HCS/SS/SCS/SB 113 - This act makes changes to workers' compensation laws.
This act authorizes, beginning January 1, 2018, a shareholder of an S corporation with at least 40% or more interest in the S corporation to individually elect to reject coverage under the workers' compensation laws by providing a written notice of the rejection to the S corporation and its insurer. Failure to provide notice to the S corporation shall not be grounds for any shareholder to claim that the rejection is not legally effective. The shareholder may rescind the rejection in writing to the S corporation and its insurer. The rescission shall entitle the shareholder only to the benefits which accrue on or after the date of the notice of rescission is received by the insurance company.
This provision is identical to a provision in SCS/HB 289 (2017), the truly agreed to HCS/SS/SCS/SB 66 (2017), and HB 148 (2015), and substantially similar to HB 1867 (2016).
REDUCTION OF WORKERS' COMPENSATION AWARD BASED ON USE OF DRUGS
Under current law, if an employee fails to obey any rule or policy of an employer relating to the use of alcohol or nonprescribed controlled drugs in the workplace, the compensation or death benefit available under workers' compensation laws shall be reduced by 50% if the injury was sustained in conjunction with the use of alcohol or nonprescribed controlled drugs.
This act provides that any positive test for a nonprescribed controlled drug or the metabolite of such drug from an employee shall give rise to a rebuttable presumption that the tested nonprescribed controlled drug was in the employee's system at the time of accident or injury and that the injury was sustained in conjunction with such drug if:
1. The testing was administered within 24 hours of the accident or injury;
2. Notice was given to the employee of the test results within 14 calendar days of the insurer receiving actual notice of the results;
3. The employee was given an opportunity to perform a second test; and
4. The initial or any subsequent testing which forms the basis of the presumption was confirmed by mass spectrometry using generally accepted medical or forensic testing procedures.
This provision is similar to a provision in the truly agreed to HCS/SS/SCS/SB 66 (2017), SCS/HB 289 (2017) and HCS/HB 1100 (2017) and SCS/SB 290 (2017).
TERMINATION OF DISABILITY PAYMENTS
If an employee voluntarily separates from employment at a time when the employer made work available for the employee which was in compliance with any medical restriction imposed upon the employee as a result of an injury that is the subject of a claim for benefits under workers' compensation, neither temporary total disability nor temporary partial disability benefits shall be payable to the employee.
This provision is identical to provisions in HCS/SS/SCS/SB 66 (2017) and SCS/HB 289 (2017) and substantially similar to provisions in SCS/SB 290 (2017) and HCS/HB 1100 (2017).
LINE OF DUTY COMPENSATION
Under current law, survivors of a deceased law enforcement officer, emergency medical technician, air ambulance pilot, air ambulance registered professional nurse, or firefighter who is killed in the line of duty are eligible to receive $25,000 in compensation. Under this act, such compensation shall be awarded as follows:
• If there are no children, the surviving spouse shall be awarded compensation;
• If there is at least one eligible child and a surviving spouse, the child shall receive 50% and the surviving spouse shall receive 50%, provided that if there are multiple children, the children shall receive equal shares of 50% of the compensation;
• If there is no surviving spouse, any eligible surviving children shall receive equal shares of the compensation;
• If there is no surviving spouse or qualified surviving child, compensation shall be awarded to the individual who has been designated by the deceased in the most recent designation of beneficiary that is on file with the public safety organization; provided that if there is no such designation, compensation shall be awarded to the individual designated as beneficiary under the most recently executed life insurance policy of the deceased;
• If there is no beneficiary of a life insurance policy of the deceased, compensation shall be awarded to the surviving parent or parents, in equal shares;
• If there are no surviving parents of the deceased, compensation shall be awarded to the children of the deceased who are over 18 years of age, in equal shares.
The term "child" is defined in the act to include any natural, illegitimate, adopted, or posthumous child of the deceased who, at the time of the death of the deceased is:
• Under the age of 18;
• Over the age 18, but is a student as defined under federal law; or
• Over the age of 18, but is incapable of self-support because of physical or mental disability.
These provisions are substantially similar to SB 282 (2017) and HB 426 (2017) and certain provisions in SCS/HB 289 (2017) and the truly agreed to HCS/SS/SCS/SB 66 (2017).
DISCHARGE AND DISCRIMINATION
Under current law, no employer or agent shall discharge or in any way discriminate against any employee for exercising any of his or her rights under workers' compensation statutes. This act modifies that provision so that no employer or agent shall discharge or discriminate against any employee when the exercising of such rights is the motivating factor in the discharge or discrimination.
This provision is identical to a provision in the truly agreed to HCS/SS/SCS/SB 66 (2017), SCS/HB 289 (2017), and HCS/HB 1100 (2017), and substantially similar to provisions in SCS/SB 290 (2017) and HB 1227 (2017).