Thirty years ago, the National Commission on State Workman's Compensation Laws, created by the OSHA Act of 1970, issued a report on the status of state workers' compensation laws. The commission, appointed by President Richard Nixon and chaired by John Burton, issued a report that made over 100 recommendations, 19 of which the commission considered to be "essential." Those 19 recommendations are considered to be the benchmarks against which states are measured.
This Friday, a conference will be held to examine the state of New York's compliance with the 19 essential recommendations of the report, and place New York's performance in a national context.
"Worker's Compensation Benefits in New York State: 30 Years After the Report of the National Commission of State Workman's Compensation Laws" is scheduled for Friday, March 8, from 8:30 am to 1:30 pm. The conference is sponsored by the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH), New York state AFL-CIO, and the Trade Union Leadership Program of Cornell University, New York State School of Industrial and Labor Relations. It will be held at Cornell University, New York State School of Industrial and Labor Relations, 16 East 34th Street, 6th Floor, Manhattan.
John Burton, a professor at the School of Management and Labor Relations, Rutgers University, who chaired the committee 30 years ago, is scheduled to offer the keynote address. Other speakers include Marvin Anderman, attorney, Fine, Olin and Anderman, PC; Eric Frumin, director of Safety and Health, UNITE!; Omar Henriquez, coordinator, Immigrant and Youth Program, NYCOSH; Robin Herbert, M.D., co-director, Mount Sinai - Irving J. Selikoff Center for Occupational & Environmental Medicine; Denis Hughes, president, New York State AFL-CIO; Catherine Nolan, chairperson, New York State Assembly Labor Committee; Robert Snashall, chairman, New York State Workers' Compensation Board; Dom Tuminaro, attorney, Brecher, Fishman, Pasternack, Popish, Heller, Rubin & Reiff, P.C.; and Art Wilcox, director, Public Employee Division, New York State AFL-CIO.
In its report, the commission recommended that all states should index their benefits at 100 percent of the state's average weekly wage by 1975. The commission's report also called for states to index benefits at 200 percent of the state's average weekly wage by 1981.
For New York - one of six states in the country that does not index its benefits - the commission's report is of particular interest. In fact, New York's maximum benefit, as a percentage of the state's average weekly wage, is approximately 50 percent - the lowest of any state in the country and lower than when the commission issued its report. (The other states that do not index workers compensation benefits are Arizona, California, Georgia, Minnesota and Tennessee.)
The conference fee is $20 and includes morning coffee, bagels and conference materials.
For more information call NYCOSH at (212) 627-3900, ext. 10.
edited by Sandy Smith ([email protected])