On Oct. 16 in Trenton, the Assembly Labor Committee approved S-716/A-1741, companion bills that make it much easier for any public safety worker – volunteer or professional – to receive a workers’ compensation award. The League has joined the Municipal Excess Liability (MEL) fund in opposition to the bill, as currently drafted.
The bill would create the presumption - rebuttable only with “clear and convincing” evidence - that if, in the course of employment, a police officer, firefighter, emergency responder or nurse is exposed to a carcinogen or pathogen, that any subsequent injury, disability, chronic or coronary illness or death is compensable under workers’ comp.
The change, from the current “preponderance of the evidence” standard to a “clear and convincing” rebuttal, will make it nearly impossible to contest such claims. The lower standard will result in more claims. More claims will lead to more awards. And more awards will impose greater costs on property taxpayers.
Please see our June 6 Urgent Alert for more details on this proposal, which will next be heard by the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
Please contact your Representatives in the General Assembly and urge them to oppose the bill, as currently drafted.
Contact: Jon Moran, Senior Legislative Analyst, email@example.com, 609-695-3481, ext. 121.