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SF 4425

as introduced - 91st Legislature (2019 - 2020) Posted on 03/27/2020 08:54am

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

Current Version - as introduced

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A bill for an act
relating to employment; modifying workers' compensation and line of duty benefits
for the safety of firefighters; amending Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 176.011,
subdivision 15; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 181.

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 ofnew text begin:
new text end

new text begin (1)new text end 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 cancerdeleted text begin.deleted text endnew text begin; or
new text end

new text begin (2) having or being quarantined for a virus or other communicable disease that has been
determined to be a "pandemic" by the World Health Organization or the United States
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is presumed to have an occupational disease
under paragraph (a). The firefighter is not entitled to the presumption if a subsequent medical
determination establishes that the firefighter contracted or was quarantined for the disease
resulting from exposure that was not related to the firefighter's employment.
new text end

(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 EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective retroactively from March 10, 2020.
new text end

Sec. 2.

new text begin [181.741] LINE OF DUTY BENEFITS FOR FIREFIGHTERS.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Benefits under a collective bargaining agreement, civil service rule,
or employer policy.
new text end

new text begin If an employee is entitled to workers' compensation benefits under
section 176.011, subdivision 15, paragraph (c), the qualifying event for workers'
compensation coverage shall also constitute a qualifying event making the employee eligible
to receive benefits under any injury on duty benefit that exists under a collective bargaining
agreement, civil service rule, or employer policy.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Death or disability in the line of duty. new text end

new text begin An employee who is or would be
entitled to workers' compensation benefits under section 176.011, subdivision 15, paragraph
(c), and who dies or is permanently disabled as a result of the disease shall be considered
to be killed or disabled in the line of duty and therefore eligible for such benefits as otherwise
established by law.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective retroactively from March 10, 2020.
new text end