Massachusetts Bar Association President-elect Marsha V.
Kazarosian testified last month in support of MBA-backed
legislation increasing burial benefits covered by workers'
compensation from $4,000 to $8,000.
The Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development convened
Tuesday, Oct. 8, to hear testimony on a number of House and Senate
bills dealing with workers' compensation. Kazarosian was one of the
first to testify, and explained that Massachusetts lags behind many
states in the burial benefits allowed under workers' compensation.
The last time Massachusetts raised burial benefits, upping them
from $2,000 to $4,000, was in 1992. At the time this was the
average cost of burying a loved one; however that cost has doubled
in the 21 years since. The $8,000 sought in Senate Bill 866 and
House Bill 1698 reflects that increase in cost.
"Doubling the burial benefit to $8,000 will do much to alleviate
the financial burden for families who are faced with the shocking
and sudden death of a loved one while on the job," said Kazarosian,
during her testimony. "Support for working families should not end
when someone dies on the job; that's precisely when they need it
Family members of victims of workplace accidents, representatives
from Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health
(MassCOSH) and the Massachusetts Association of Trial Attorneys
also testified in support of the measure.
Both Senate Chairman Daniel A. Wolf (D-Harwich) and House Chairman
Thomas P. Conroy (D-Wayland) backed the legislation and stated that
the Joint Committee has sent the legislation out favorably in the