Janet L. Duprey Statement on Workers’ Compensation Reform

February 27, 2007
“An agreement was reached today in Albany to drastically reform the State’s workers’ compensation system. For years New York State has had the highest workers’ compensation costs for employers, and was among the lowest in the nation in terms of benefits,” Janet L. Duprey said. The current system has not been significantly changed or updated since 1992.

Notable items contained in today’s proposal include: strict data analysis and accounting of system costs, closure of the costly and outdated “Second Injury Fund,” and capping the maximum number of years that certain claimants can collect cash benefits. Increased penalties for system fraud and abuses were announced, as were changes to the hearing process. And, using fact-based medical guidelines to replace the current system’s outdated medical procedure guidelines was proposed as well.

“This reform is long overdue. The recent Chamber of Commerce survey found 98 percent of respondents support workers’ compensation reform,” Assemblywoman Janet L. Duprey (R,I,C-Peru) said.

“As with all legislation, the devil is in the details. This could, if drafted correctly, be a good start for both employer cost-savings and dignity for workers. I am anxiously waiting to review this proposal in bill form,” Duprey said.