New York State government’s latest gesture toward workers’ compensation reform “is shaping up to be a financial and logistical setback likely to last a decade or more,” Goldberg Segalla partners Todd M. Jones and Tracey A. McLean and associate Kelly C. O’Connor write in USLAW Magazine.
In their article, Todd, Tracey, and Kelly assess the shortcomings, pain points, and absurdities of the latest “reforms” — including inconsistent timelines, a reduced threshold for loss of wage-earning capacity (LWEC) that triggers the extreme hardship provision, loopholes in the drug formulary, and more.
The authors also look ahead to “coming fronts” in the reform implementation, including the IME process. “If history is an indicator,” they write, “it is almost a certainty that this process will be refined in a way that further undermines an employer’s ability to litigate its position in New York State.”
“Throughout the country, states are constantly considering reforms to their workers’ compensation system,” Todd, Tracey, and Kelly note. “The New York experience now seems to be an example for employers that demonstrates how to quickly and effectively snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Despite being touted as meaningful reform for employers and workers alike, it is now clearer than ever that this proclamation was only half true.”