To: The New York State Workers’ Compensation Board
Stop the New York State Workers' Comp Board from slashing worker protections and injury payments
We demand that the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board withdraw drastic proposals to: slash arm, leg and common injury payments; make company doctors mandatory and bestow them with the authority to deny workers' comp to an injured worker who needs it; and illegally override vital democratic checks and balances with the legislature. The Board must focus on strengthening the workers' comp system in New York at a time when workers need it most.
Why is this important?
We demand that the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board withdraw its new set of harmful proposals. Without any regard for injured workers – or medical science – the Board has issued cost-cutting and protection-slashing guidelines that will strip already weak protections and render workers’ comp impossible for many of New York’s injured workers, at a time when they need support the most.
With these proposals, the Workers’ Compensation Board would:
- Open the door for doctors, insurance companies, and employers to mistreat already injured workers. The proposal impacts injured workers vulnerable to various forms of discrimination, bias, and potential abuse by giving company doctors power to suspend care. With this new “insult to injury rule” already injured workers will not be allowed unbiased medical care and will be forced to go to a company-assigned doctor who can perform any exam or ask any question—regardless of relevance to a person’s injury. If the company doctor then decides that that worker did not “fully cooperate” with the exam, the doctor can recommend a suspension of benefits and care.
- Slash protections by eliminating injury payments for a number of injuries to workers already struggling to make ends meet. Fractures, ligament and tendon tears, dislocated patellas – the list goes on and on of painful life-altering injuries to the body that would be eliminated from any payment under the comp system. The proposals also slash vital injury payments for a number of impairments associated with a workers’ ability to fully extend their arms and legs, cutting benefits by up to 97% for some injuries.
- Illegally seize the power of the legislature to determine the nature of medical impairment, eliminating accountability and transparency and spelling doom for Workers Comp in New York State. This proposal grants the Board sweeping authority to sidestep the law to adjust claims, regardless of what the legislation guarantees.
Workers’ rights are under attack all over the country, and workers’ safety is being threatened by the slashing of regulations, but New York has the choice to resist being part of the anti-worker wave.
We demand that the Board withdraw these anti-worker proposals and focus on how to improve the comp system and the lives of injured workers who need support now more than ever.