Worker's Compensation Advisory Council
Council on Worker’s Compensation
GEF-I, 201 E. Washington Ave.
Madison, Wisconsin
October 17, 2011

Members present:   Mr. Beiriger, Ms. Bloomingdale, Mr. Brand, Mr. Buchen, Mr. Collingwood, Mr. Kent, Mr. Metcalf, Ms. Nugent, Ms. Pehler, Mr. Redman, Mr. Schwanda, and Ms. Thomas

Excused:    Ms. Connor and Mr. Olson

Staff present:   Mr. O’Malley, Ms. Knutson and Mr. Krueger

  1. Call to Order/Introductions:  Mr. Metcalf convened the Worker’s Compensation Advisory Council (WCAC) meeting via teleconference at approximately 9:25 a.m. in accordance with Wisconsin’s open meetings law.  WCAC members, staff and members of the audience introduced themselves. 
  2. Approval of Minutes:  Mr. Kent moved to approve the minutes of the October 10, 2011 with a correction to #5, sub.3  page 2 to reference “Medical Liaison” rather than “medical provider”; second by Mr. Schwanda.  The minutes were unanimously approved as corrected.
  3. Correspondence:  None.

  4.  Discuss Voc Rehab Prospective Order Issue:  Mr. Beiriger indicated Labor proposal #10 needed to be further discussed to ensure the language of the statutory amendment was written properly.  Under Labor’s proposal, potentially an injured worker could work full time while attending school and receive temporary total disability benefits.  The scope of the change in benefit eligibility needs to be limited.  Management did not agree to Labor proposal #11 allowing prospective orders on vocational training claims.   

    Mr. Kent countered there is no adverse economic impact associated with Labor proposal #11.  The maximum number of claims would likely be less than 20 per year.  The proposal may help injured workers return to work more quickly.   

    Mr. Beiriger responded Management would not agree to Labor proposal #11 at this time, but this issue should not hold up the agreed bill.  Mr. Kent agreed that the issue would be tabled.

    Management and Labor thoughtfully debated proposed language for Labor proposal #10 and briefly adjourned to closed caucus.  Upon return from caucus, Mr. Weir explained that if an injured worker goes to work for a different employer and earns substantial wages, federal rehabilitation law dictates the person is ineligible for vocational retraining services.  Management intends for the proposal to apply only to injured workers working part-time not full time while attending school.  Mr. Kent suggested the language be amended to provide that wages earned during the first 24 hours per week of employment while the injured worker attends retraining will not reduce temporary disability benefits.  Wages earned for hours worked in excess of 24 hours per week would be used in the temporary partial disability benefit calculation.  Management and Labor agreed to Labor #10 with the amended language proposed by Labor.  In addition, an injured worker will be required to report his/her wages during a period of retraining and the statutory amendment would sunset in two years.  

    Mr. Beiriger moved to approve the proposals previously agreed to at the October 10, 2011 meeting with the inclusion of the above-described language for Labor proposal #10.  Mr. Kent seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously by roll call vote.  

    Mr. Buchen indicated the WCAC intended that the audit committee would determine the scope of the audit of the databases by consensus rather than majority vote.  Mr. Metcalf indicated the department would seek input for the audit committee from knowledgeable individuals and the department would explore options for determining who would conduct the audit.

  5. Adjournment:   Motion by Mr. Kent, second by Mr. Brand to adjourn.  The motion carried unanimously and the meeting was adjourned at approximately 4:15 p.m.

  6. Next Meeting:  not scheduled yet.

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