2003 LEGISLATIVE PROGRAM
Following is The Business Council's 2003 Legislative Program. It identifies priority issues to be addressed by the Committees and Councils during 2003.
- Support a fundamental overhaul of New York's workers' compensation system using an approach that might be called "the Connecticut plan". Propose adopting their system - or that of a similar state - as a common-sense approach that provides an appealing combination of higher weekly benefits for the injured and lower costs for employers.
- Provide payment of benefits in a non-scheduled partial impairment case to 500 weeks.
- Implement reasonable, objective medical guidelines. Support legislation to reduce the cost of workers' compensation insurance, including state-imposed assessments used to support the Workers Comp board and other special funds.
- Support amendments to sections 240 and 241 of the labor law to create a comparative negligence standard on third party suits.
- Provide scheduled awards to one-half the claimants total disability for periods that do not represent actual lost time.
- Support partial benefit offset when the claimant begins to receive, or becomes eligible for full social security benefits.
- Support amendments to sections 21 and 47 of the workers' compensation law that require a preponderance of the evidence to support and award under this law.
- Support regulation or legislation that defines independent contractors.
- Support prohibiting payment of workers' compensation benefits, similar to limits found in the disability law, if the employee's injury was sustained during the perpetration of an illegal act or if the injury occurred under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Base legal fees for claimants representatives on the amount of any increase in award received by claimant in excess of the initial offer from the insurer or self-insurer.
- Suspend indemnity benefits if a partially disabled claimant refuses to apply for or interview for an employment opportunity within his current functional capability.
- Limit the number of chiropractor visits to those authorized by a referring physician and require the physician to reevaluate the treatment plan after ten chiropractic visits.
- Require that all insurers and self-insurers provide a monthly list, in electronic form, to the New York State Workers' Compensation Board of all claims currently receiving indemnity payments for matching with existing state database of employed workers.