Oppose
Employer Rights

Retroactive Workers’ Compensation Coverage Mandate for COVID Claims

Staff Contact

Wendy Block

Vice President of Business Advocacy and Member Engagement

(517) 371-7678 | wblock@michamber.com

Summary of Bill & What It Means to You

SB 161 (Sen. McCann): Retroactive Workers’ Compensation Coverage Mandate for COVID Claims.  This legislation seeks to require workers’ compensation to cover all COVID-19 related medical claims for “essential workers” retroactive to March 10, 2020.  This mandate would apply regardless of whether the worker could prove he or she contracted COVID-19 in the workplace.

Chamber Position

OPPOSE:  This proposal could unleash unintended negative consequences for employees and employers alike.  Expanding workers’ compensation coverage ignores another far superior avenue for getting income replacement to workers who become ill.  In most circumstances where the need is simply for short-term income replacement, state and federal unemployment benefits are a much better deal for workers.  In addition, research shows a move to mandate coverage will destabilize and overburden Michigan’s well-managed and financially stable workers’ compensation system, pushing it to the brink. To pay for these additional claims, workers’ compensation premiums will need to increase dramatically, which will further hurt businesses while they are recovering from the economic toll of COVID-19, making a bad situation even worse.

Bill Sponsors

This bill is a Job Killer

Primary Sponsor: Sen. Sean McCann, District 20

Additional Supporter
Sen. Stephanie Chang, District 1; Sen. Dayna Polehanki, District 7; Sen. Betty Jean Alexander,District 5; Sen. Marshall Bullock, District 4; Sen. Erika Geiss, District 6; Sen. Jeremy Moss, District 11; Sen. Winnie Brinks, District 29; Sen. Sylvia Santana, District 3; Sen. Jim Ananich, District 27; Sen. Rosemary Bayer, District 12; Sen. Paul Wojno, District 9; Sen. Curtis Hertel, District 23; Sen. Adam Hollier, District 2

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