NCLEJ and its allies help defeat proposed Workers Compensation regulations that would have severely harmed low-wage workers
In September 2017, as a result of recent New York State legislation, the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board proposed new impairment guidelines for benefits that are awarded to workers who suffer a permanent impairment as a result of a workplace injury or illness. The proposed guidelines would have drastically cut benefits for permanently injured workers, and the proposed regulations would have required an injured worker to submit to examinations by a doctor chosen by her insurance company, regardless of whether the worker had concerns about the particular doctor, including whether the doctor could communicate in the worker’s language. This was the case even if the worker’s doctor was fully familiar with the worker’s diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis. Under the proposed rule, if the worker did not fully cooperate with the insurer’s doctor, the worker would have forfeited her benefits. The proposed regulations and guidelines were a serious assault on the rights of injured workers.
NCLEJ, in support of and working with the Workers’ Protection Coalition, NYCOSH, Make the Road New York, and numerous other grass roots organizations, helped organize opposition to the proposed regulations. As a result, the proposed regulations and guidelines will not be law. The Board received comments opposing the proposed regulations and guidelines, including numerous comments from colleagues coordinated by NCLEJ, and released a new proposal on November 22. This new set of proposed rules, which was ultimately adopted by the Board in December after another round of comments, is a significant improvement. Under the final guidelines, the Board withdrew the proposed regulations threatening workers’ rights. For more information: http://www.wcb.ny.gov/content/main/hcpp/ImpairmentGuidelines/ImpGuideOverview.jsp