April 20, 2014

Michigan Amends Its Workers’ Disability Compensation Act

On Dec. 19, 2011, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed into law a bill to reform the Michigan Workers’ Disability Compensation Act. This bill, which was supported by Michigan’s Chamber of Commerce and other pro-employer groups, is designed to improve Michigan’s worker’s compensation system by codifying several favorable decisions from the Michigan Supreme Court, and by closing certain loopholes in the system which had increased costs to employers. 

The bill includes the following changes to the current worker’s compensation system:

  • Employees must show that their injuries are “medically distinguishable” from their pre-existing conditions to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits, namely, that work causes a pathology that is medically distinguishable from a pathology that existed prior to the injury.
  • Codification of case law requiring an employee claiming a mental disability to prove that the mental disability arose out of actual events of employment, and that the employee’s perception of the actual events is reasonably grounded in fact;
  • Places an affirmative duty on injured workers to seek reasonably available work;
  • Increases from 10 days to 28 days the initial period during which the employer may direct the injured employee’s medical care;
  • If the employee is terminated from reasonable employment for the fault of the employee, the employee is considered to have voluntarily removed himself or herself from the work force and is not entitled to any wage loss benefits;
  • If the employee is partially disabled—meaning that the employee is able to work, but only at a lower wage than before the injury—then the employee’s wage loss benefits will be reduced based on the wage the employee is capable of earning; and
  • The parties to a redemption agreement may stipulate to certain determinations in writing, eliminating the need for redemption hearings in certain situations.

Now that Governor Snyder has signed the law, the law will immediately apply to claims arising from injuries that occur after Dec. 19, 2011. 


About the Author

Barnes & Thornburg’s Labor and Employment Law Department is one of the fastest-growing labor groups in the nation. Two qualities set us apart: Our passion for what we do, and the pride we take in helping clients achieve their business goals. To succeed in the competitive global marketplace, our clients must not only meet but exceed their customers’ expectations. We share this objective, offering superior service, innovative ideas and an understanding of the challenges our clients face.

Our Services
The Labor and Employment Law group offers comprehensive...


Boost: AJAX core statistics

Legal Disclaimer

You are responsible for reading, understanding and agreeing to the National Law Review's (NLR’s) and the National Law Forum LLC's  Terms of Use and Privacy Policy before using the National Law Review website. The National Law Review is a free to use, no-log in database of legal and business articles. The content and links on are intended for general information purposes only. Any legal analysis, legislative updates or other content and links should not be construed as legal or professional advice or a substitute for such advice. No attorney-client or confidential relationship is formed by the transmission of information between you and the National Law Review website or any of the law firms, attorneys or other professionals or organizations who include content on the National Law Review website. If you require legal or professional advice, kindly contact an attorney or other suitable professional advisor.  

Some states have laws and ethical rules regarding solicitation and advertisement practices by attorneys and/or other professionals. The National Law Review is not a law firm nor is  intended to be  a referral service for attorneys and/or other professionals. The NLR does not wish, nor does it intend, to solicit the business of anyone or to refer anyone to an attorney or other professional.  NLR does not answer legal questions nor will we refer you to an attorney or other professional if you request such information from us. 

Under certain state laws the following statements may be required on this website and we have included them in order to be in full compliance with these rules. The choice of a lawyer or other professional is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements. Attorney Advertising Notice: Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Statement in compliance with Texas Rules of Professional Conduct. Unless otherwise noted, attorneys are not certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, nor can NLR attest to the accuracy of any notation of Legal Specialization or other Professional Credentials.

The National Law Review - National Law Forum LLC 4700 Gilbert Ave. Suite 47 #230 Western Springs, IL 60558  Telephone  (708) 357-3317 If you would ike to contact us via email please click here.