One of my roles at MCV Law is advocating for Injured Workers in places other than the courtroom. To this end, I am one of the founders and served as president of the New York Injured Workers Bar Association (IWBA). Currently, I co-chair the New York Workers Compensation Alliance, (WCA) which is the political action committee of the IWBA.
As co-Chair of the WCA, I work to educate elected officials and others about how the Workers Compensation Law really works in New York. Many people we meet have only a simple understanding of the law. They tell me that Injured Workers receive medical care and 2/3 of their wages.
Injured Workers, their families, and those that care for and represent Injured Workers know that the administration of the Workers' Compensation law is anything but simple. They know there are barriers to treatment and medications. They know that it is rare for Injured Workers to receive 2/3 of their wages during the entire period of disability. And they know that it is likely that their benefits will come to an end.
In the 2022 legislative session, the WCA proposed legislation that we hoped would solve some of the issues the Injured Worker faces. Three WCA bills were passed by the New York Senate. The New York Assembly deliberated our bills up to the last hours, ultimately passing only one of the bills that cleared the Senate.
The legislation passed is known as the Temporary Total Bill S768/A1118; it provides that Injured Workers receive the full 2/3 of their wages until they return to work, reach Maximum Medical Improvement or Permanency is determined. The bill allows the employer to offer work consistent with the Injured Workers' abilities. If the new work pays less than the “at Injury” Job, the Injured Worker will be paid 2/3 of the difference, which is known as reduced earnings. Currently we are working to convince the Governor of the merits of the bill.