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Proposed bill seeks to help low-income work accident victims

This blog devotes a significant portion of its time to discussing workers' compensation issues and how they can affect Massachusetts' workers. This is certainly important, but it is also important to realize that the law is in a constant state of flux. What was the rule yesterday could be changed today. Therefore, it is important to know when and how the law changes so that those who have been injured on the job can protect their rights to the fullest extent possible.

Recently in our state, a bill has been proposed to aid poor workers who are hurt while working. There are two potential changes that are drawing quite a bit of attention. Since many low-income workers are immigrants, the changes would seek to make the cost of an interpreter, as well as transportation to the hospital, covered by the insurer.

Additionally, the bill would seek to increase the benefits provided by workers' compensation by forcing judges and insurers to use the state's laws regarding minimum wage and overtime when calculating a work accident victim's weekly wage. This is especially important since many immigrants are paid in cash and at a lower rate than mandated by the state's minimum wage law.

Workers' compensation benefits can be a financial lifesaver when an individual is hurt on the job. A victim may be burdened by extensive medical expenses and lost wages can make it difficult to pay for necessities like a mortgage, rent, utilities, and even groceries, not to mention rehabilitation costs. Therefore, those who are hurt in their place of employment should educate themselves about the law and seek to discover what they can do to protect themselves legally and financially. A Massachusetts attorney may be of some assistance in this arena.

Source: The Boston Herald, "Bill would help poor workers injured on the job," Marie Szaniszlo, May 27, 2015

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