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HF 4537

as introduced - 91st Legislature (2019 - 2020) Posted on 04/14/2020 02:04pm

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.

Current Version - as introduced

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A bill for an act
relating to workers' compensation; providing a presumption for COVID-19 workers'
compensation claims for certain employees; requiring a report; authorizing
extension of the implementation date of the CAMPUS system; amending Minnesota
Statutes 2018, section 176.011, subdivision 15.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 176.011, subdivision 15, is amended to read:


Subd. 15.

Occupational disease.

(a) "Occupational disease" means a mental impairment
as defined in paragraph (d) or physical disease arising out of and in the course of employment
peculiar to the occupation in which the employee is engaged and due to causes in excess of
the hazards ordinary of employment and shall include undulant fever. Physical stimulus
resulting in mental injury and mental stimulus resulting in physical injury shall remain
compensable. Mental impairment is not considered a disease if it results from a disciplinary
action, work evaluation, job transfer, layoff, demotion, promotion, termination, retirement,
or similar action taken in good faith by the employer. Ordinary diseases of life to which the
general public is equally exposed outside of employment are not compensable, except where
the diseases follow as an incident of an occupational disease, or where the exposure peculiar
to the occupation makes the disease an occupational disease hazard. A disease arises out of
the employment only if there be a direct causal connection between the conditions under
which the work is performed and if the occupational disease follows as a natural incident
of the work as a result of the exposure occasioned by the nature of the employment. An
employer is not liable for compensation for any occupational disease which cannot be traced
to the employment as a direct and proximate cause and is not recognized as a hazard
characteristic of and peculiar to the trade, occupation, process, or employment or which
results from a hazard to which the worker would have been equally exposed outside of the
employment.

(b) If immediately preceding the date of disablement or death, an employee was employed
on active duty with an organized fire or police department of any municipality, as a member
of the Minnesota State Patrol, conservation officer service, state crime bureau, as a forest
officer by the Department of Natural Resources, state correctional officer, or sheriff or
full-time deputy sheriff of any county, and the disease is that of myocarditis, coronary
sclerosis, pneumonia or its sequel, and at the time of employment such employee was given
a thorough physical examination by a licensed doctor of medicine, and a written report
thereof has been made and filed with such organized fire or police department, with the
Minnesota State Patrol, conservation officer service, state crime bureau, Department of
Natural Resources, Department of Corrections, or sheriff's department of any county, which
examination and report negatived any evidence of myocarditis, coronary sclerosis, pneumonia
or its sequel, the disease is presumptively an occupational disease and shall be presumed
to have been due to the nature of employment. If immediately preceding the date of
disablement or death, any individual who by nature of their position provides emergency
medical care, or an employee who was employed as a licensed police officer under section
626.84, subdivision 1; firefighter; paramedic; state correctional officer; emergency medical
technician; or licensed nurse providing emergency medical care; and who contracts an
infectious or communicable disease to which the employee was exposed in the course of
employment outside of a hospital, then the disease is presumptively an occupational disease
and shall be presumed to have been due to the nature of employment and the presumption
may be rebutted by substantial factors brought by the employer or insurer. Any substantial
factors which shall be used to rebut this presumption and which are known to the employer
or insurer at the time of the denial of liability shall be communicated to the employee on
the denial of liability.

(c) A firefighter on active duty with an organized fire department who is unable to
perform duties in the department by reason of a disabling cancer of a type caused by exposure
to heat, radiation, or a known or suspected carcinogen, as defined by the International
Agency for Research on Cancer, and the carcinogen is reasonably linked to the disabling
cancer, is presumed to have an occupational disease under paragraph (a). If a firefighter
who enters the service after August 1, 1988, is examined by a physician prior to being hired
and the examination discloses the existence of a cancer of a type described in this paragraph,
the firefighter is not entitled to the presumption unless a subsequent medical determination
is made that the firefighter no longer has the cancer.

(d) For the purposes of this chapter, "mental impairment" means a diagnosis of
post-traumatic stress disorder by a licensed psychiatrist or psychologist. For the purposes
of this chapter, "post-traumatic stress disorder" means the condition as described in the most
recently published edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders by
the American Psychiatric Association. For purposes of section 79.34, subdivision 2, one or
more compensable mental impairment claims arising out of a single event or occurrence
shall constitute a single loss occurrence.

(e) If, preceding the date of disablement or death, an employee who was employed on
active duty as: a licensed police officer; a firefighter; a paramedic; an emergency medical
technician; a licensed nurse employed to provide emergency medical services outside of a
medical facility; a public safety dispatcher; an officer employed by the state or a political
subdivision at a corrections, detention, or secure treatment facility; a sheriff or full-time
deputy sheriff of any county; or a member of the Minnesota State Patrol is diagnosed with
a mental impairment as defined in paragraph (d), and had not been diagnosed with the mental
impairment previously, then the mental impairment is presumptively an occupational disease
and shall be presumed to have been due to the nature of employment. This presumption
may be rebutted by substantial factors brought by the employer or insurer. Any substantial
factors that are used to rebut this presumption and that are known to the employer or insurer
at the time of the denial of liability shall be communicated to the employee on the denial
of liability. The mental impairment is not considered an occupational disease if it results
from a disciplinary action, work evaluation, job transfer, layoff, demotion, promotion,
termination, retirement, or similar action taken in good faith by the employer.

new text begin (f) Notwithstanding paragraph (a) and the rebuttable presumption for infectious or
communicable diseases in paragraph (b), an employee who contracts COVID-19 is presumed
to have an occupational disease arising out of and in the course of employment if the
employee satisfies the requirements of clauses (1) and (2).
new text end

new text begin (1) The employee was employed as a licensed peace officer under section 626.84,
subdivision 1; firefighter; paramedic; nurse or health care worker, correctional officer, or
security counselor employed by the state or a political subdivision at a corrections, detention,
or secure treatment facility; emergency medical technician; a health care provider, nurse,
or assistive employee employed in a health care, home care, or long-term care setting, with
direct COVID-19 patient care or ancillary work in COVID-19 patient units; and workers
required to provide child care to first responders and health care workers under Executive
Order 20-02 and Executive Order 20-19.
new text end

new text begin (2) The employee's contraction of COVID-19 must be confirmed by a positive laboratory
test or, if a laboratory test was not available for the employee, as diagnosed and documented
by the employee's licensed physician, licensed physician's assistant, or licensed advanced
practice registered nurse (APRN), based on the employee's symptoms. A copy of the positive
laboratory test or the written documentation of the physician's, physician assistant's, or
APRN's diagnosis shall be provided to the employer or insurer.
new text end

new text begin (3) Once the employee has satisfied the requirements of clauses (1) and (2), the
presumption shall only be rebutted if the employer or insurer shows the employment was
not a direct cause of the disease. A denial of liability under this paragraph must meet the
requirements for a denial under section 176.221, subdivision 1.
new text end

new text begin (4) The date of injury for an employee who has contracted COVID-19 under this
paragraph shall be the date that the employee was unable to work due to a diagnosis of
COVID-19, or due to symptoms that were later diagnosed as COVID-19, whichever occurred
first.
new text end

new text begin (5) An employee who has contracted COVID-19 but who is not entitled to the
presumption under this paragraph is not precluded from claiming an occupational disease
as provided in other paragraphs of this subdivision or from claiming a personal injury under
subdivision 16.
new text end

new text begin (6) The commissioner shall provide a detailed report on COVID-19 workers'
compensation claims under this paragraph to the Workers' Compensation Advisory Council,
and chairs and ranking minority members of the house of representatives and senate
committees with jurisdiction over workers' compensation, by January 15, 2021.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective for employees who contract COVID-19
on or after the day following final enactment. Paragraph (f) sunsets on May 1, 2021.
new text end

Sec. 2. new text beginCOMMISSIONER AUTHORITY TO EXTEND CAMPUS
IMPLEMENTATION DATE.
new text end

new text begin The commissioner of labor and industry is authorized to extend the implementation date
of the CAMPUS system established under Minnesota Statutes, chapter 176, beyond August
31, 2020, if the commissioner determines that implementation should be delayed due to
COVID-19. To extend the implementation date, the commissioner must publish notice of
the delay and the new anticipated implementation date in the State Register, and must
provide the notice to persons who would be required to create a CAMPUS account under
Minnesota Statutes, section 176.2612, subdivision 3, or to associations or organizations that
represent persons who would be required to create an account. The commissioner may
publish a new notice if the initial extended implementation date must also be extended due
to COVID-19. The extended implementation date or dates must be at least 60 days after the
date of the published notice.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective the day following final enactment.
new text end