J. Mailey: Cast vote accordingly

The recent passage of two bills shows, once again, that many Republicans in Augusta have anti-worker agendas.

The new workers' compensation law places a 10-year cap on benefits paid to an injured worker. After 10 years, an injured worker will be lucky to be able to receive further benefits.

The bill was written by lawyers representing the insurance companies in Maine and, even though the comp system was financially sound and the fraud rate low, it was passed strictly by party lines. It seems that a change had to be made to allow for more earnings for the insurance industry.

Just two years ago, organized labor in Maine fought and won to change the law so that Maine workers could keep their vacation pay upon layoff. Your vacation money is earned by you and should be kept by you and not used to offset your unemployment. But this law was overturned by the Republican-dominated House and Senate.

It is important to remember that neither of these laws when enacted will produce one single job, nor does either law offer any new fraud prevention measures. What these two laws will do, shamefully, is to once again enhance the pocketbooks of those who need it less while burdening the backs of Maine’s working people.

I will remember in November who was really looking out for whom and will cast my votes accordingly. I can only hope that others will also remember who took money from them.

Joe Mailey, Auburn

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Comments

ERNEST LABBE's picture

After ten years

After ten years I would think that the injured worker would have sucessfully won a settlement on the injury that would substain the worker for the rest of their life.

Jason Theriault's picture

Nope

In most cases you cannot sue. The system was a trade off - workers can't sue but they also don't have to prove who's at fault.

Jonathan McKane's picture

Workers are still protected.

Workers are still protected. In fact, Maine will continue to have one of the most liberal and expensive workers comp systems in the country. These changes simply move us towards the norm. Workers are still protected.

Edward Bulger's picture

Anti -worker

Your comment shows you are an anti-worker or you haven't got a clue. There is no in between. If you had to work for a living and you got hurt you would find out in a hurry that this state is screwing its injured workers worse then any other group. Protection?? What a joke.On full workers comp an employee recieves 80% of his base pay. If he has to hire a lawyer and the employer and their insurance company has is found at fault the employee not the insurance company or the employer has to pay the lawyer. That is usually one third of what the settlement is. The settlement isn't extra money , it is money the employee would have earned had he not been injured. This is base pay not an average of what would normally be earned when you include overtime. The employee is screwed double time he has to shell out money to the lawyer that he can't afford or risk loosing it all. The workers not the corporations are the backbone of this great country and by backing the greedy few you are helping screw the workers and proving the republicans are anti-workers.

Jonathan McKane's picture

Workers comp costs are simply

Workers comp costs are simply too high in Maine. They actually prevent employers from hiring. You big-labor people need to understand that small business is not the enemy. Without these businesses there are no jobs. When will you get it?

"If you had to work for a living"

I've been in construction for 35 years. I have my own business - no workers comp for me.

Jason Theriault's picture

Why?

Please explain why it is the "most liberal and expensive workers comp systems in the country"...

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Workers compensation is just

Workers compensation is just that; compensation for work related injuries. It is not WELFARE!!! If a worker is unfortunate enough to suffer a career ending injury, he is injured for life, not just 10 years. Where is the justification for the 10 year moratorium?
If it's only the saving of money for the insurance companies, it's wrong.

Jason Theriault's picture

See, we agree on things.

Yarr, Pirate, ye be on target! Fire a Broadside!
And by dumping people who were injured on the job off onto the Disability roles, tax payers are on the hook.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

You and I agreeing on

You and I agreeing on something? I find that scary. Wonder if I should be re-assessing my position. 0O:-)

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

I'd be interested in hearing

I'd be interested in hearing the republican justification for passage of both these bills. On surface, they certainly appear NOT to favor Maine workers.

 's picture

Amen

So will I.

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