Amendments to the Wisconsin Worker’s Compensation Act were signed by Governor Walker on February 29, 2016 and went into effect on March 2. Several aspects of this bill represent significant changes. The Plain Language Summary Act 180 explains more, but some of the notable changes, and their place in the summary, include:
#4. PPD Rate
The maximum weekly permanent partial disability (PPD) rate will increase to $342 for injuries occurring throughout the rest of 2016. The rate increases to $362 for injuries occurring on or after January 1, 2017.
#8. Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations for traumatic injuries will be reduced from 12 years to 6 years (the statute of limitations for occupational injuries did not change).
#9. Permanent Disability Apportionment
Apportionment of permanent disability resulting from accidental injuries will be based on their causes. Practitioners will determine the percentage of permanent disability caused by the direct result of the work-related injury and the percentage attributable to other factors before and after the injury. An employee who claims a work-related injury is required to disclose all previous permanent disabilities or physical impairments and the records needed to make an apportionment determination.
#20. Discharge or Suspension for Misconduct or Substantial Fault
Temporary disability benefits can be denied if an employee is brought back to work on light duty and is then fired due to misconduct or substantial fault.
#23. Violation of Employer’s Alcohol/Drug Policy
The amendments eliminate indemnity and death benefits to workers who violate an employer’s drug and alcohol policy if the use of such substances are shown to be the cause of the injury.
Please be aware that this information is not intended to be used as legal advice, but rather as a source of information.