust claims and to adopt rules.
House Bill 1119 has bipartisan sponsorship: Democratic Rep. Tracy Kraft-Tharp of Arvada, Republicn Rep. Lang Sias of Arvada, Democratic Sen. Cheri Jahn of Wheat Ridge and Republican Sen. Jack Tate of Centennial.
"This bill will address two problems," Kraft-Tharp said. "It will fix an unintended consequence in our laws by allowing individualized responses to small businesses to ensure they are providing workers comp as required.
"What's also important to me is that Colorado workers who are hurt on the job don't need to be victimized again if their company doesn't carry worker's comp. This bill will address that problem."