Legislative changes seem likely for Wisconsin comp law

| Feb 18, 2016 | Firm News |

The Wisconsin Assembly has passed a bill that amends parts of the state’s ‘ comp law, both improving the amount of benefit payments to injured and potentially taking away all right to from some injured while impaired.

The bill cleared the Assembly with a unanimous vote of 97-0, but it still needs to be passed by the Senate before the governor can sign it and it becomes law. The bill includes provisions that will take away from any worker who suffers on the job injuries when intoxicated or on drugs.

In return for this concession, will receive a slightly greater amount of , and for injured after the start of next year, it will rise from $322 per week to $362.

The bill also authorizes the Wisconsin Department of Justice to participate in the investigation of ‘ fraud. While many believe there is much fraud perpetrated by “faking” injuries, much of the far more expensive fraud occurs when employers, doctors and hospitals manipulate the system to either leave with no coverage, obtain fees for services never provided or at inflated costs.

The best way for employers to reduce their ‘ costs is simply to operate a legal and safe workplace, by avoiding the temptation to cut corners on safety issues.

And the legislature probably should not be too pleased with itself for kicking with substance abuse issues out of the system. If they are severely injured, they are unlikely to have any source of income and lack any other medical coverage, meaning they are likely to wind up in an emergency room or a program of last resort, like Social Security Disability.

The assembly may only have shifted the cost to another program.

Source: badgerherald.com, “Assembly unanimously passes bill that would change ’ law,” VIDUSHI SAXENA AND EMILY HAMER, February 12, 2016