100 years of Workers' Comp in Michigan

As we head into Labor Day, 2012, the Michigan Workers’ Compensation is celebrating its 100th anniversary.

The Michigan Workmen’s Compensation law (Act no. 10 of Public Acts extra session, 1912) was signed by Michigan Governor Chase S. Osborn effective Sept. 1, 1912. Michigan’s injured workers and their employers continue to be protected by the Workers’ Disability Compensation Act, which provides wage loss compensation, medical care and vocational rehabilitation to workers who suffer an injury on the job while protecting employers from unlimited liability.

“The law was created to protect workers as the economy shifted from agricultural to industrial and will likely evolve in the future with changing work conditions of Millennials, the generation born in late 1970s and later,” said Workers’ Compensation Agency (WCA) Director Kevin Elsenheimer. “Workers’ Compensation laws were the nation’s first social legislation, later followed by unemployment and other employee benefits.

To recognize the milestone, Governor Rick Snyder is issuing a certificate of recognition for the 100th anniversary of Workers’ Compensation law in Michigan. Michigan’s Workers’ Compensation system has been recognized as a “competitive asset for the state” by the Workers Compensation Research Institute since overall costs have declined in recent years.

“We’ve been able to keep costs down for Workers’ Compensation, which is a benefit for Michigan employers and ultimately employees and job seekers,” said Hilfinger. “Changes were also recently made when Governor Snyder signed PA 266 of 2011 reforming the state’s workers’ compensation system which will continue to give Michigan a competitive edge in attracting and retaining businesses.”