Employees of Briggs & Stratton who were injured at the now-bankrupt company will have an additional $200,000 fund to draw worker’s compensation from, thanks to a court decision.
The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development and the state Department of Justice announced Wednesday that they had won an agreement for the $200,000 fund from their involvement in the Briggs & Stratton Corp. bankruptcy case. The money will come on top of a $5 million surety bond already set aside to pay worker’s comp claims filed by Briggs & Stratton employees.
Briggs & Stratton, a manufacturer of small engines founded in Milwaukee in 1908, filed for bankruptcy protection in July 2020. The company then employed about 1,300 people in the Milwaukee area and 5,000 throughout the world.
When an employer is unable to pay outstanding worker’s comp claims – whether because of bankruptcy or for other reasons – the state draws on its Self-Insured Employers Liability Fund to compensate injured workers. The money in that fund comes from special assessments charged to other employers. In the case of Briggs & Stratton, if there were no other money to compensate the company’s injured employees, the needed funding would have to come from additional employer assessments.
“Wisconsin’s worker’s compensation system provides critical security for Wisconsinites who are injured at work,” said Attorney General Josh Kaul. “This outcome will help protect the Self-Insured Employers Liability Fund and, in turn, save money for self-insured employers in Wisconsin.”