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Office of the Revisor of Statutes

Key: (1) language to be deleted (2) new language

  

                         Laws of Minnesota 1989 

                        CHAPTER 249-H.F.No. 300 
           An act relating to occupational safety and health; 
          proposing changes to the employee right-to-know act of 
          1983; amending Minnesota Statutes 1988, sections 
          182.651, subdivisions 7, 16, and by adding a 
          subdivision; 182.653, subdivision 4f; and 182.669, 
          subdivision 1. 
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
     Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1988, section 182.651, 
subdivision 7, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 7.  "Employer" means a person who has employs one or 
more employees and includes any person acting who has the power 
to hire, fire, or transfer, or who acts in the interest of, or 
as a representative of, an employer and includes a corporation, 
partnership, association, group of persons, and the state and 
all of its political subdivisions. 
    Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 1988, section 182.651, 
subdivision 16, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 16.  (a) "Technically qualified individual" means a 
person physician, dentist, pharmacist, or lead research 
individual, other than a student in one of these fields, who, 
because of professional or technical education, training or 
experience, understands, at the time of exposure, the health 
risks and the necessary safety precautions associated with each 
hazardous substance, harmful physical agent, infectious agent or 
mixture handled or utilized by the person.  
    (b) The commissioner shall by rule adopt a standard which 
specifies the criteria to be considered in determining whether 
or not a person is a technically qualified individual under this 
subdivision. 
    Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 1988, section 182.651, is 
amended by adding a subdivision to read:  
    Subd. 20.  [INFECTIOUS AGENT.] "Infectious agent" means a 
communicable bacterium, rickettsia, parasites, virus, or fungus 
determined by the commissioner by rule, with approval of the 
commissioner of health, which according to documented medical or 
scientific evidence causes substantial acute or chronic illness 
or permanent disability as a foreseeable and direct result of 
any routine exposure to the infectious agent.  Infectious agent 
does not include an agent in or on the body of a patient before 
diagnosis.  
    Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 1988, section 182.653, 
subdivision 4f, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 4f.  Each employer who operates a hospital or clinic 
shall provide training according to a program developed by the 
commissioner by rule with approval of the commissioner of health 
to its employees who are routinely exposed to an infectious 
agent.  The training shall include the information required by 
the rule for that agent as developed by the commissioner and 
shall include, if known, names of infectious agents to which the 
employee is routinely exposed, proper techniques for the 
employee to avoid self-contamination, and symptoms and effects 
of contamination.  Training shall be provided upon the initial 
assignment of the employee to a job where that person will be 
routinely exposed to an infectious agent.  Existing in-service, 
hospital licensure or certification programs which the 
commissioner determines substantially comply with the rules 
adopted pursuant to this subdivision may be certified by the 
commissioner to satisfy all or a part of the rules.  "Infectious 
agent" means a communicable bacterium, rickettsia, parasites, 
virus, or fungus determined by the commissioner by rule, with 
approval of the commissioner of health, which according to 
documented medical or scientific evidence causes substantial 
acute or chronic illness or permanent disability as a 
foreseeable and direct result of any routine exposure to the 
infectious agent.  Infectious agent does not include an agent in 
or on the body of a patient before diagnosis.  
    Infectious agent does not include an agent being developed 
or regularly utilized by a technically qualified individual in a 
research, medical research, medical diagnostic or medical 
educational laboratory or in a health care facility or in a 
clinic associated with a laboratory or health care facility, or 
in a pharmacy registered and licensed under chapter 151.  
    Employees who have been routinely exposed to an infectious 
agent prior to the effective date of Laws 1983, chapter 316 and 
who continue to be routinely exposed to that infectious agent 
after the effective date of Laws 1983, chapter 316, shall be 
trained with respect to that infectious agent within six months 
of the effective date of Laws 1983, chapter 316.  
    Training to update the information required to be provided 
under this subdivision shall be repeated at intervals no greater 
than one year.  
    Any technically qualified individual shall be notified of 
and may elect to participate in any training or update programs 
required to be provided under this subdivision to employees who 
are not technically qualified individuals.  The employer shall 
make a reasonable attempt to allow technically qualified 
individuals to attend training or update programs which may be 
held during the employee's scheduled work hours. 
    Sec. 5.  Minnesota Statutes 1988, section 182.669, 
subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
    Subdivision 1.  Any employee believed to have been 
discharged or otherwise discriminated against by any person 
because such employee has exercised any right authorized under 
the provisions of sections 182.65 to 182.674, may, within 30 
days after such alleged discrimination occurs, file a complaint 
with the commissioner alleging the discriminatory act.  Upon 
receipt of such complaint, the commissioner shall cause such 
investigation to be made as the commissioner deems appropriate.  
If upon such investigation the commissioner determines that a 
discriminatory act was committed against an employee the 
commissioner shall refer the matter to the office of 
administrative hearings for a hearing before an administrative 
law judge pursuant to the provisions of chapter 14.  The 
administrative law judge may order rehiring of the employee, 
reinstatement of the employee's former position, fringe 
benefits, seniority rights, back pay, recovery of compensatory 
damages, and reasonable attorney fees, or other appropriate 
relief.  In all cases where the administrative law judge finds 
that an employee has been discharged or otherwise discriminated 
against by any person because the employee has exercised any 
right authorized under sections 182.65 to 182.674, the 
administrative law judge may order payment to the employee of 
back pay and compensatory damages.  The administrative law judge 
may also order rehiring of the employee; reinstatement of the 
employee's former position, fringe benefits, and seniority 
rights; and other appropriate relief.  In addition, the 
administrative law judge may order payment to the commissioner 
or to the employee of costs, disbursements, witness fees, and 
attorney fees.  Interest shall accrue on, and be added to, the 
unpaid balance of an administrative law judge's order from the 
date the order is signed by the administrative law judge until 
it is paid, at the annual rate provided in section 549.09, 
subdivision 1, paragraph (c).  An employee may bring a private 
action in the district court for relief under this section.  
    Sec. 6.  [TRANSITION TRAINING PERIOD.] 
    This section applies to employees who are subject to the 
training requirements of section 182.653, subdivision 4f, 
because of the amendment in section 4.  Employees who have been 
routinely exposed to an infectious agent prior to August 1, 
1989, and who continue to be exposed after August 1, 1989, must 
be trained with respect to that infectious agent by no later 
than February 1, 1990. 
    Presented to the governor May 22, 1989 
    Signed by the governor May 25, 1989, 5:37 p.m.