NWCDN Members regularly post articles and summary judgements in workers’ compensations law in your state.
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The Wisconsin Worker’s Compensation Advisory Council was created to advise the Department and Legislature on policy matters concerning the development and administration of Wisconsin’s worker’s compensation system. The Advisory Council is comprised of an equal number of voting members from labor and management, along with non-voting representatives from the insurance industry, a representative from the Department and liaisons from the medical community. In 2014, for the first time in the history of the Advisory Council, the agreed-upon bill that it submitted to the Legislature did not pass.
On July 12, 2015, Governor Walker enacted the 2015 Budget Bill which included the transfer of 18 worker’s compensation administrative law judges from the Department of Workforce Development to the Department of Administration. This was the first change to the worker’s compensation field that has occurred without the Advisory Council’s input. Since that time there have been many rumors regarding the intent of various groups to circumvent the Advisory Council and introduce bills directly to the Legislature that would significantly change the landscape of Wisconsin’s worker’s compensation system.
The Advisory Council recently met last Wednesday, October 21, 2015, and authored a draft bill that has been negotiated and agreed upon by both labor and management to be introduced in the 2015-2016 session. Per notes taken at the most recent meeting, below are some of the main items that are set to be listed in the final agreed-upon bill that is scheduled to be drafted and submitted to the Legislature later this year. As you will see, the changes proposed appear to favor employers and insurance carriers.
In addition to the Advisory Council’s agreed-upon bill, Representatives Spiros (R-Marshfield) and Knodl (R-Germantown) and Senator Stroebel (R-Saukville) circulated a reform proposal last week which includes many provisions that are even more employer-friendly than those in the agreed-upon bill. Highlighted below are some of the most significant changes included in this recent bill:
This bill is set to be introduced to the Legislature jointly by Rep. Spiros and Sen. Stroebel on October 29, 2015, to be voted on yet this year.
At this time, it is yet to be seen whether either bill will be adopted by the Legislature in its entirety or in part.
Please feel free to contact Chelsie Springstead by email email@example.com, or any member of the Lindner & Marsack Worker’s Compensation Defense Practice with any questions.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chelsie Springstead is an attorney at Lindner & Marsack, S.C., a law firm located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin that is dedicated to representing employers, self-insured employers, and insurance carriers in workers’ compensation cases, along with all facets of labor, employment and employee benefits law. The firm is a member of The National Workers’ Compensation Defense Network (NWCDN), which is a national network of reputable law firms organized to provide employers and insurers access to quality representation in workers’ compensation and related employer liability fields. If you have questions about this article or Wisconsin workers’ compensation issues in general, please feel free to contact the author firstname.lastname@example.org, or (414) 273-3910.