*SMLR-Net, the source of selected news on labor and employment relations and human resource management.*
from Facing South, The Institute for Southern Studies
*Mississippi weakens its already weak workers' compensation law*
*By Joe Atkiins, Labor Southhttp://laborsouth.blogspot.com/2012/07/mississippi-weakens-its-already-weak.html *
J. K. Morrison turned over in his grave on July 1.
A little-known part-time investigator, slight in build, who looked older than his 68 years, Morrison was a private citizen who believed Mississippi desperately needed a law to protect people who get injured on the job.
He was the chief warrior for the last 10 years of a 26-year struggle, and he shed tears when Mississippi became the last state in the nation to adopt a workers' compensation law in April 1948. "Now when I go to bed at night,” he told Mississippi columnist Bill Minor after the bill's passage, "I have the comforting feeling that I have done a good duty to somebody who will lose a leg or an arm on the job."
The clock turned back on July 1, however, when the state's newly revised workers' compensation law went into effect, putting the burden on workers to prove injuries are job-related and that they weren't drinking or taking drugs, to provide medical evidence within a strict deadline and show they had no pre-existing condition.
The new law tells corporations Mississippi "is the most job-friendly environment in America," crowed Gov. Phil Bryant during a May press conference.
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