During our trip to Washington D.C. last week, we spoke to elected officials about a few laws that impact injured workers. One of the laws is a proposed amendment to The Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA), the law the provides medical benefits and wage replacement to injured Federal employees. It is the federal version of the otherwise state-based workers’ compensation system. The amendment is being proposed as part of S. 1789, the Postal Service Reform Act (PSRA).
We wanted to share some highlights of why the proposed changes are harmful to injured workers. The most damaging parts of the legislation are discussed below:
- Conversion of entitlement at retirement age
§302 of the bill would reduce the compensation rate to 50% of wages (for employees on total disability) and to 50% of wage-earning capacity loss (for employees receiving partial disability) once any of those employees have reached retirement age.This proposal would reduce by up to 1/3 (from 75% or 66-2/3% of wage loss to 50% of wage loss) the compensation for disabled employees who have reached retirement age. Given that many people (including members of the House and Senate and their staffs, all of whom are covered by FECA) work the traditional retirement age, this is unfair and raises issues of age discrimination. Reduction to 50% of wages is drastic, and Continue reading