State lawmakers held hearings this week on two bills impacting workers compensation.
One bill is good, the other is not.
CBIA opposes SB 822, which expands remedies and potential liability for unreasonably contested or delayed claims.
This bill negatively impacts the workers compensation system, and those it serves.
The system is based on employees using workers compensation benefits as an exclusive remedy for receiving care for an on-the-job injury.
Employers, meanwhile, are freed from the threat of other legal action.
Such is the “grand bargain” of the workers compensation system.
But SB 822, similar to HB 6666, breaks that bargain by allowing employees to bring claims for damages.
Streamlining Workers Comp Process
Meanwhile, HB 7132 streamlines the workers compensation claim process for employers.
CBIA supports this legislation, the subject of a Feb. 27 hearing before the legislature’s Judiciary Committee.
Currently, when workers compensation claims are filed, they are not directed to a specific department within the company and sometimes can end up lost or in the wrong department.
Since employers only have 28 days to respond to a claim, it’s imperative for all concerned that the right person receives it as soon as possible.
CBIA's Workers Compensation Council suggested streamlining the process by having the claim directed to a company’s human resources department.
This bill mirrors a law adopted last year that created a similar procedure for municipalities.
That law required workers compensation claims to be sent to the town clerk’s office to streamline the process.
HB 7132 does the same thing for private employers. CBIA urges its passage.