Articles Posted in Legislation

In another recent proposal to reform Massachusetts workers’ compensation law, the Massachusetts Legislature recently held a hearing in which it heard testimony regarding a change that is designed to increase access to workers’ compensation benefits and medical care for injured workers.

The proposal, Senate Bill 976, is designed to help low-wage workers by making interpreters and transportation to the doctor expenses the responsibility of the insurer. The Labor and Workforce Development Committee heard testimony by an attorney from a local organization in support of the bill.

In addition to making medical benefits more accessible, the bill would also lead to the increase of workers’ compensation benefits, since it would require the insurer and judge to take into account Massachusetts’ minimum wage and overtime laws when reaching a determination regarding the worker’s average weekly rate.

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Prior posts on this blog have discussed the fact that many workers who become injured in Massachusetts, in some cases even those who lose a limb, may not be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits or may not receive the level of compensation that they deserve.

One category of injured workers that may not necessarily receive the compensation they deserve is those who are scarred from chemical burns, gas explosions, falling pallets, or machine injuries. That is because under current Massachusetts workers’ compensation laws, if workers’ injuries and resulting scars occur on their arms, legs, or torsos, they do not receive workers’ compensation benefits for their permanent disfigurement.

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