Florida House Passes Pro-Worker, Pro-Business Workers’ Comp Legislation

By: Edie Ousley

Tallahassee (April 19, 2017) – The Florida Chamber of Commerce today applauds the Florida House of Representatives for taking a major step toward addressing much-needed reforms to Florida’s broken workers’ compensation system by passing HB 7085, sponsored by Rep. Danny Burgess (R-Zephyrhills).

“For almost a year, attorneys have received a payday on the backs of injured workers, receiving attorney fees in some instances of $400 an hour,” said CAROLYN JOHNSON, Director of Business, Economic Development and Innovation Policy for the Florida Chamber of Commerce. “The Florida Chamber commends Chairman Burgess and House leadership for their work on reining in out-of-control attorney fees, preventing unnecessary litigation and helping injured workers get back to work quickly.”

This Florida Chamber-Backed Bill Will:

  • Realign the amount of attorney fees to the amount secured for the injured workers,
  • Place a cap on attorney fees of $150 per hour,
  • Encourage affected employees to avoid drawn-out court proceedings, and
  • Reduce rates for job creators.

Florida’s workers’ comp system suffered a major blow in 2016 after the state Supreme Court issued a series of rulings that threw out portions of the system, resulting in a workers’ comp rate increase of 14.5 percent, or $1.5 billion, beginning Dec. 1. This rate hike was not accompanied by additional benefits for injured workers, but instead meant additional income to attorneys.

HB 7085 now travels to the Florida Senate for legislative action. The Florida Chamber looks forward to working with the members of the Senate to enact workers’ comp legislation that supports jobs for Florida’s families and strengthens our state’s economic competitiveness.

 

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