The politics of workers comp reform and how your benefits could be in jeopardy beginning January 2013.
House Bill 5002 passed in December 2011 and we are still seeing negative repercussions. Many of our clients have had their workers comp benefits reduced or stopped based upon this horrible legislation.
One issue that has not received much attention is the selection of new magistrates. In the past, an individual who wanted to be appointed needed to be approved by a Qualifications Advisory Committee. The candidate would need to demonstrate significant experience in the field of workers comp or pass a written examination.
House Bill 5002 abolishes the Qualifications Advisory Committee and makes the selection of magistrates strictly a political decision. Term limits are also eliminated so new magistrates could serve indefinitely.
New magistrates in January 2013
Nine out of seventeen terms are scheduled to expire in January 2013. This means that the governor can select more than half of the state wide magistrates based upon his own personal discretion.
These positions will most likely be filled with political appointees. Some with ties to special interest groups may even have a specific agenda to take away benefits.
The truth is that everyone brings their own personal biases to their jobs. Magistrates who decide workers comp cases are no different. This can make a big difference in your case.
It is important that the role of magistrate remain impartial and not be influenced by political or special interest groups.
Protect the integrity of the work comp system
It’s sad that workers comp has become a political game. This was clearly shown with the passage of House Bill 5002.
Special interest groups have spent big money and political capital to change the workers comp law for their favor. We need to band together to ensure that injured workers continue to receive fair benefits.
We ask that you take some time and talk to your state representatives about their position on workers comp. This is a big election year and the only way to change things is to vote against those who would threaten your benefits.
To speak with one of our workers comp lawyers in Michigan, call (855) 221-2667 for a free telephone consultation. We are committed to protecting injured employees who are hurt on-the-job.
– Alex Berman is the founder of Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers. Hes been representing injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years. Alex has helped countless people obtain workers compensation benefits and never charges a fee to evaluate a case.