The legislature recently passed House Bill 4138 (The Injured Worker Parity Bill), which now goes to the Governor for signature. JJLM attorney Keith Semple took a lead role in drafting and pushing this legislation, which will provide protection for workers receiving wage replacement and those with permanent disabilities. Specifically, the new law provides the following protections for workers:
Notice must now be given before wage replacement is terminated;
A worker is now allowed 45 days to obtain backdated work restrictions once notice of a defect is given, instead of 14 days from issuance of the restrictions;
The backdating limitation described above is now suspended during litigation that interferes with the ability to get work restrictions;
The medically stationary date assigned to the claim, which affects entitlement to wage replacement, cannot be backdated more than 60 days;
The insurer or self-insured employer cannot take away more than 50% of the worker’s permanent impairment compensation to recover an overpayment;
Insurers and self-insured employers cannot recover an overpayment for benefits paid more than two years prior to notice of the overpayment.
Unfortunately, the legislation does not go into effect until January 1, 2024. However, it will apply in all disputes that are not final as of that date. Kudos to Keith for all his hard work on this important legislation that which will help injured workers protect millions of dollars in benefits in the years to come.