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Are workers' compensation changes on the way?

Most of our readers in New York know that the workers' compensation system is in place for those workers who suffer injuries or who contract illnesses on the job. Injured or ill workers who are unable to return to work while they recover may be eligible for these benefits, which help bridge the gap when it comes to lost wages. However, much like any government-run program, the workers' compensation system in New York is not without the need for some changes. According to a recent report, changes may be on the way if Governor Andrew Cuomo succeeds in one of his pledges for his term in office.

The reports indicate that in his State of the State address Cuomo vowed to take on the changes that need to be made to the workers' compensation system. However, what those changes will look like - and whether or not employers or employees benefit - is up for discussion. The recent article noted that workers' compensation costs have been rising for businesses in New York over the last few years. As a result, some believe that mandatory caps will be put in place that limit the amount of time that a worker is eligible to receive workers' compensation benefits.

But, mandatory caps are a non-starter with employee groups. The recent article mentioned the stance of the president of the New York AFL-CIO, who stated that mandatory caps would be arbitrary.

Whatever changes may be in store for the workers' compensation system in New York, these benefits will remain in place for employees who are injured on the job due to unsafe working conditions or workplace accidents.

Source: waer.org, "Cuomo Pledge to Reform Workers' Comp Draws Some Support from Business; Labor Wary," Chris Bolt, Jan. 13, 2017

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