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Changes are Coming to Unemployment and Workers Compensation Acts

December 20, 2011

On Monday, December 19, 2011, Governor Snyder signed two bills which make major changes to both the Michigan Employment Security Act (Unemployment) and the Michigan Worker's Disability Compensation Act (Workers Compensation).

Among other provisions, the primary changes to the Unemployment statute for Employers are:

The primary changes to the Unemployment statute for Employees are as follows:

In addition, earlier this year, Public Act 14 reduced the number of weeks a claimant could receive benefits from 26 to 20, and created a "Special Fraud Control Fund" to aggressively police and obtain reimbursement for fraud against the Unemployment system.

Significant changes to the Workers Compensation Act include:

The bill also requires an employee filing an initial claim to:

Employers would then have the burden of the production of evidence to refute the employee's claim.  The bill allows employers the right to engage in discovery if necessary to meet its burden and defend the claim.

Employers should review these amendments before responding to UIA and Workers Comp claims, and carefully assess whether the claim is valid under the new bills.  This is a summary of the main provisions of the bills, which contain many additional changes to previously existing law.

For more information, please contact your Miller Canfield Employment + Labor attorney.