There are a few things that people in Wisconsin should be able to count on when they take a new job. One of these is that they will be paid for the time they work and a second is that they should be able to work in an environment free of discrimination or harassment. All workers should also be able to trust that they will be appropriately compensated if they are injured or become ill on the job. This is what the system of workers’ compensation is all about.
According to The Capital Times, Wisconsin once led the way in protecting injured employees’ rights. In 1911, the State Supreme Court upheld the workers’ compensation program. Today, however, it seems that such leadership is all but forgotten and in its place is a program that favors employers and insurance companies.
Some research has uncovered that the volume of workers’ compensation claim cases that are appealed to the Labor and Industrial Review Commission has jumped dramatically from 2007 to 2016. In 2017, only 29 percent of cases heard first by an administrative law judge were appealed. By 2016, that rose to 59 percent. Some people believe this shift is, at least in part, due to new staff appointed to the LIRC by the Governor in 2013.
The state may be wanting to combat fraud as it works more closely with the Department of Justice’s dedicated prosecutor for workers’ compensation claims. However, in the process, it may well be treating injured workers unfairly. People who need workers’ compensation benefits may be best served by working with an attorney for help on their claims.