SB 294 - This act modifies provisions relating to workers' compensation for firefighters.
ELIGIBILITY OF VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTERS
Under current law, certain diseases of the lungs and heart may be recognized as occupational diseases for the purposes of workers' compensation laws and are defined to be a disability for paid firefighters. This act modifies that provision to include volunteer firefighters.
CANCER AS AN OCCUPATIONAL DISEASE FOR FIREFIGHTERS
Under this act, cancer contracted by a firefighter shall be presumed as an occupational disease under the following circumstances:
• The firefighter is a paid or volunteer firefighter who has been assigned to at least 5 years of hazardous duty as a firefighter;
• The firefighter was exposed to an agent classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, or its successor organization, as a group 1 or 2A carcinogen, or is classified as a cancer causing agent by a designated entity;
• Twenty years have not elapsed since the firefighter was last assigned to hazardous duty as a firefighter; and
• The firefighter is not 70 years of age or older at the time of the diagnosis of cancer.
This presumption may be rebutted.
This provision shall only apply to claims filed on or after August 28, 2019.
REPORTING BY THE DIVISION
The act requires the Division of Workers' Compensation to prepare a biennial report on claims of cancer as an occupational disease. The initial report shall be made no later than August 28, 2021.
This act is identical to SB 621 (2018), substantially similar to SCS/SB 415 (2017) and HCS/HB 482 (2017), and similar to HB 862 (2019), HB 1641 (2018), and HB 1985 (2018).