Wednesday, October 26, 2011 - The Michigan Chamber of Commerce today praised actions by the members of the House Commerce Committee for approving changes to the Workers’ Compensation law. Michigan Chamber Director of Health Policy & Human Resources Wendy Block offered the following statement on the committee approval of House Bill 5002:
“The Michigan Chamber of Commerce has actively worked with lawmakers to improve Michigan’s Workers’ Compensation system. The legislation approved in committee today balances the needs of injured workers and employers who finance the system, making it a great compromise bill.
“House Bill 5002, sponsored by Rep. Bradford Jacobsen, is a solid first step towards updating, reforming and modernizing key areas of the law, which will provide increased certainty for employees and employers, keep premiums affordable for job providers and generally make Michigan—and its workers’ compensation system—more competitive.
“The bill approved by the House Commerce Committee goes a long way to address the concerns raised by various interest groups. While the goal always is going to be to return injured workers to the workplace when they are able, the bill specifies that a reduction in wages will only occur if a worker deliberately elects not to actively seek work or refuses jobs that are reasonably available. Arguments from opponents that the bill will result in an arbitrary reduction of an injured worker’s weekly benefits for his or her ‘theoretical’ ability to work are, quite simply, false, misleading and not grounded in reality.
“The Chamber will remain actively involved in this issue as it continues to move through the legislative process, urging lawmakers to support this key bill.”