Families of Michigan employees killed on-the-job cite lack of transparency and inadequate workers’ compensation benefits as serious problems.
A disturbing article was posted on MLive.com about workplace deaths in Michigan. It follows three families who are dealing with loss. Lack of transparency and inadequate workers’ compensation benefits are cited as serious problems.
MLive found that workplace death information is becoming more difficult to access for families, journalists, attorneys, and the general public. Relatives must resort to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests just to get closure. Under President Trump, the Department of Labor has also reduced transparency and made changes described as fairer to employers.
One of the families in the article received just $6,000 for burial expenses. This is because the worker was divorced with two grown children. Michigan law prohibits workplace lawsuits and makes workers’ compensation the exclusive remedy. Survivors benefits are only payable if there is a dependent.
Our 2 cents
Transparency is critical because it allows families to get needed closure. This information can also be used to build hazard awareness and stop workplace accidents from happening in the future. Employers who break safety rules must be held accountable through civil fines and criminal prosecution when appropriate.
These tragedies also highlight problems with our Michigan workers’ compensation system. Families are not getting adequate support. While no amount of money can replace a human life, more should be done.
Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers never charges a fee to evaluate a potential case. Our law firm has represented injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years. Call (844) 316-8033 for a free consultation today.
Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, by Got Credit.