Wisconsin state Representative John Spiros and state Senator Duey Stroebel (both Republicans) issued a memo last week announcing their intention to introduce legislation overhauling the state’s workers’ comp system. Namely, the two lawmakers are seeking to limit or eliminate recovery of benefits under a range of circumstances. Among the included scenario’s in the legislation (identified pre-official introduction as LRB 1786) are provisions stating that “an employer is not liable for temporary disability benefits during an employee’s healing period when the employee is suspended or terminated from employment due to misconduct” or if the employee “misrepresents” his or her physical condition. Further, a major portion of the bill appears to insert fault back into the concept of workers’ comp, explaining that, “if the employee’s injury is caused by such a failure to use safety devices, failure to obey a safety rule, or intoxication or by any other negligence attributable to the employee, the amount of worker’s compensation payable to the employee is reduced in proportion to the amount of negligence attributable to the employee.” According to a WorkCompCentral report, the memo came as a shock to system stakeholders, who had, the same day, reached a consensus on a comp bill to go to the Legislature.
Read the LRB 1786 in its entirety below. Read further coverage from WorkCompCentral here.