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A03213
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
HOUSE BILL
No.
1234
Session of
2019
INTRODUCED BY COX, DUSH, FRITZ, KAUFFMAN, MACKENZIE, MILLARD,
NELSON, RIGBY AND WHEELAND, APRIL 9, 2019
REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON LABOR AND INDUSTRY, APRIL 9, 2019
AN ACT
Amending the act of June 2, 1915 (P.L.736, No.338), entitled "An
act defining the liability of an employer to pay damages for
injuries received by an employe in the course of employment;
establishing an elective schedule of compensation; providing
procedure for the determination of liability and compensation
thereunder; and prescribing penalties," in liability and
compensation, further providing for the definitions of
"injury," "personal injury" and "injury arising in the course
of his employment," providing for diseases with long latency
periods between occupational exposure and manifestation of
the disease and further providing for liability.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Sections 301(c) and 303(a) of the act of June 2,
1915 (P.L.736, No.338), known as the Workers' Compensation Act,
are amended and the sections are amended by adding subsections
to read:
Section 301. * * *
(c) (1) The terms "injury" and "personal injury," as used
in this act, shall be construed to mean an injury to an employe,
regardless of his previous physical condition, except as
provided under [subsection (f)] subsections (f) and (g), arising
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in the course of his employment and related thereto, and such
disease or infection as naturally results from the injury or is
aggravated, reactivated or accelerated by the injury; and
wherever death is mentioned as a cause for compensation under
this act, it shall mean only death resulting from such injury
and its resultant effects, and occurring within three hundred
weeks after the injury. The limitation with respect to a disease
under this paragraph having to occur within three years of the
last date of exposure shall not apply to claims filed under
subsection (g)(1). The term "injury arising in the course of his
employment," as used in this article, shall not include an
injury caused by an act of a third person intended to injure the
employe because of reasons personal to him, and not directed
against him as an employe or because of his employment; nor
shall it include injuries sustained while the employe is
operating a motor vehicle provided by the employer if the
employe is not otherwise in the course of employment at the time
of injury; but shall include all other injuries sustained while
the employe is actually engaged in the furtherance of the
business or affairs of the employer, whether upon the employer's
premises or elsewhere, and shall include all injuries caused by
the condition of the premises or by the operation of the
employer's business or affairs thereon, sustained by the
employe, who, though not so engaged, is injured upon the
premises occupied by or under the control of the employer, or
upon which the employer's business or affairs are being carried
on, the employe's presence thereon being required by the nature
of his employment.
(2) The terms "injury," "personal injury," and "injury
arising in the course of his employment," as used in this act,
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shall include, unless the context clearly requires otherwise,
occupational disease as defined in section 108 of this act:
Provided, That whenever occupational disease is the basis for
compensation, for disability or death under this act, it shall
apply only to disability or death resulting from such disease
and occurring within three hundred weeks after the last date of
employment in an occupation or industry to which he was exposed
to hazards of such disease: And provided further, That if the
employe's compensable disability has occurred within such
period, his subsequent death as a result of the disease shall
likewise be compensable. This limitation shall not apply to
claims filed under subsection (g)(1). The provisions of this
paragraph (2) shall apply only with respect to the disability or
death of an employe which results in whole or in part from the
employe's exposure to the hazard of occupational disease after
June 30, 1973 in employment covered by The Pennsylvania
Workmen's Compensation Act. The employer liable for compensation
provided by section 305.1 or section 108, subsections (k), (l),
(m), (o), (p), (q) or (r), shall be the employer in whose
employment the employe was last exposed for a period of not less
than one year to the hazard of the occupational disease claimed.
In the event the employe did not work in an exposure at least
one year for any employer during the three hundred week period
prior to disability or death, the employer liable for the
compensation shall be that employer giving the longest period of
employment in which the employe was exposed to the hazards of
the disease claimed.
* * *
(g) (1) Notwithstanding the limitation limitations with
respect to a disease under subsection (c)(1) having to occur
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within three years of the last date of exposure, and under
subsection (c) (2) with respect to disability or death resulting
from an occupational disease having to occur within three
hundred weeks after the last date of employment in an occupation
or industry to which a claimant was exposed to the hazards of
disease, claims filed for any disease a disease under subsection
(c)(1) or (2) for which the time period between exposure to the
hazard of disease in the workplace and manifestation of disease
is greater than three hundred weeks must be filed within three
hundred weeks of the date on which a claimant is diagnosed with
the disease or the disease is detectable . It shall be a
claimant's burden to prove that the disease for which
compensation is sought has a latency period of more than three
hundred weeks.
(2) The following shall apply to claims made under this
subsection, where the last date of employment in the occupation
or industry to which a claimant was exposed to the hazards of
disease occurred prior to the effective date of this paragraph:
(i) A self-insured employer shall pay compensable claims
under this subsection in accordance with this act.
(ii) An insurer shall not be liable for a compensable claim
under this subsection that was not compensable prior to the
effective date of this paragraph as the result of the limitation
with respect to a disease under subsection (c)(1) having to
occur within three years of the last date of exposure or the
limitation under subsection (c)(2) with respect to disability or
death resulting from an occupational disease having to occur
within three hundred weeks after the last date of employment in
an occupation or industry to which a claimant was exposed to the
hazards of disease.
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(iii) An insured employer who receives a notice or petition
for a compensable claim under this subsection, which the insurer
is not required to pay under subparagraph (ii), may refer the
claim to the Workers' Compensation Security Fund, established
under the act of July 1, 1937 (P.L.2532, No.470), known as the
Workers' Compensation Security Fund Act. An employer who refers
a claim shall immediately report the claim to the Workers'
Compensation Security Fund and send written notice by certified
mail to the claimant, the insurer and the Workers' Compensation
Security Fund within forty-five days of receipt of the notice or
petition, or within forty-five days from the time the employer
was informed by the insurer that the insurer is not required to
pay the claim under subparagraph (ii). The notice shall include
all claim information received by the employer, contact
information for the claimant and any other information required
by the Workers' Compensation Security Fund.
(iv) The Workers' Compensation Security fund shall pay
compensable claims submitted under subparagraph (iii) in
accordance with this act, if the employer has provided notice
under subparagraph (iii) and the claim is compensable under this
subsection. The Workers' Compensation Security Fund shall not be
required to pay any claim that is not authorized under this
subsection or any claim under this subsection where the last
date of employment in the occupation or industry to which a
claimant was exposed to the hazards of disease occurred on or
after the effective date of this paragraph, unless required by
the Workers' Compensation Security Fund Act. The Workers'
Compensation Security Fund may establish regulations, policies
and procedures for the submission of claims under subparagraph
(iii), including the form of the notice, and the administration
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of claims.
(v) The Insurance Commissioner shall include in his regular
report to the Governor a statement of the expenses of
administering claims paid under this subsection, along with the
information required under section 14 of the Workers'
Compensation Security Fund Act.
(2) (3) This subsection shall not apply to claims filed
under section 108(r).
Section 303. (a) The liability of an employer, together
with its holding companies, subsidiaries and affiliates, under
this act shall be exclusive and in place of any and all other
liability to such employes, his legal representative, husband or
wife, parents, dependents, next of kin or anyone otherwise
entitled to damages in any action at law or otherwise on account
of any injury or death as defined in section 301 (c)(1) and (2)
or occupational disease as defined in section 108.
* * *
(c) This act provides the exclusive remedy against a
claimant's employer for any injury or disease that may arise out
of hazardous occupational exposure, whether the disease is
compensable as an occupational disease or not.
Section 2. This act shall apply as follows:
(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), this act shall
apply to claims filed on or after the effective date of this
act.
(2) The addition of sections 301(g) and 303(c) of the
act shall apply retroactively to civil claims existing as of
the effective date of this paragraph, if the plaintiff was
barred from seeking compensation for an occupational disease
by the time limit under section 301(c)(2), for which
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compensation has not been paid or awarded.
Section 3. This act shall take effect immediately.
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