Injured Workers Lose

Lori Province of the Washington State Labor Council (speaker for the program portion of our 2/20/2013 monthly meeting) reported that the allegedly bipartisan and moderate GOP+2 (Rodney Tom and Tim Sheldon) coalition in the State Senate has shown its “true colors” with the introduction of decidedly partisan and anti-labor workman’s compensation bills.  Two of the three bills passed  only on the strength of GOP+2 25-24 votes.
The result of these measures becoming law would be to encourage workers to settle on lower benefits by removing present limitations.
SB5112 would allow Retrospective Rating groups to claim larger rebates by rushing injured workers through the medical examination and vocational assessment processes.  It passed 25-24 with united opposition from Senate Democrats in the minority.
SB5128 removes all age restriction on settlement buyouts of injured workers’ claims, which are now limited to workers aged 55 and older.  it also passed 25-24.
SB5127 lowers the age restrictions on settlement buyouts from 55 to 40 years of age.  It was amended on the floor and passed 30-19 with five Democratic senators joining the GOP+2 in support.
Other regressive Workman’s Comp measures introduced in the Senate include  SB5124 and 5126.  No new jobs will result from these measures.  For more information or discussion, contact Lori at lprovince@wslc.org.