In Michigan
6:27 pm
Tue December 13, 2011

Workers comp changes head to governor

LANSING, MI –

Major changes proposed to Michigan's workers compensation system are on their way to Governor Rick Snyder for his approval. Michigan Public Radio's Laura Weber has more.

The changes would allow insurance companies to lower an injured employee's compensation by the amount the insurer thinks the worker could be making at another job. Opponents call those "phantom wages" or "virtual wages." There was some discussion among Republican lawmakers over whether police and firefighters should be exempt from the workers comp changes.

Democratic state Representative Jim Townsend says the measure is a bad deal for all workers.

"If the concept of virtual wages is so flawed that we may exempt public safety officers, why retain this concept for anyone else?," he asks.

Supporters of the proposal say it will provide stability to the system for businesses and discourage fraudulent injury claims.