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statistical data, Federal and State laws, drafts submitted by other commissions, etc. The second volume is made up of minutes of evidence and a record of the public hearings held by the commission.
Considerable space is given in the report proper to a consideration of the legal aspects of the question, while the social and economic reasons for a change in the law are also discussed. The conclusions of the commission were in favor of a law providing “a uņiform plan of insurance, practically compulsory in its nature," and the argument as to constitutionality is, of course, directed to the support of such a law. Besides the draft of a compensation bill, the commission recommended an investigation of occupational diseases, an increase in the number of factory inspectors, and an increase of the penalty for violations of the laws requiring the installation of guards and safety devices in factories and workshops.
The report of the Washington commission is the briefest made so far, occupying but 5 pages of a pamphlet of 48 pages, the remainder of the volume being taken up with the proposed bill and a discussion of its provisions from a legal viewpoint. Like the Ohio bill, the bill offered is one that provides for State insurance, and so far from feeling itself bound by the case cited by the Minnesota commission it regards this case as controverted by decisions in the Slaughterhouse Cases (16 Wall. (U. S.) 36), and the State Dispensary Cases (State v. Porterfield, 47 S. C. 75; Farmville v. Walker, 101 Va. 323; Carsed v. Greensboro, 126 N. C. 159, etc.). It is said that it ought to be a sufficient answer that in the proposed act the State is not engaging in a business, but only creating and through State officers disbursing funds, to which the State contributes nothing, in the administration of the police power by the means deemed by the legislature most effective. There is no possibility of a revenue or profit to the State and the State is not insuring anybody or anything."
The report of the Wisconsin commission” is a pamphlet of 98 pages, presenting a draft of a bill which is discussed section by section, to set forth the working and purpose of the various provisions rather than to support their constitutionality. There are about 40 pages of tables showing the nature and results of accidents, the outcome of damage suits, insurance costs, etc.
1 Report of commission appointed by Gov. M. E. Hay to investigate the problems of industrial accidents, 1910.
? Report of the special committee on industrial insurance, 1911.
The counsel for the commission concluded that no compulsory system of compensation could constitutionally be exacted, except for the State and its subdivisions, while an elective system would be possible, and, by the withdrawal of the defenses commonly offered by employers, acceptable as well.
The commission reports that from the beginning they have agreed that accidents or deaths suffered in industrial pursuits should be reasonably compensated, not as a matter of charity, but as a matter of justice; and that as a rule the manufacturers of the State have approved a change in the conditions, and have expressed at all times their desire to cooperate in framing a suitable bill and in gathering helpful data. As to the matter of uniformity of legislation, the commission regarded it as important that Wisconsin and other States, particularly those that are adjacent, should adopt a uniform or nearly uniform scale of compensation, though it did not think it important that the bills should be similar as regards compulsory or optional features.
LAWS ENACTED AND BILLS DRAFTED. Each of the commissions that made a final report submitted therewith a draft of a bill. In New Jersey, Washington, and Wisconsin laws were enacted practically in accordance with the recommendations of the reports, while the legislatures of California, Kansas, and New Hampshire enacted compensation laws without preceding commissions. With many amendments, the Ohio commission's bill passed the legislature. In California an amendment to the constitution of the State has also been submitted to the vote of the people next autumn, authorizing the legislature to enact a compulsory compensation measure, the present law being elective. Besides the commissions' bills, it is of interest to consider the proposed drafts of bills prepared by the American Federation of Labor and the National Civic Federation, and the conclusions of the Chicago conference as to the essential features of a compensation law. All these laws, bills, and drafts not previously printed by the Bureau are reproduced on subsequent pages, while a tabular analysis presents a view of certain important features of these measures, actual and proposed. Included in the table are the previously printed laws of Maryland, Montana, and New York on compensation and insurance. First in the table are presented the laws of the nine States having laws of this class, the States having compensation laws being first presented, those providing for insurance systems following. The same order is observed in presenting the bills and drafts of bills. In the tabulation, the items noted were taken up in the order indicated in the following discussion of the headings.
PRINCIPAL FEATURES OF LAWS AND BILLS.
SYSTEMS PROVIDED FOR.-As already indicated, two principal systems are contemplated by the various laws and bills under consideration, compensation and State insurance. In the first, the employer is not required to make any preparation in advance of possible demands on account of injuries to his workmen; while under the insurance system all employers coming under the law pay fixed amounts as premiums into a State fund (county funds in Maryland) to cover such cases as may arise, whether in their own establishments or elsewhere. Obviously the former system is without expense to the employer who has no accidents, while in the latter every employer is at some charge, whether he has an accident in his plant or not; but it is equally clear that the undistributed cost of a serious accident might prove disastrous to an uninsured employer. Some, but not all, of the laws and bills providing for compensation make at least permissive provision for insurance by employers to meet their liabilities under the new legislation. Where such provision is made, a common condition is that the insuring company shall be subjected to the liabilities of the employer so far as is appropriate, retaining also his defenses, if any. Provision is made by statutes of Illinois (R. S., ch. 73, sec. 309 et seq.) and South Carolina (Acts of 1903, act No. 40) for the formation of mutual companies by employers for the insurance of risks resulting from their liability for injuries to employees. A similar measure is reported to have passed the senate of the State of New Jersey at its session just concluded.
Either of these systems may be elective, i. e., subject to acceptance or rejection at the option or choice of the parties affected; or compulsory, i. e., of necessary acceptance as a basis of determining the rights of workmen to receive payment for injuries resulting from labor accidents. Another variation may provide that the law shall apply compulsorily to the State and its subdivisions, and be elective as to private employers. Where the elective system prevails, the parties rejecting compensation or insurance remain under a liability system, requiring a suit at law for the determination of rights and damages in cases of accidental injury to workmen. Under a compulsory system the liability law is abrogated within the scope of the new law, unless in specified classes of cases the right is retained. (See “Suits for damages.”)
Insurance may be cooperative, the fund being maintained by premium payments from both employers and employees, or it may be at the cost of the employer alone.
INDUSTRIES COVERED.—The laws vary widely in their scope and in the method of determination. Some include all industries, others designated industries or groups of industries, and others those that fall within a specified description. In a few cases the number of employees is a determining factor; and in a few cases employees classed as casual are not considered.
ELECTION.-Under this head are considered the methods prescribed for the expression by employers and workmen of their choice as to the adoption or rejection of the system proposed. The New Hampshire law is unique in requiring an employer making election to show financial ability or give bond to pay the compensation provided.
DEFENSES ABROGATED IF EMPLOYER DOES NOT ELECT.-In case the employer does not elect, it is usually provided that he shall not be permitted to offer the customary defenses to actions for injuries to workmen. This abrogation may be effected by a separate general law, or it may form an inseparable part of the same law that offers the new system. Of course this feature does not appear in compulsory laws. Some laws that use the number of employees as a basis for classification of industries covered permit employers having a smaller number to elect to adopt the system, but provide no limitation of defenses in case they do not so elect.
SUITS FOR DAMAGES.—In only a few of the laws and bills is the suit for damages under the liability law absolutely done away with, the usual provision being that where the employer is personally negligent, or is guilty of serious or willful misconduct, or violates a law enacted for the protection of his workmen, a damage suit may be instituted against him. This remedy is usually in lieu of the compensation system, and the choice of one bars the alternative remedy. In Washington, however, provision is made for the suit as a cumulative remedy, but only in case the injury results from the “deliberate intention” of the employer. The law of this State also provides that if an employer is in default in the payment of premiums an employee may waive his insurance benefit and sue for damages; in such cases the defenses of assumed risks and fellow service are abrogated and contributory negligence is to be measured.
SPECIAL CONTRACTS.—Under this head are considered chiefly those provisions of the laws or bills that relate to contracts between employers and their workmen modifying in any way the provisions of the statute. Under the British compensation law the question of “contracting out” or superseding the provisions of the statute by a substitute agreement has been prominent from the first. That law permits the adoption of such schemes as provide terms not less favorable to the workmen than those of the law. Such contracts are forbidden in some of the laws and bills under consideration, while others resemble the British statute in permitting them under prescribed conditions.
BURDEN OF Cost.-In all the compensation schemes the employer alone is charged with the duty of meeting the costs of the payments provided for injury or death. In the cooperative insurance laws it is provided, as the name implies, that the premium costs shall be shared by the employers and workmen. In the Ohio bill the employer is authorized to charge one-tenth of the premium against the employees' wages.
PERIOD OF DISABILITY REQUIRED TO SECURE COMPENSATION.-In practically every case a "waiting time” or uncompensated period is provided for. This period is usually one or two weeks, provision being sometimes made for payments from the beginning where the disability continues beyond a certain period. The Montana statute seems not to provide for temporary disability, at least of less than 12 weeks, while the Washington statute contains no provision as to "waiting time.”
COMPENSATION PROVISIONS.— These provisions vary so widely and abound in so many qualifications that only the principal facts in this connection could be presented in a table. In some cases separate provision is made for funeral expenses of employees dying as the result of accident, while in others this expense must be met from the amount paid as compensation. The amount to be paid is generally scaled according to the degree of dependence or the number of beneficiaries while in other cases it is a fixed sum. It is a common provision that medical and funeral expenses up to a certain maximum, varying from $100 to $200, shall be paid where there are no dependents. Injury benefits paid prior to death are usually deducted from the sum payable at death. In but few of the laws or proposed laws is the fact recognized that in cases of total disability the family is more heavily burdened than where death ensues as an early consequence of the injury. Questions of partial disability receive quite varied treatment, detailed schedules of rates for specified injuries being provided in some cases, while in others the matter is left to estimate and award according to the decision of a board or body intrusted with the administration of the law. In a majority of cases separate provision is made for medical and surgical aid; this form of benefit has been found most important in European experience, as securing prompt attention to injuries which might otherwise be neglected and thus lead to prolonged or even permanent disability, when early care might prevent these serious and burdensome consequences. Where a continuing pension was provided, it was found necessary to require injured workmen to avail themselves of the opportunity to secure a restoration of the capacity for self-support, since they would otherwise remain a burden on the fund, endangering the possibility of its adequate maintenance. It may be noted in this connection that in five States and one Territory the need of provision for hos