In the newly enacted budget for New York State’s 2016/17 fiscal year, the Legislature rejected proposals that would have reduced benefits for injured workers and deprived them of their fundamental right to due process.
The WCA thanks the Legislature for re-affirming the principle that those who are injured on the job have the right to fair and adequate compensation, the right to choose their own doctors and to participate in their own health care decisions, and the right to a fair hearing and a meaningful appeal when legal action is needed.
For too long, too much of the conversation about workers’ compensation has centered around costs for employers and profits for insurers. The truth is that employer costs are low and insurer profits are high. It’s time to turn our attention to the injured workers who suffer the real cost of inadequate benefits and a broken system.
The WCA salutes the Governor, Assembly Speaker Heastie, Senate Majority Leader Flanagan, and the Legislature for their efforts on behalf of low wage and immigrant workers by increasing minimum wage and adopting paid leave. Each of these initiatives helps New Yorkers while they are employed. Now an equal effort must be dedicated to helping and protecting New Yorkers who are hurt on the job and lose their employment benefits. Injured workers need more compensation, more health care options, and more access to a fairer, faster, and more transparent system.
The WCA looks forward to working with the Legislature and all who speak for injured workers in this campaign.