workers compensation http://michiganradio.org en Is it time to expand workplace safety regulations in Michigan? http://michiganradio.org/post/it-time-expand-workplace-safety-regulations-michigan <p>Union leaders are applauding a promise by state Democratic lawmakers to reinstate workplace safety regulations in Michigan.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The names of dozens of Michigan workers who died on the job were read aloud during a ceremony in Lansing. There are about 120 deaths in the workplace every year in Michigan.</span></p> Mon, 29 Apr 2013 19:22:10 +0000 Steve Carmody 12326 at http://michiganradio.org Is it time to expand workplace safety regulations in Michigan? Michigan lawmakers are considering changes to workers' compensation rule for firefighters http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-lawmakers-are-considering-changes-workers-compensation-rule-firefighters <p>State lawmakers are grappling with an issue that pits Michigan’s firefighters against insurance companies.</p><p></p><p>A bill before the Senate Judiciary committee would expand workers compensation coverage to Michigan’s five thousand paid firefighters to include ten types of cancer, including respiratory tract, bladder, skin, and brain.</p><p></p><p>The change would ‘presume’ fighting fires caused the cancers and not require firefighters to prove exposure on the job is responsible.</p><p></p> Mon, 22 Apr 2013 18:48:01 +0000 Steve Carmody 12235 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan lawmakers are considering changes to workers' compensation rule for firefighters Vicki Barnett: Republican agenda is hurting workers http://michiganradio.org/post/vicki-barnett-republican-agenda-hurting-workers <p>Governor Rick Snyder signed major changes to employer paid benefits into law yesterday.</p><p>The changes will limit how much an injured worker can be compensated based on how much an insurance company thinks that worker could make at another job, among other things.</p><p>The new law will also make it more difficult for a person to collect jobless benefits.</p> Tue, 20 Dec 2011 20:02:04 +0000 Mercedes Mejia & Jennifer White 5485 at http://michiganradio.org Vicki Barnett: Republican agenda is hurting workers Michigan Gov. Snyder signs laws overhauling worker's comp and unemployment benefits http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-gov-snyder-signs-laws-overhauling-workers-comp-and-unemployment-benefits <p>Governor Snyder signed big changes to employer paid benefits into law this afternoon. One limits how much injured workers can be compensated (basing their pay on how much an injured worker could potentially make at another job), and another limits a person&#39;s ability to collect unemployment payments.</p><p>More from the Associated Press:</p><blockquote><p>The bills would further limit the ability of a person who was fired for cause or who may have left a job voluntarily from collecting jobless benefits.</p><p>They would require some unemployed workers to take jobs after 10 weeks of benefits even if the jobs are outside the unemployed worker&#39;s previous experience or pay lower wages.</p><p>The measures also would push injured workers to seek some type of employment once they&#39;re able.</p><p>Democrats say the new laws could unfairly keep hurt or jobless workers from getting benefits. Republicans say they&#39;ll cut down on fraud.</p></blockquote><p>Michigan Radio&#39;s Rick Pluta reports:</p><blockquote><p>The measures will also allow Michigan to sell bonds to repay unemployment loans to the federal government. Snyder says those loans cost taxpayers almost $40 million in interest this year, and businesses $137 million in penalties.</p><p>&ldquo;By doing this financing we can essentially get out of the penalties and we can lower our interest costs and be successful and give our employers a better path to create jobs, which I want to emphasize is the real point behind this,&rdquo; said Snyder.</p></blockquote><p> Mon, 19 Dec 2011 20:26:59 +0000 Mark Brush 5467 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan Gov. Snyder signs laws overhauling worker's comp and unemployment benefits Political Roundup: Workers' compensation http://michiganradio.org/post/political-roundup-workers-compensation <p>The Michigan legislature has passed a bill that would make major changes to the state&rsquo;s workers&#39; compensation law.</p><p>Under the new bill, insurance companies can reduce the amount of compensation to an injured worker based on how much that worker could make at another job while injured. That&rsquo;s regardless of whether that job is even available.</p><p>It&rsquo;s now headed to Governor Rick Snyder for his signature.</p> Thu, 15 Dec 2011 21:24:38 +0000 Jennifer White & Zoe Clark 5414 at http://michiganradio.org Political Roundup: Workers' compensation Michigan workers' comp: quick facts and possible changes http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-workers-comp-quick-facts-and-possible-changes <p><a href="http://www.legislature.mi.gov/documents/2011-2012/billconcurred/House/htm/2011-HCB-5002.htm">Potential large-scale changes</a> to Michigan&#39;s workers&#39; compensation laws now hinge on a stroke of Governor Rick Snyder&#39;s pen.</p><p>The <a href="http://www.mlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2011/12/michigan_workers_comp_changes.html">Associated Press</a> reports that Snyder &quot;will likely support the bill pending final review.&quot;</p><p>In case you haven&#39;t been keeping up on the issue, here&#39;s a list of important facts about workers&#39; compensation in Michigan from Changing Gears Public Insight Analyst, Sarah Alvarez.</p><p>We&#39;ve also highlighted one of the more controversial changes that could take effect should the governor sign off on the bill.</p><p><a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/five-things-know-about-workers-compensation">5 things to know about workers&#39; compensation</a>: Wed, 14 Dec 2011 21:07:31 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom & Mark Brush 5399 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan workers' comp: quick facts and possible changes Workers' comp changes head to governor http://michiganradio.org/post/workers-comp-changes-head-governor <p>Major changes proposed to Michigan&rsquo;s workers compensation system are on their way to Governor Rick Snyder for his approval.</p><p>The legislation&nbsp;would allow insurance companies to reduce payments to injured workers by the amount the insurer believes they could make at another job.</p><p>Opponents say&nbsp;injured workers should be allowed to recover from their injuries before they&rsquo;re expected to work again.</p><p>&nbsp;&ldquo;I urge my colleagues to please don&rsquo;t take injured workers and force them back before they&rsquo;ve healed, that&rsquo;s not what the bill was supposed to be about, and it&rsquo;s certainly not the kind of people we hope to be,&quot; said State&nbsp;Rep. Vicki Barnett (D-Farmington Hills).&nbsp;&quot;Let injured individuals get the time they need to heal.&rdquo;</p><p>Supporters say the changes would help prevent fraudulent workers&rsquo; comp claims. And they say they&rsquo;ll help stabilize the finances of the workers&rsquo; comp system. Tue, 13 Dec 2011 22:35:26 +0000 Laura Weber 5381 at http://michiganradio.org Workers' comp changes head to governor Political Roundup with Ken Sikkema and Debbie Dingell http://michiganradio.org/post/political-roundup-ken-sikkema-and-debbie-dingell <p>With the legislature set to go on winter break next week, there&#39;s a flurry of activity at the state capitol.&nbsp;</p><p>In this week&#39;s political roundup we look at the state senate bill, which makes major changes to worker&rsquo;s compensation, the bill to restrict public employers from offering live in and same sex partner benefits, and news about the emergency manager law.</p> Thu, 08 Dec 2011 21:33:50 +0000 Jennifer White, Mercedes Mejia & Zoe Clark 5309 at http://michiganradio.org Political Roundup with Ken Sikkema and Debbie Dingell Senate to vote on major changes to workers' comp rules http://michiganradio.org/post/senate-vote-major-changes-workers-comp-rules <p>The state Senate is expected to vote this evening on major changes to Michigan&rsquo;s workers&rsquo; compensation laws. The proposal would reduce payments to an injured worker by the amount an insurance company believes the worker could make at another job.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;Just what that will do to the working people of this state, I shudder to think, because it will cause untold misery on thousands of people&rsquo;s lives,&quot; says&nbsp;Rick Warsh,&nbsp;an attorney&nbsp;who handles workers&#39; compensation&nbsp;cases.</p><p>Those who support the measure say it would help prevent fraudulent claims, and would stabilize the workers&rsquo; compensation system for businesses. Wed, 07 Dec 2011 22:02:08 +0000 Laura Weber 5291 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan lawmakers planning changes to Workers Comp, hearings continue http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-lawmakers-planning-changes-workers-comp-hearings-continue <p>More than one hundred workers, union representatives and business lobbyists showed up at the state Capitol today to testify on proposed changes to Michigan&rsquo;s workers compensation law.</p><p>The proposed changes before a state Senate panel would reduce an injured worker&rsquo;s benefits based on the amount an insurance company believes the worker could be earning at another job.</p><p>Chris Luty, with the Michigan State Police Troopers Association, told lawmakers finding a job, especially while injured, is not as easy as some insurance companies would claim.</p><p>&ldquo;What&rsquo;s available out there &ndash; what&rsquo;s really available out there &ndash; and what&rsquo;s theoretically available out there are often two very different things,&rdquo; said Luty.</p><p>Luty told lawmakers about a state trooper named Drew Spencer, who was hit by a car while on the job. Spencer&rsquo;s injuries were severe and left him dependent on workers compensation benefits.</p><p>&ldquo;Drew Spencer, like most people within the Department of State Police, has a lot of experience before he came in. He has an education. And when you apply the virtual wage language as I understand it, Drew Spencer would get nothing under this bill, as I understand it,&rdquo; said Luty.</p><p>The proposed changes also includes extending the length of time an injured worker must see a doctor assigned to them by insurance companies rather than their own doctor.</p><p>Carl Alden, with the Michigan Association of Chiropractors, says letting injured workers visit their own doctors makes sure workers get the best medical care so they can get back to work more quickly.</p><p>&ldquo;The success of Michigan&rsquo;s current system shows that making a change is not in the best interest of employers, workers, Michigan, and ultimately the insurers,&rdquo; said Alden.</p><p>Business groups say the proposed changes would help reduce fraudulent claims from workers and provide stability for businesses.</p><p>The Senate panel is expected to continue hearings on the workers comp issue when the Legislature returns from a two-week break next week. Tue, 22 Nov 2011 21:06:22 +0000 Laura Weber 5106 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan lawmakers planning changes to Workers Comp, hearings continue Five things to know about workers' compensation http://michiganradio.org/post/five-things-know-about-workers-compensation <p><a href="http://www.legislature.mi.gov/documents/2011-2012/billengrossed/House/pdf/2011-HEBH-5002.pdf">Sweeping proposed changes</a> to Michigan&#39;s Workers&#39; Compensation law are working their way through the state government. Here&#39;s a recap on some basics about the system.</p><p><strong>The basics</strong></p><p>Most employers in the state must participate in the workers&#39; compensation system.</p> Thu, 10 Nov 2011 13:46:16 +0000 Sarah Alvarez 4907 at http://michiganradio.org Five things to know about workers' compensation Michigan Legislature considering changes to workers comp http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-legislature-considering-changes-workers-comp <p>Republicans in the state Legislature want to change Michigan&rsquo;s workers compensation law. They say the changes would help Michigan businesses by reducing what business owners pay in insurance premiums.</p><p>Democrats say the changes would also reduce the amount of money given to many injured workers.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>Michael Czinski was hurt on the job as a police officer a few years ago. He broke his wrist in a fall and damaged an artery that supplied blood to the area. Three surgeries later, he has limited use of his right hand. Wed, 09 Nov 2011 22:30:46 +0000 Laura Weber 4915 at http://michiganradio.org Political Roundup: The State of the Legislature http://michiganradio.org/post/political-roundup-state-legislature <p>This session of the legislature is winding down and we want to take a look at what we can expect between now and the end of the year.</p><p>Susan Demas, political analyst at Michigan Information and Research Service, says we'll probably see changes to workers compensation, a push to do the no-fault insurance reforms, election reform and maybe we'll see the debate over a new Detroit River bridge come up once again.</p><p>Ken Sikkema, former Senate Majority Leader and senior policy fellow at Public Sector Consultants, says Gov. Snyder has been "pretty silent" about some high profile issues, such as the repeal of the motorcycle helmet law. Thu, 03 Nov 2011 20:23:30 +0000 Jennifer White 4827 at http://michiganradio.org Political Roundup: The State of the Legislature Michigan House approves workers compensation overhaul http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-house-approves-workers-compensation-overhaul <p>The state House has approved an overhaul of Michigan&rsquo;s worker-compensation system. That system is supposed to pay benefits to people injured on the job.</p><p>Business groups and Republicans say an overhaul of the system is needed to reduce insurance rates paid by employers, and get people back to work more quickly &ndash; even if it&rsquo;s a job that pays less.</p><p>They say a leaner and less-expensive system is still needed to make the state more employer-friendly.</p><p>Representative Bradford Jacobsen (R-Oxford) sponsored the bill.</p><p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;re not talking about someone driving 50 miles looking for a lawn-mowing job. But we do ask, if you&rsquo;re on work comp that if you&rsquo;re able to go back even in a marginal job to get back on some earning capacity to go ahead and do it,&rdquo; said Jacobsen.</p><p>State Representative Vicki Barnett (D-Farmington Hills) opposed the overhaul.</p><p>She says it will reduce benefits for injured workers and force some of them to take lower-paying jobs before they are fully healed:</p><p>&ldquo;What we do here matters to people and to families every day. This particular bill will be hurting families, workers, and the very people we came here to protect,&rdquo; said Barnett.</p><p>Democrats also say the changes are not needed because Michigan&rsquo;s unemployment coverage rates have gone down in 12 of the past 16 years.</p><p>They say the changes could become harder for employees to file claims or receive benefits they deserve. Wed, 02 Nov 2011 21:06:39 +0000 Rick Pluta 4819 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan House approves workers compensation overhaul