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Proposed bill in Maine threatens workers' compensation insurance


Recent proposed legislation by Assistant House Majority Leader Andre Cushing calls for the state to "decimate" Maine's workers' compensation laws, according to the Maine Employee Rights Group. Workers' comp has been required for Maine businesses for many years, and critics say the proposed law would be unfair to all of Maine's workers.

According to a recent column in the Bangor Daily News, workers' compensation insurance policies are important for Maine's employees, giving them protection from injuries that they may sustain while working, paying them when they cannot work.

Workers' compensation insurance also benefits employers. With the policy, employees no longer have the right to sue their employer for getting injured on the job.

The column said that in Maine, benefits are paid to injured workers at 80 percent of after-tax income with a cap of $634.13 a week, no matter the income of the employee, while some states have caps of more than $1,000. 

Under the proposed law, workers could potentially see their benefits reduced and would lose resources to help them navigate the claims process. The Daily News columnist, a labor union leader in the state, warned about the unfortunate effects of this, not only for workers, but for businesses that would potentially bear the burden of lawsuits and other outcomes stemming from a less efficient workers' comp system.

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