Lynch Ryan's weblog about workers' compensation, risk management, business insurance, workplace health & safety, occupational medicine, injured workers, insurance webtools & technology and related topics

April 12, 2007

Breaking the Covenant at Covenant

Covenant Transport describes itself as a "faith based" company operating out of Chattanooga, Tennessee. Their website states: "At Covenant Transport, our values drive our performance, as proven by industry statistics ranking us one of the ten largest truckload carriers in the United States measured by revenue."

That's an interesting sentence. The fact that they rank in the top 10 largest carriers "proves" that their values drive their performance. No. It just proves that they are big. When it comes to values, whether faith based or not, Covenant is downright pagan.

We read in the Insurance Journal, in an article by Bill Poovey, that Chancery Judge Frank Brown has blocked Covenant from forcing employees to sign away their workers' compensation benefits. Employees had been asked to sign a form, entitled "notice of waiver by employee for benefits provided by the Tennessee workers' compensation law." The form appeared to originate at the state's Division of Workers Comp. It's apparently a forgery. Beyond that, under Tennessee law (and in most states) you cannot sign away your rights to workers compensation. It's part of the covenant, if you will, between employers and their employees.

A quick search of the web finds some distinctly negative views of Covenant's operation (here and here). While postings from a few disgruntled truckers is nothing definitive, Covenant is about to answer to a higher (if not the highest) authority: the judge has scheduled a hearing for April 24. Covenant will likely learn that forging documents and coercing employees to sign them is illegal, if not an act of "bad faith." Not exactly what you'd expect from a faith-based company.

Posted by Jon Coppelman at 11:04 AM Link to, Comment (0), or E-mail this post
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