Email Your Lawmakers Before Noon on Wednesday and Tell Them to Fix Workers’ Comp Now

The Florida House is set to hear a Florida Chamber-backed workers’ comp bill on Wednesday — lawmakers need to hear from you no later than noon on April 19.

This week the Florida House will take up HB 7085 and HB 1107, two pieces of legislation that go a long way toward fixing Florida’s broken workers’ comp system. These bills would reduce cost drivers within the workers’ comp system, avoid drawn-out claims and allow injured workers to get back to work sooner. The House is expected to vote on this important issue Wednesday afternoon.

The 2016 Castellanos Supreme Court decision on workers’ compensation put Florida’s workers’ compensation system in a fragile position – for everybody except the plaintiff trial bar. Workers’ comp rates rose by 14.5 percent, an increase of $1.5 billion on the backs of businesses, without adding any additional benefits for injured workers. Instead, it gave trial lawyers a big pay raise in the form of out-of-control attorney fees – sometimes as high as $400 per hour.

 

 

Take Action Now

Contact your legislators today and let them know you want their support for the unammended forms of HB 7085 and HB 1107. Join the Florida Chamber’s Workers’ Compensation Task Force to help us fight for Florida’s future, or contact Carolyn Johnson to add your name to the list.

Workers’ Comp Reform On The Move

Today, the Florida House passed several improvements to its workers’ compensation proposal out of the Commerce Committee. The Florida Chamber of Commerce was there to champion the voice of job creators and defeat trial lawyer amendments that would have taken Florida’s workers’ comp system backward.

The Florida Chamber’s Workers’ Comp Task Force has been actively working to resolve a $1.5 billion cost increase on the business community, and today’s legislative hearing was a positive step toward resolution. Thanks to the work of Chairman Danny Burgess (R-Zephyrhills), and with the support of a wide-ranging business community coalition, the bill that passed today contained a cap of $150 an hour for plaintiff’s attorneys fees, added protections for injured workers and further narrowed instances when plaintiff’s attorneys can receive fees.

Additionally, HB 7085 and a separate proposal, HB 1107, sponsored by Rep. Ben Albritton (R-Bartow), would:

  • Reduce workers’ comp rates,
  • Decrease unnecessary litigation, and
  • Protect injured workers private information from solicitors.

The Florida Chamber’s workers’ comp reform focus has been on quickly getting injured workers well and back on the job, while reducing rates and bringing stability to the overall system. This effort stands in contrast to Florida’s trial lawyer lobby, which backed amendments today that would limit employers’ abilities to defend themselves against frivolous lawsuits while allowing claimant attorney fees to run rampant without benefit accrual to the claimant.

While today was a step in the right direction, we are a long way to the finish line and fixing our broken system. We expect additional amendments to be filed on the House bill during consideration on the floor. We will continue reaching out, keeping you apprised of the latest legislative action on this important issue, and seeking your help in getting workers’ comp reform across the finish line.

Take Action Now

Learn more about the Florida Chamber Workers’ Comp Task Force, click here. To join the task force or share your concerns about this issue, contact Carolyn Johnson.