Ohio BWC Legislative update: Senate bill helps ensure workers comp claims filed in one, correct place
SB 334 becomes law Sept. 11, 2008.
For companies that work in multiple states, it’s important they file their workers’ comp claims in the right state. It’s just as important that the injured employees file their claims only in that state. Amended Substitute Senate Bill 334 (SB 334) should help make that happen.
The Ohio General Assembly passed the bill May 29. It prohibits injured workers from filing workers’ compensation claims in multiple jurisdictions at the same time or back to back. The bill also requires injured workers to waive their rights to receive compensation and benefits under the workers’ compensation laws of another state for the same injury. They will see a statement similar to the one below on the First Report of Injury, Occupational Disease or Death.
"By signing this form, I elect to only receive compensation, benefits, or both that are provided for in this claim under Ohio's workers' compensation laws. I understand and I hereby waive and release my right to receive compensation and benefits under the workers' compensation laws of another state for the injury or occupational disease, or the death resulting from an injury or occupational disease, for which I am filing this claim. I have not received compensation and benefits under the workers' compensation laws of another state for this claim, and I will not file and have not filed a claim in another state for the injury or occupational disease or death resulting from an injury or occupational disease for which I am filing this claim."
In addition, the bill prohibits an injured worker from receiving benefits or compensation in Ohio if the following occurs:
- He or she filed a claim for the same injury and that state’s workers’ compensation system accepted it. However, if another state dismisses an injured worker’s claim for any other reason, he or she may file a claim in Ohio.
If an injured worker files a claim for the same injury in another jurisdiction, BWC or the self-insuring employer can recoup benefits or compensation paid to the injured worker.
SB 334 also includes changes for employers.
- Confirms an existing practice that an employer may obtain workers’ compensation coverage for other states through a private insurance carrier
- Allows the administrator to secure other states’ coverage through a competitive bidding process, and then offer this coverage to employers
If an employer elects other states’ coverage either through BWC or from a private carrier, the employer must submit payroll for labor/services in this state. The employer must also submit payroll for labor/services in any other state every year. BWC cannot use the payroll information from work done in other states to calculate that employer’s BWC premium.
In addition, the bill adds to the definition of employee in the Ohio Revised Code 4123.01(A)(1). An employee will include every person who meets ALL of the following criteria:
- Out-of-state resident covered under their home state’s workers’ compensation laws;
- Temporarily in Ohio providing labor/services;
- The laws of their home state do not afford out-of-state workers a temporary waiver of workers’ compensation coverage.
Finally, the bill provides other state’s employees temporarily in Ohio are not exempt from Ohio’s workers’ compensation laws unless:
- The workers’ home state also exempts Ohio employees temporarily working within that state from its workers’ compensation laws;
- The laws of the other state limit the liability of Ohio employers whose employees are temporarily working and injured in that state.