Changes made to NYS Workers' Compensation - WBNG.com: Binghamton-area News, Weather, Sports

Changes made to NYS Workers' Compensation

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VESTAL (WBNG) -- New York State's Workers Compensation policy is seeing some updates. Local leaders came together Thursday morning to discuss the changes.

The state budget enacted Comprehensive Workers' Compensation Reform. The governor's office says the changes will provide cost savings for businesses, and better protections for injured workers. 

The state says these new reforms make sure that the most significantly injured workers have the right to be considered for lifetime benefits. 

Binghamton Chamber of Commerce CEO Jennifer Conway told 12 News that New York employers pay the third highest workers compensation costs in the country. 

"Workers comp is our biggest cost, it's probably most businesses biggest cost, in the state, so any movement on this burden, is a huge help," Matco Electric Corporation President Mark Freije said.  

Under new rules, there's a cap of maximum medical improvement to two and a half years. The changes are also updating impairment guidelines which haven't been changed since 1987.
 
"We fought hard to make sure that the injured worker was still taken care of, but we addressed the issues in the system that were antiquated and outdated," Conway explained. 

Republican Senator Fred Akshar of New York's 52nd District is happy with the changes, but says there is still work to be done. 

"Did everybody walk away from this negotiation table at the end of the day happy? I would offer no, but I would also respectfully offer in any negotiation if anybody walks away from the table a little upset, you probably did a good job," Akshar explained.

Still, many are glad to see it's an issue being addressed. 

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