Workers’ Compensation Bills Have ‘Costly, Unintended Consequences’
The legislature’s Labor and Public Employees Committee has approved four workers’ compensation bills with potential costly consequences for Connecticut employers.
CBIA’s John Blair said the bills ignore the challenges faced by employers, particularly small businesses, as they work to recover from the pandemic.
“Instead of focusing on measures that offer small businesses some measure of relief, the committee continues to pump out bills that erode their bottom line,” Blair said.
“These four workers’ compensation bills will no doubt have unintended and costly consequences for employers.”
Expanded PTSI Coverage
Blair cited SB 321, which extends workers’ compensation coverage for post-traumatic stress injuries to all employees in Connecticut.
The bill follows legislation passed several years ago allowing police and firefighters to claim workers’ compensation for PTSI.
PTSI was originally excluded from the workers’ compensation system because of concerns that its subjective nature opened the system to fraud and abuse.
“There is no doubt that this will have costly consequences for employers and the workers’ compensation system at large,”‘ Blair said.
In addition to SB 321, the committee approved the following three costly measures:
- SB 222: Requires employers or insurers acting on behalf of employers to provide notice and get approval before discontinuing coverage for prescription medications. The bill adds a peer review analysis, a new attorney fee award payable by the employer or carrier, and increases the burden on administrative law judges.
- SB 313: Presumes that any firefighter diagnosed with cancer contracted it from in the course of employment. The presumption is only rebutted by clear and convincing evidence. Firefighters who are no longer active, but fit the criteria for benefits outlined in the bill will be eligible for benefits up to five years post-employment as a firefighter.
- HB 5251: Gives emergency dispatchers “portal-to-portal” workers’ compensation coverage to and from the workplace.
Connecticut’s workers’ compensation program is stable and performing well, with premiums declining for eight consecutive years.
Blair said the declines “further demonstrate that Connecticut workplaces have gotten safer and safer over the last decade.”
“Unfortunately these four bills, if passed by the General Assembly, will negatively impact the good work employers have done to control workers’ compensation costs through safe workplace practices,” he said.
For more information, contact CBIA’s John Blair (860.244.1921).
EXPLORE BY CATEGORY
Stay Connected with CBIA News Digests
The latest news and information delivered directly to your inbox.