BWC / IC Budget Bills Amend Workers’ Compensation Law
In addition to funding the administrative agencies, H.B. 51 (the Industrial Commission budget bill) and H.B. 52 (the BWC budget bill) included a number of amendments to the workers’ compensation law. Here are some of the changes made by the bills, which the Governor signed on June 30, 2015:
Industrial Commission Budget Bill
- Repeals R.C.§ 4121.351 which permitted the Industrial Commission to use personal service contracts to hire attorneys to serve as temporary hearing officers when the Commission experiences a hearing spike.
BWC Budget Bill
- R.C. §119.12: permits appeals to the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas from BWC orders regarding participation in the health partnership program; R.C. §4121.65 and §4121.66: provides for self-insurers to provide rehabilitation services without requiring approval from the BWC;
- R.C. §4121.67: requires self-insured employers to make rehabilitation living maintenance payments directly to injured workers;
- R.C. §4121.68: requires self-insured employers to directly pay claims for rehabilitation injuries;
- R.C. §4123.01: removes volunteer officers of non-profit corporations from the definition of employee and permits certain persons excluded from the definition of employee to elect to be considered an employee;
- R.C. §4123.34, §4123.343 and §4123.35: removes a provision permitting the BWC to charge self-insured employers for deficits relating to the surplus fund and removes self-insured employers from provisions providing for handicapped reimbursement;
- R.C. §4123.56: provides that an employer and injured worker can agree in writing to the payment of supplemental sick leave benefits in addition to temporary total, and provides that such supplemental benefits will not be offset.