Thursday, February 16, 2012


Help kill the bill: SB2845 erodes workers’ rights in a workers’ comp dispute

by Larry Geller

Update: I received an email today (2/21/2012) asking that I note, so that readers understand, that Senate President Tsutsui introduced the bill, by request of the Governor as part of the Administration’s package.

The bill passed, by the way, with amendments. The amended version isn’t posted yet on the Capitol website. Thanks to readers who filed testimony.

SB2845 will be heard tomorrow at 10 a.m. by the Senate Judiciary and Labor Committee. It has no testimony as yet, except mine (opposing). Here’s your chance to exert your power and kill the bill.

TsutsuiThis bill (introduced by Senate President Shan Tsutsui) takes away a worker’s right to a hearing if medical treatment is denied in a workers’ comp case. It takes away a worker’s right to due process.

Instead, the Director of the Dept. of Labor and Industrial Relations will make a summary judgment in disputes on treatment plans.

What qualifications does the Director of DLIR have to do this?

More important, it will be much more difficult for a worker to challenge the decision in court because would be no evidentiary hearing, no finding of facts, and no record for a court to review.

In other words, a sick or injured worker will be screwed if DLIR decides to cut off treatment. Workers’ comp cases are ugly enough without this bill.

This bill would also tilt the table even more towards the employer.

So please consider clicking on the link above, then push the Submit Testimony button at the top-center of the page, and ask the committee to reject this bill. You can use this article as talking points, but please don’t quote it exactly, form your own opinion and use your own words.

And spread the word. Working people in Hawaii should be concerned that this bill might pass. It’s up for a hearing tomorrow, so tweet today.


Shan Tsutsui will change his tune is he ever gets hurt on the job. Hmm, on second thought he probably a white collar guy who doesn't live in the real world.

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