The General Assembly has taken action on several Workers’ Compensation bills in this year’s session. Twenty-five bills dealing with Workers’ Compensation matters were introduced. The bill calling for Commission decisions to be emailed will become law while another piece of proposed legislation — that would expand punishment for employers who retaliate against workers who file workers’ compensation claims — has been referred for study. Many other bills probably won’t make it out of this year’s session.
Senate Bill 65 has been passed into law. The bill will become effective on Oct. 1, 2013. Copies of decisions by the Workers’ Compensation Commission can now be sent by electronic means if the party or their attorney consents in writing. Under existing law, the decisions are sent by first-class mail. The Senate passed the bill by a 42-0 vote. The House passed the bill by a 131-0 vote.
Senate Bill 313/House Bill 370 has been passed into law. The bill alters the definition of “public safety employee” to include Anne Arundel County deputy sheriffs so as to establish eligibility for enhanced workers’ compensation benefits for a permanent partial disability award. The bill will be applied prospectively. It becomes effective Oct. 1.
House Bill 1330 has been passed into law. The bill alters the procedures for the Workers’ Compensation Commission to enforce compliance with workers’ compensation insurance coverage requirements, alters the requirement for how employers obtain compensation for covered employees, clarifies the Commission’s authority to order employers to obtain compensation for covered employees, requires the Commission to issue orders directing employers to attend hearings under specified circumstances, etc. The bill becomes effective Oct. 1.
Senate Bill 139/House Bill 1237 has been passed into law. The bill repeals an exception to the requirement that an individual be licensed by the Board of Pharmacy before the individual can practice pharmacy in the State and requires a dentist, physician, or podiatrist who dispenses a prescription drug or device in the course of treating a patient at a medical facility or clinic that specializes in the treatment of medical cases reimbursable through workers’ compensation insurance obtain a dispensing permit and meet other requirements. The bill becomes effective July 1, 2013.
Senate Bill 609/House Bill 595 has been referred for study by the House Economic Matters committee. The proposed legislation would expand the law that forbids employers from firing a covered employee who files a claim for workers’ compensation. In addition, the bill authorizes covered employees to bring civil actions against employers in instances of employer retaliation and courts would be allowed to grant specified relief.
Baltimore, Maryland-based Belsky, Weinberg & Horowitz has been fighting for clients who have been the victims of negligence and personal injury for many years. Call us at 410-234-0100 or email us for a free consultation and let us help you.