Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Reply to trash mogul: 'Awful' work sparks drug use

Says Richard DiStefano, Esq.

Reply to trash mogul: 'Awful' work sparks drug use

"If Percocet be not available, other chemicals, legal or otherwise, are used to get through the day, and frankly for me, it does not require much imagination to understand why."
"If Percocet be not available, other chemicals, legal or otherwise, are used to get through the day, and frankly for me, it does not require much imagination to understand why."

When I posted Penn Waste Co. CEO Scott Wagner's complaint , in support of Pa. Gov. Tom Corbett's recent comments, that Pa. workers are often idle because they abuse drugs, get too much workers' compensation and unemployment insurance, and won't labor for low wages, his letter drew thousands of readers (also dozens of comments, some more coherent than others.)

I also ran it past the most able (and personally conservative) workers' comp lawyer of my acquaintance -- my brother Richard R. DiStefano who's represented both employers and workers during his 28-year practice -- and asked for his reality check. He wrote: 

In my experience, there is undeniably a problem with druggies, but it is not as widespread as Mr. Wagner suggests, nor is it limited to the workers' comp. system...

Most of the larger insurance companies and administrators I deal with have nurses on staff to monitor drugs well known to be abused and re-sold on the market. I wonder which workers' comp insurance company. Mr. Wagner has.

I have represented garbage men, and that is awful work. If Percocet be not available, other chemicals, legal or otherwise, are used to get through the day, and frankly for me, it does not require much imagination to understand why...

(In the 1800s) employers opposed the saloons and blamed labor unrest and other problems on whiskey-inflamed mobs. Workers' comp. did not arrive until many years later, the time of the First World War...

If Mr. Wagner gets his way, the costs of medication will be shifted either onto health insurance or illegal drugs. And whiskey. Sic semper.

About this blog

PhillyDeals posts drafts, transcripts and updates of Joseph N. DiStefano's columns and stories about Philly-area business, which he's been writing since 1989.

DiStefano studied economics, history and a little engineering at Penn and taught writing at St. Joseph's. He has written thousands of columns and articles for the Inquirer, Bloomberg and other media, wrote the book Comcasted, and raised six children with his wife, who is a saint.

Reach Joseph N. at JoeD@phillynews.com, distefano251@gmail.com, 215.854.5194 or 302.652.2004.

Reach Joseph N. at JoeD@phillynews.com or 215 854 5194.

Joseph N. DiStefano