Change to Work Comp Law coming up for vote on Monday, Nov 15!
(11/11/2004) -- On Monday, November 8, the House Labor Committee reported out HB 2301. Here is the link to the bill.
This bill overturns the Gardner decision, which requires the first IRE to be done within the 60-day window after 104 weeks of total disability. It removes the 60-day language and substitutes "at any time."
This is the first piecemeal shot at the rights of our clients to benefits under the WC Act. It is now time for everyone in your offices and your clients all to contact their Representative and ask that HB 2301 either not come up for a vote or be voted down.
It is important to note that the case on which this statute is based is pending before the Supreme Court at the present time. The outcome of the decision is uncertain. Further, the bill is a one-sided, piecemeal effort to make changes in the WC Act that would further erode claimants' rights and subject them to the whims of the employers.
Currently there is a comprehensive study on Pennsylvania's Workers' Comp system being done by the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee. The House voted on this in June 2004 (House Resolution 660). The report of the Committee is due January 1, 2005. It is inappropriate and imprudent to be considering amendments to the WC Act before the study is finalized and released. It would be more appropriate to await the study to see what, if any, changes may make the WC Act function better.