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Sometimes it's Uncle Sam's job to compensate injured workers

Workers' compensation law is generally a matter of state law. Colorado has its own program. Other states have theirs as well.

These state-specific programs have many similarities. The overriding goal of all of them is to put in place a system to compensate employees fairly for injuries or illnesses suffered on the job - without requiring workers to show that their employers were at fault.

When work is done for the federal government, however, there can be very specific exceptions to the usual state-specific context for workers' comp. In this post, we will discuss the recent case of workers exposed to dangerous radiation at a weapons plant near Denver.

The plant was called Rocky Flats. From the Cold War heyday of the 1950s right up to 1989 - when the Berlin Wall finally fell - workers produced material for nuclear weapons at the plant.

More specifically, they made plutonium pits. Hundreds of workers were apparently exposed to hazardous radiation while doing so.

Many of those workers have now developed cancer and have submitted claims for compensation from the federal government. Though the plant was operated by Dow Chemical and Rockwell, those companies did so for Uncle Sam.

The claims fall under a specific federal program. The program is called the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program.

Last week, hundreds of people who were exposed to radiation at Rocky Flats met with federal authorities about their claims for compensation. The federal government has put new rules in place to get needed medical assistance for these people.

Source: SF Gate, "Worlkers at Colorado nuke plant get benefit details," Feb. 20, 2014

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Eley Law Firm
2000 S. Colorado Blvd. No. 2-740
Denver, CO 80222

Toll Free: 866-371-3322
Phone: 720-644-8759
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