House Republicans vote to reduce workers compensation in Michigan
This week the Republicans in the State House passed a new law that would reduce the benefits paid to injured employees. Among the changes: a requirement that the employee pay out of pocket to seek a second opinion or to see his own doctor; and a rule that all injured employees whose disability is not total must be assumed to have residual earning capacity for which the employer's insurer is given credit.
As a result, a minimum wage worker who lost an arm or a leg, for example, would not receive normal comp (maxed out at 2/3 of net pay): he or she would be assumed capable of working another minimum wage job (convenience store clerk) and denied any wage loss--whether he can find such a job or not.
Republicans are dismantling the safety net entirely for low wage workers; the Chamber of Commerce, who pushed this bill, should be ashamed. Some Republicans think the bill goes too far and could alienate voters; they have called into question whether it should be confirmed by the State Senate and the Governor. The Democrats, in the minority, have no effective say in the issue.