New York unions fight proposed workers compensation rules that reduce payments for injured employees

Sep 11, 2017

State labor leaders are pushing back against a set of proposed Workers Compensation regulations they claim will slash benefits to injured workers.

The proposed regulations, which were unveiled by the Workers Compensation Board earlier this month, would drastically reduce payments to workers who’ve suffered diminished use of an arm or leg, union officials claim.

They would also place increased requirements on injured workers to show their future earning capacity would be diminished and make it harder for workers to contest their awards, officials added.

“This plan is an insult to all working men and women,” said NY AFL-CIO president Mario Cilento. “Benefit cuts for injured workers are wholly unjustifiable.”

The proposed regulations are the result of legislation approved by Gov. Cuomo and state lawmakers in April that required the Workers Compensation Board to modernize its guidelines to reflect advances in medical technologies that get workers back on the job faster than in prior years.

“The current guidelines are decades old and do not reflect current medical science or practice,” said Brian Keegan, a spokesman for the Workers Compensation Board.

Keegan said the proposed regulations are still subject to change and the board is in the process of accepting public comments on them. The board is required by the April law to have new regulations in place by Jan. 1.

“Public comment by all stakeholders is encouraged and necessary to assist the board in arriving at a final product,” Keegan said. “We ask that comments be instructive and constructive, with specific recommendations for suggested changes.”

Read the full article here.

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