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“The only thing necessary for these diseases to the triumph is for good people and governments to do nothing.”

 
  


     

 

71st OREGON LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY--2001 Regular Session

 

NOTE: Matter within { + braces and plus signs + } in an amended section is new. Matter within { - braces and minus signs - } is existing law to be omitted. New sections are within { + braces and plus signs + } .

LC 1308

A-Engrossed

House Bill 2128

Ordered by the House April 25

Including House Amendments dated April 25

Ordered printed by the Speaker pursuant to House Rule 12.00A (5). Presession filed (at the request of House Interim Business and Commerce Committee)

SUMMARY

The following summary is not prepared by the sponsors of the measure and is not a part of the body thereof subject to consideration by the Legislative Assembly. It is an editor's

brief statement of the essential features of the measure.

{ - Requires workers' compensation plans of certain cities to provide coverage for hepatitis C for city firefighters, law enforcement officers, emergency medical technicians and corrections officers. - } Creates presumption of compensability for hepatitis C for { + career + } firefighters, law enforcement officers, { + career + } emergency medical technicians and corrections officers in certain circumstances. { + Requires certain cities to provide equivalent workers' compensation coverage. + }

 


A BILL FOR AN ACT

Relating to workers' compensation coverage for hepatitis C;creating new provisions; and amending ORS 656.802.

Be It Enacted by the People of the State of Oregon:

SECTION 1. ORS 656.802 is amended to read: 656.802. (1)(a) As used in this chapter, 'occupational disease'means any disease or infection arising out of and in the course of employment caused by substances or activities to which an employee is not ordinarily subjected or exposed other than during a period of regular actual employment therein, and which requires medical services or results in disability or death, including:

(A) Any disease or infection caused by ingestion of, absorption of, inhalation of or contact with dust, fumes, vapors, gases, radiation or other substances.

(B) Any mental disorder, whether sudden or gradual in onset, which requires medical services or results in physical or mental disability or death.

(C) Any series of traumatic events or occurrences which requires medical services or results in physical disability or death.

(b) As used in this chapter, 'mental disorder' includes any physical disorder caused or worsened by mental stress.

(2)(a) The worker must prove that employment conditions were the major contributing cause of the disease.

(b) If the occupational disease claim is based on the worsening of a preexisting disease or condition pursuant to ORS 656.005

(7), the worker must prove that employment conditions were the major contributing cause of the combined condition and pathological worsening of the disease.

(c) Occupational diseases shall be subject to all of the same limitations and exclusions as accidental injuries under ORS 656.005 (7).

(d) Existence of an occupational disease or worsening of a preexisting disease must be established by medical evidence supported by objective findings.

(e) Preexisting conditions shall be deemed causes in determining major contributing cause under this section.

(3) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, a mental disorder is not compensable under this chapter unless the worker establishes all of the following:

(a) The employment conditions producing the mental disorder exist in a real and objective sense.

(b) The employment conditions producing the mental disorder are conditions other than conditions generally inherent in every working situation or reasonable disciplinary, corrective or job performance evaluation actions by the employer, or cessation of employment or employment decisions attendant upon ordinary business or financial cycles.

(c) There is a diagnosis of a mental or emotional disorder which is generally recognized in the medical or psychological community.

 


(d) There is clear and convincing evidence that the mental disorder arose out of and in the course of employment.

(4) Death, disability or impairment of health of firefighters of any political division who have completed five or more years of employment as firefighters, caused by any disease of the lungs or respiratory tract, hypertension or cardiovascular-renal disease, and resulting from their employment as firefighters is an ' occupational disease.' Any condition or impairment of health arising under this subsection shall be presumed to result from a firefighter's employment. However, any such firefighter must have taken a physical examination upon becoming a firefighter, or subsequently thereto, which failed to reveal any evidence of such condition or impairment of health which preexisted employment. Denial of a claim for any condition or impairment of health arising under this subsection must be on the basis of clear and convincing medical evidence that the cause of the condition or impairment is unrelated to the firefighter's employment. { + (5)(a) Death, disability or impairment of health of career firefighters, law enforcement officers, career emergency medical technicians and corrections officers of any political division caused by hepatitis C and resulting from their employment is an ' occupational disease.' Any condition or impairment of health caused by hepatitis C shall be presumed to result from a career firefighter's, law enforcement officer's, career emergency medical technician's or corrections officer's employment if:

(A) The career firefighter, law enforcement officer, career emergency medical technician or corrections officer tested negative for hepatitis C:

(i) Prior to being employed as a career firefighter, law enforcement officer, career emergency medical technician or corrections officer;

(ii) Subsequent to such employment in a test conducted at the request of the career firefighter, law enforcement officer, career emergency medical technician or corrections officer; or

(iii) Subsequent to such employment and the employer elects to utilize testing for hepatitis C to establish a baseline for all career firefighters, law enforcement officers, career emergency medical technicians or corrections officers;

(B) The career firefighter, law enforcement officer, career emergency medical technician or corrections officer experienced during the course of employment an incident with the potential to transfer hepatitis C that was reported to the employer pursuant to ORS 656.265; and

(C) The career firefighter, law enforcement officer, career emergency medical technician or corrections officer was tested within six months of the incident with the potential to transfer hepatitis C and the test was positive for the presence of hepatitis C.

(b) Denial of a claim for any condition or impairment of health under this subsection must be based on clear and convincing medical evidence that the cause of the condition or impairment is unrelated to the career firefighter's, law enforcement officer's, career emergency medical technician's or corrections officer's employment.

(c) Tests required to establish the presumption of compensability under paragraph (a) of this subsection are voluntary. If a worker elects to have the preemployment and post-incident tests, the costs shall be paid by the employer.

(d) As used in this subsection, 'incident with the potential to transfer hepatitis C' means any event involving direct exposure to blood or other bodily fluids of an individual, including but not limited to needlestick accidents, bites and eye splashes.

(6) As used in this chapter:

(a) 'Career firefighter' means a firefighter who receives wages and retirement benefits for service as a firefighter.

(b) 'Career emergency medical technician' means an emergency medical technician who receives wages and retirement benefits for service as an emergency medical technician. + }

SECTION 2. { + Sections 3 and 4 of this 2001 Act are added to and made a part of ORS chapter 656. + }

SECTION 3. { + Any person employed as a career firefighter, law enforcement officer, career emergency medical technician or corrections officer on the effective date of this 2001 Act who is tested for hepatitis C within 60 days of the effective date of this 2001 Act and whose test results fail to reveal the presence of hepatitis C is deemed to have satisfied the requirements of ORS 656.802 (5)(a)(A). + }

SECTION 4. { + A municipal fire and police disability plan that covers workers exempt from the provisions of this chapter pursuant to ORS 656.027 (6) shall provide coverage for hepatitis C as provided by ORS 656.802 (5)(a). + }

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