Republicans pass workers comp bill that will deny benefits to many injured workers.
Today the Michigan Legislature sent to the Governor a "wish list" bill sought by Michigan insurance companies. The bill reduces workers compensation paid to injured workers. Among other provisions, the bill proposed making injured employees pay for a second opinion if they don't completely trust the employer's comp doctor. Republicans have parrotted the insurers' claim that workers comp benefits (80% of net pay at the highest) are "too generous" and discourage workers from seeking potential alternative employment. In response the legislation deducts what the employee theoretically could earn despite his or her injury. Democrats claim that these phantom, theoretical earnings are not actually available to the injured employees, particularly in the current economy. In the case of some low-paid workers, this theoretical "credit" will extinguish their entitlement to any wage loss--even though they cannot sue their employer or co-workers for negligence under comp laws.