By Loren Furman
CACI Senior Vice President State and Federal Relations
During the legislature’s 2014 session, legislation will be introduced that will modify current law addressing worker’s compensation benefits for injured workers. The legislation is being advocated by the AFL–CIO and would change the current workers’ compensation system, which was reformed in 1991 through negotiations between labor and business.
The legislation that is being advocated for next session contains the following three proposals:
- Allowing for an increase in choice of physician within the current Level II accreditation system if the injured worker notifies their employer within 72 hours after an injury;
- Changing the current safety penalty provision in law by increasing workers compensation benefits by 50% if an injury is believed to have been caused by an employer who willfully placed a worker in an unsafe environment;
- Including requirements addressing employment separation agreements and tracking of those agreements by the Colorado Department of Labor & Employment.
A first draft of this legislation is available. Please note that this is a working draft and we anticipate several changes to the bill over the next few months.
Since this legislation affects all Colorado employers, your feedback is very important to us! Please contact Loren Furman at [email protected] or at (303) 866-9642 to share your comments/concerns regarding this draft and how you believe it will affect you as an employer or employer representative.
Additionally, CACI has convened an Employer Workers Compensation Coalition to develop next steps on this issue. If you are interested in participating in this coalition, please contact Loren Furman at [email protected] so that she can provide you additional details.