Teamsters 89 takes Matt Bevin's anti-worker agenda to court
Updated On: Aug 25, 2016
May 24, 2016 - Governor Matt Bevin has begun to issue Executive Orders which are legally questionable. Recently Governor Bevin issued an Executive Order regarding the Workers Compensation Nominating Commission (WCNC) which is responsible for screening applicants for Administrative Law Judges (ALJs) for Workers Compensation cases. As you know, ALJs are assigned to resolve workers compensation cases. The WCNC is structured in such a way as to be a neutral-based group of individuals who recommend only qualified candidates for ALJ vacancies. The Governor’s Executive Order has abolished the WCNC, removed the existing Commissioners and then restructured it with a new set of Commissioners. The new commissioners were scheduled to meet on Monday, May 23rd to consider making recommendations for ALJs to Governor Bevin.
The significance of the Governor’s actions with regard to the WCNC and the new commission is very important. With Bevin pushing a pro-employer and anti-worker agenda as his platform for election, it is evident that the new commissioners he has appointed will likely facilitate the Governor’s agenda by only submitting recommendations for unqualified ALJs who also share the Governor’s pro-employer/anti-worker sentiments. If that were to occur, Teamsters Local 89 is concerned about the future fairness and impartiality of the Workers Compensation system for all unions and employees throughout the commonwealth.
Teamsters Local 89 believes the Governor has exceeded his authority under the present Workers Compensation statutes and the Kentucky Constitution That is why Local 89 has filed a lawsuit in Franklin Kentucky Circuit Court to block the implementation of Bevin’s Commission. In addition to Local 89, the Kentucky State AFL-CIO has joined the legal action on behalf of its affiliates. A hearing on Local 89’s request to restrain the Governor from his unlawful actions was held on Friday, May 20th, 2016. At the hearing, the attorneys for Governor Bevin agreed that the new commission would not take any action or make any recommendations to the Governor until the Franklin Circuit Court judge rules on the legality of the Governor’s Executive Order after second hearing which is being held on June 1, 2016. Teamsters Local 89 is represented in this case by Local 89 General Counsel Robert Colone, along with Louisville Attorney Eric Lamb. Eric Lamb is well-recognized for his vast knowledge and experience in this area of law. Constitutional Attorney Kevin Burke is also participating in the lawsuit on our behalf. Local 89 will be posting periodic updates as the case moves forward.