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Workers compensation reform legislation advances in Michigan

Posted On: Oct. 26, 2011 12:00 AM CST

LANSING, Mich.—The Michigan House Commerce Committee has approved a comprehensive workers compensation reform bill, a move praised by the Michigan Chamber of Commerce.

Among other changes to Michigan's workers comp law, H.B. 5002, introduced by state Rep. Brad Jacobsen, R-Oxford, would reduce benefits when injured workers refuse jobs that are “reasonably available,” according to the state Chamber of Commerce.

“The bill approved by the House Commerce Committee goes a long way to address the concerns raised by various interest groups,” the Lansing, Mich.-based chamber said in a statement.

“While the goal always is going to be to return injured workers to the workplace when they are able, the bill specifies that a reduction in wages will only occur if a worker deliberately elects not to actively seek work or refuses jobs that are reasonably available,” according to the chamber.

The bill, which the House committee approved Wednesday on an 11-7 vote, now goes to the full House.