Issues that may impact the workers comp system
Legislative measure that would compensate first responders for cancers and post-traumatic stress disorder are among the “hot topics” in workers comp identified in a recent update from the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI), which monitors issues that could potentially impact the system.
This year, NCCI tracked more than 800 state and federal workers compensation-related bills and monitored almost 200 workers compensation-related regulations.
Other areas identified by NCCI as attracting significant legislative attention:
Legalization of marijuana
At least 25 states considered legislation to legalize marijuana for medical and/or recreational purposes this year; however, only a few states, including Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Vermont enacted laws. At this time, there are nine states, plus the District of Columbia, that have legalized the recreational use of marijuana, and three states, Idaho, Kansas, and Nebraska, that have not legalized marijuana in any form.
In 2018, almost every state introduced legislation related to prescription drugs and about 20 states considered legislation addressing prescription drugs in workers compensation. Arizona and Hawaii passed legislation this session to address the use of opioids in workers compensation.
The gig economy
In 2018, nine states considered legislation defining the term “marketplace contractor” to classify certain on-demand workers as independent contractors. Five of those states—Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, and Tennessee—passed legislation in 2018.