Governor Walker recently signed into law Assembly Bill 724 (AB 724), which modified and updated the Wisconsin Workers’ Compensation Act.
This bill represents agreements made between labor and management representatives serving on the state’s Workers’ Compensation Advisory Council (WCAC) and includes provisions that benefit both employers and employees. It is a step in the right direction for controlling costs, and has laid the groundwork for continued discussions about medical cost containment options in the future.
Major changes favorable to employers include:
- Lowering the statute of limitations for traumatic injuries from 12 to six years.
- Limiting an employee’s access to temporary disability payments if that person is terminated due to misconduct or substantial fault.
- Clarifying that an employer is only liable for the percentage of an employee’s permanent disability that was caused while working for them, not for a prior condition or previous injury.
- Revoking indemnity payments if an employee is injured due to a violation of the company’s drug or alcohol policy.
- Allowing for the reevaluation and adjustment of permanent partial disability ratings based on advancements in medical technology and improvements in medical outcomes.
- Funding for the investigation and prosecution of fraud.