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Monday, June 28, 2010

Comp group seeks stamp of approval

A U.S. Postal Service advisory committee is weighing a proposal that would have it approve the creation of a stamp commemorating workers compensation's 100th anniversary.

The workers comp system was born in 1911 when nine states began adopting laws requiring companies to compensate workers for on-the-job injuries in exchange for workers generally giving up the right to sue.

Fifty years later, President John F. Kennedy, Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson and Wisconsin Gov. Gaylord Nelson joined in a White House ceremony to recognize workers comp by unveiling a 50th anniversary postage stamp.

Wisconsin lays claim to adopting the first "constitutional workers compensation law" in the United States.

In 2008, with workers comp's 100th anniversary three years away, the Wisconsin Division of Worker's Compensation submitted the proposal for a new commemoration stamp.

The Postal Service Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee typically takes at least three years to determine whether it approves of ideas for new stamps, according to the Workers' Compensation Centennial Commission.

The Madison, Wis.-based Centennial Commission recently formed as a nonpartisan organization to get other states involved in efforts to celebrate 100 years of workers comp.

"Our goal is to celebrate the rich history of the U.S. workers compensation system, beginning with its inception in the Wisconsin Progressive Era, to its enduring impact on every American worker and employer," the Commission's website says.

Shown above, President John F. Kennedy, Vice President Lyndon Johnson and Wisconsin Gov. Gaylord Nelson, along with U.S. Postmaster General J.E. Day, mark the 50th anniversary of workers compensation with a postage stamp in 1961.