Legislative Alert – March 13, 2017

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President’s Message

Any Benefit Cut for Injured Workers is Not Acceptable

New proposals to cut the benefits for injured workers have been introduced in both houses of the legislature and there will no doubt be attempts to force these proposals into the budget. These proposals would devastate the livelihoods of injured workers and their families. They would shift the responsibility of insurance companies to pay for the care and treatment of injured workers to social service programs and burden state and local property taxpayers with the cost.

Workplace injuries and illness have a devastating effect on workers and their families. Most lose large percentages of their incomes if they cannot work. On top of that, injured workers face a nightmare of litigation, challenges to the care they need and delays in the process of receiving wage replacement.

The truth is, the cost of benefits for workers is only a portion of the overall premium that is charged to employers. The new proposals do not even consider the expenses of insurance companies and other interests including billing companies, private investigators, independent medical examiners and dozens of other vendors that make tremendous profits off the system but stymie the ability of injured workers to access care and benefits.

In addition to reducing the costs outlined above, there are numerous other ways to reduce employer costs without benefit cuts. We should quantify savings already built into the system and specifically target it to premium reduction. We should examine the ratemaking process itself and we should maximize the use of discount programs for employers with above average or improved safety records.

The NYS AFL-CIO will work to find other meaningful but fair savings for employers. But first and foremost we will fight any attempts to reduce the benefits to injured workers and their families.

Mario Cilento, President

Issue of the Week

Oppose Workers Compensation Benefit Cuts

S4520 Akshar/A6602 Woerner

This legislation would amend the workers’ compensation law to drastically limit benefits for permanently injured workers. Most permanently injured workers already face caps on the duration of their benefits. This bill would implement those caps on average 4.5 years sooner.The effect of this legislation is to remove permanently injured workers from the system sooner, regardless of medical evidence or ability to return to work. It takes medical decisions about an injured worker’s recovery out of the hands of doctors and sets arbitrary and unreasonable standards instead. The bill also does not address what will happen to workers that are too ill or hurt to return to work and shifts the responsibility from insurance companies to government social services programs paid for by taxpayers.

Therefore, this Federation urges this bill be defeated.


Call To Action


Monday, March 13, 2017, 1:00pm
100 South Swan St., Albany, NY

Senator Fred Akshar, Chair of an Informal Senate Workgroup on Workers Compensation will address the lobbyists.

For further information contact Mike Neidl at 518-436-8516 or by email information@nysaflcio.org