Injured state workers cost Florida $100 M a year

TALLAHASSEE — Florida is spending $100 million a year to pay claims from injured state workers and the amount could go higher.

A Department of Financial Services official told a House panel Thursday that there’s nearly $1 billion in pending claims against the state, most from claims by injured workers or those claiming employment discrimination.

In the last six months of 2008, Florida paid nearly $48 million to state workers, including $13.4 million to employees in the Department of Corrections and $6.3 million to the workers from the Department of Children and Families.

Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink asked lawmakers for $500,000 to hire more workers to find ways to prevent claims and help get injured employees treatment more quickly.