In spite of attempted changes to a new Tennessee workers’ comp bill that would overhaul the way the state’s workers’ comp system runs, the House Finance, Ways and Means Committee has moved the bill forward. The new law would change the rules for determining what types of injuries are eligible for workers’ comp, and it would also take benefits disputes for a workplace injury out of the courtroom and put a new division in charge of them.
Those who support the bill believe that changes to the current law will make workers’ compensation claims more predictable and also lower overall costs related to the program. The new system would also create an ombudsman program that would help workers understand the processes involved in claims. On the other hand, opponents of the bill believe that a majority of the changes to the current system will end up harming workers in the state.
One of the main points of contention for those who are against the bill is the tightening of the definition of a work-related injury. Additionally, some feel that the cost-cutting measures in the bill will negatively impact workers. In spite of efforts to make changes to the bill, it was passed as is and will now proceed to a House Calendar Committee that will set up a date for a floor vote.
If someone has been injured on the job, they may want to speak with an attorney to find out what their rights are. An attorney could help someone understand what workers’ comp covers and ensure that they are treated fairly.
Source: The Tenneesean, “Tennessee workers’ comp bill advances despite last-minute effort to tweak it,” Duane Marsteller, April 3, 2013