State Bills Address Workers’ Comp Issues

January 25, 2023

Bills recently introduced in Mississippi and New York are designed to address issues with workers’ compensation and could potentially pave the way for more lawsuits by injured workers, according to Business Insurance.

The Mississippi bill, S.B. 2863, filed on January 16, 2023, would allow injured workers or surviving family members to sue employers under certain circumstances.

The law, if passed, would add to the state’s exclusive remedy provision in workers’ compensation law an exception stating that “(w)hen an injured employee, or his legal representative in case death results from the injury, can demonstrate that the employee’s injury or death on the job was caused by the employer’s gross negligence where injury was substantially certain to occur.”

In New York, Senate Bill 1488, which was introduced on January 19, 2023, would prevent businesses from retaliating against workers who file claims for work-related injuries. If passed, employers who violate the law could face fines between US$500 and $2,000.

It was already illegal in New York for employers to “discriminate” against employees for filing workers’ compensation claims. The new bill now adds the word “retaliation” to the same law.

The Mississippi bill has been referred to a judiciary committee. The New York bill has been sent to the state’s Senate Labor Committee.

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