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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: May 27, 2021 07:21 AM
From: Senator Daniel Laughlin
To: All Senate members
Subject: Restoring Workers Compensation as the Exclusive Remedy for all Work Related Injuries
In the near future, I intend to introduce legislation to restore workers’ compensation coverage for occupational diseases.

Currently, occupational diseases that manifest themselves more than 300 weeks after the last date of employment are not covered under the Workers’ Compensation Act and relevant case law. However, many occupational diseases, such as those associated with asbestos exposure (i.e., mesothelioma or asbestosis) often do not develop observable symptoms until many years after a worker has been last exposed - well outside the 300-week limitation. As a result, under the Act, these claims are barred. Therefore, a worker afflicted by one of these diseases must seek compensation by filing a lawsuit. The worker’s ability to receive compensation is far from certain in a lawsuit, and it places jobs at risk when employers are sued for millions of dollars they cannot afford to pay.

This legislation would restore the Grand Bargain by bringing occupational diseases back into the Workers’ Compensation system. 

If enacted, this legislation will again protect both the injured worker and employer under the exclusive remedy provisions of the Workers’ Compensation Act.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation.

Introduced as SB870