Tuesday, April 29, 2014

'Chipping' Employees

The Missouri legislature has once again made the national news.  SB 523 recently  passed 90-56 to bar the use of school districts requiring RFID tags on their students.   This privacy bill  keeps Big Brother outside the dorms.  Anyone who wants to know where students are will have to check Instagram instead.

RFID tags transmit a unique signal to magnetic readers.  They can be implanted as micromodules. There has been some talk that chips as the new dog tags or required biomarker for high security clearance jobs.  They have been used for years with livestock, laboratory animals, and endangered species.  Missouri has drawn its line in the sand:  No chipping freshmen.   
This raises a concern in the battle against fraud in worker's comp whether  employers can require chipping their employees just like some federal employers so everyone is watched.

Missouri has been all over this issue.  In 2008 it passed HB2041 to be right behind privacy fighters in Wisconsin and North Dakota to stop chips in the work place.   Don’t even start talking about chipping our M14 sniper rifles.

285.035. 1. No employer shall require an employee to have personal identification microchip technology implanted into an employee for any reason.

2. For purposes of this section, "personal identification microchip technology" means a subcutaneous or surgically implanted microchip technology device or product that contains or is designed to contain a unique identification number and personal information that can be noninvasively retrieved or transmitted with an external scanning device.

3. Any employer who violates this section is guilty of a class A misdemeanor.

What does this mean to worker’s comp?   The fight against fraud is not going to be fought with chips.  It will be fought with secret microphones and mood rings.   Claimants can be reassured they not have been secretly implanted with invisible chips by IME doctors or being followed by Carrie Masterson.  Just don’t bring up the subject about drones behind “The Cloud.”