Mr. Greenfield’s chief focus of his 43- year legal career, all of which has been in Idaho, is workers’ compensation. He represents only injured workers. He does not represent employers or insurance companies. He is very well acquainted with the doctors and hospitals involved in his clients’ cases.
In restricting his practice of workers’ compensation to injured workers, he has become a friend, not only to his clients but also to leaders of organized labor in Idaho. Such leaders, along with leaders of business within the state of Idaho, created the Idaho Workers’ Compensation statute in a historic compromise. Following the career path of his father, George A. Greenfield of Boise – a was a central legal advisor to Idaho labor leaders in the 1940’s through the 1980’s. During his long career, George Greenfield was also an advisor to state and local officials employed by the Idaho Industrial Commission. He was also a member of the original board of the Idaho Public Employees Retirement System. In addition, in 1967 George Greenfield became active in the Idaho Legislature’s effort to recodify and modernize the Idaho Workers’ Compensation Act, a relatively large and multi-faceted piece of legislation which takes up more than one and one-half volumes of the Idaho Code. The original statute was enacted in 1917 but after over 50 years a recodification and modernization had become necessary. A legislative committee was formed by the Idaho Legislature in 1967. A retired Chief Justice of the Idaho Supreme Court, E.B. Smith, was selected as chair of the committee. The chair then handpicked the members of the committee from both the labor and business sides of the aisle. Mr. Greenfield was selected from the labor side. The work of the committee took nearly 5 years to modernize the law. Their efforts were celebrated by all major interests in the State’s worker’s compensation system. The omnibus bill which finalized the committee’s efforts passed the legislature in 1970 and was then signed into law by Gov. Andrus as one of his first acts as governor.
After the recodification became law, the governor created a committee composed of Idaho experts in worker’s compensation. He mainly chose members of the recodification committee which had just modernized the statute itself. George Greenfield was an original member of this advisory committee and served from 1971 until his retirement in 1985. At which point John Greenfield took his father’s place on the advisory committee. In 2001, the committee was reorganized as the Idaho Industrial Commission’s Advisory Committee. John Greenfield continues as a member of this committee, the longest serving member in the committee’s history. His main role on the committee is to look after the interests of organized labor and injured Idaho workers with respect to proposed changes in the Idaho Workers’ Compensation statute. He has appeared before the Idaho Legislature on numerous occasions in regard to these duties.