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U.S. Department of Labor building in Washington, D.C.U.S. Department of Labor building in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Mike Scarcella/ALM)

A U.S. Department of Labor report released this week raised the possibility of federal oversight of state workers’ compensation programs, leaving employers concerned about the potential complications of increased regulation.

The report, issued Wednesday, said a federal role in workers’ compensation “should be explored.” It suggested possible actions, including the establishment of minimum standards for states, federal tracking of changes to state programs, the commission of a national study on workers’ compensation systems, and the dissemination of “best practices.” The report also proposed an “expanded research agenda” covering benefits, access to care and the labor market experience of injured workers.

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