Report finds workers' comp benefits sliding

The Wichita Eagle
Thursday, September 21, 2006

Compensation for workers who are injured on the job is under assault in Kansas and across the nation, according to a report released Wednesday.
The New York-based Center for Justice & Democracy called the workers' compensation program a "colossal failure" in its report, "Workers' Compensation -- A Cautionary Tale."
It was co-released by the Kansas Coalition for Workplace Safety, a group that lobbies to strengthen workers' compensation laws and promotes on-the-job safety measures.
"There's just been a lot of attempted erosion of workers' comp in this state," said Terri Roberts, chairwoman of the Kansas coalition. "Industry and the ( Kansas ) Chamber of Commerce have been working to reduce compensation. They've been at this for four years."

The report released Wednesday found Kansas ' benefits among the lowest in the nation and lower than all neighboring states.
The report criticized Kansas ' low benefits -- 75 percent of the average weekly wage of all Kansas workers.
Employees receive two-thirds of their gross average weekly wage up to a maximum of $483 a week.
Roberts, a registered nurse, said she and her colleagues face hazards such as errant needle sticks, back injuries from lifting patients and occasionally wounds inflicted by combative patients.
"It's not fair for those who are in higher-income wage brackets," she said.
For a copy of the complete article, contact CJ&D.

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