This past week in Michigan, the state Senate held a hearing on H.B. 5002, an anti-workers bill that would undermine workers’ compensation by creating unnecessary obstacles for injured Michigan workers who seek compensation for work-related injuries. If passed, the bill would significantly reduce compensation payments, restrict injured workers’ right to select their own health-care providers, and completely eliminate undocumented workers’ benefits.
According to AFL-CIO Field Commutations staffer Cathy Sherwin, the Senate hearing room was jam-packed with opponents of the bill. Many of these opponents emphasized the irrationality of the bill’s proposed formula for computing compensation payments and described its potential harm on Michigan workers. The formula involves subtracting “imaginary” wages—the amount the worker might be able to earn—and pensions from the worker’s compensation payment, regardless of whether the worker has retired or whether another job is available. In support of the H.B. 5002, corporations and interest groups were present at the hearing. The bill, which passed in the state House, is yet another manifestation of the attack on Michigan workers, reaching a new low by targeting injured workers who are hurt on the job through no fault of their own