2006 Legislation
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HOUSE BILL NO. 850 – Workers comp, psychological injury


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Bill Status

H0850.....................................................by WAYS AND MEANS
WORKER'S COMPENSATION - Amends existing law relating to worker's
compensation to revise the definition of "injury"; and to revise provisions
applicable to compensation for psychological accidents and injuries.
03/24    House intro - 1st rdg - to printing
03/27    Rpt prt - to St Aff

Bill Text

  ]]]]              LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF IDAHO             ]]]]
 Fifty-eighth Legislature                   Second Regular Session - 2006
                              IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
                                     HOUSE BILL NO. 850
                                BY WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE
  1                                        AN ACT
  6    Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Idaho:
  7        SECTION  1.  That  Section  72-102, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby
  8    amended to read as follows:
  9        72-102.  DEFINITIONS. Words and terms used in  the  worker's  compensation
 10    law,  unless  the  context  otherwise requires, are defined in the subsections
 11    which follow:
 12        (1)  "Alien" means a person who is not a citizen, a national or a resident
 13    of the United States or Canada. Any person not a citizen or  national  of  the
 14    United  States who relinquishes or is about to relinquish his residence in the
 15    United States shall be regarded as an alien.
 16        (2)  "Beneficiary" means any person who is entitled to income benefits  or
 17    medical and related benefits under this law.
 18        (3)  "Burial  expenses"  means  a  sum, not to exceed six thousand dollars
 19    ($6,000) for funeral  and  burial  or  cremation,  together  with  the  actual
 20    expenses  of  transportation  of the employee's body to his place of residence
 21    within the United States or Canada.
 22        (4)  "Commission" means the industrial commission.
 23        (5)  "Community service worker" means:
 24        (a)  Any person who has been convicted of a criminal offense, any juvenile
 25        who has been found to be within the purview of chapter 5, title 20,  Idaho
 26        Code, and who has been informally diverted under the provisions of section
 27        20-511,  Idaho Code, or any person or youth who has been diverted from the
 28        criminal or juvenile justice system and who performs a public service  for
 29        any department, institution, office, college, university, authority, divi-
 30        sion, board, bureau, commission, council, or other entity of the state, or
 31        any  city,  county,  school  district, irrigation district or other taxing
 32        district authorized to levy a tax or an assessment or any other  political
 33        subdivision  or  any  private not-for-profit agency which has elected wor-
 34        ker's compensation insurance coverage for such person; or
 35        (b)  Parolees under department  of  correction  supervision,  probationers
 36        under  court  order  or  department of correction supervision and offender
 37        residents of community work centers under the direction or  order  of  the
 38        board of correction who are performing public service or community service
 39        work for any of the entities specified in paragraph (5)(a) of this section
 40        other than the department of correction.
 41        (6)  "Compensation" used collectively means any or all of the income bene-
 42    fits and the medical and related benefits and medical services.
 43        (7)  "Custom  farmer"  means  a  person  who  contracts to supply operated
  1    equipment to a proprietor of a farm for the purpose of performing part or  all
  2    of  the  activities related to raising or harvesting agricultural or horticul-
  3    tural commodities.
  4        (8)  "Death" means death resulting from an injury or occupational disease.
  5        (9)  Dependency limitations.
  6        (a)  "Adopted" and "adoption" include cases where persons are  treated  as
  7        adopted   as well as those of legal adoption unless legal adoption is spe-
  8        cifically provided.
  9        (b)  "Brother" and "sister" include  stepbrothers  and  stepsisters,  half
 10        brothers and half sisters, and brothers and sisters by adoption.
 11        (c)  "Child"  includes adopted children, posthumous children, and acknowl-
 12        edged illegitimate children, but  does  not  include  stepchildren  unless
 13        actually dependent.
 14        (d)  "Grandchild"  includes children of legally adopted children and chil-
 15        dren of stepchildren, but  does  not  include  stepchildren  of  children,
 16        stepchildren  of  stepchildren, or stepchildren of adopted children unless
 17        actually dependent.
 18        (e)  "Parent" includes stepparents and parents by adoption.
 19        (f)  "Grandparent" includes parents of parents by adoption, but  does  not
 20        include  parents of stepparents, stepparents of parents, or stepparents of
 21        stepparents.
 22        (10) "Disability," for purposes of determining total or partial  temporary
 23    disability  income  benefits, means a decrease in wage-earning capacity due to
 24    injury or occupational disease, as such capacity is affected  by  the  medical
 25    factor of physical impairment, and by pertinent nonmedical factors as provided
 26    in section 72-430, Idaho Code.
 27        (11) "Employee"  is synonymous with "workman" and means any person who has
 28    entered into the employment of, or who works  under  contract  of  service  or
 29    apprenticeship  with,  an  employer. It does not include any person engaged in
 30    any of the excepted employments enumerated  in  section  72-212,  Idaho  Code,
 31    unless  an election as provided in section 72-213, Idaho Code, has been filed.
 32    Any reference to an employee who has been injured shall, where the employee is
 33    dead, include a reference to his dependents as herein defined, if the  context
 34    so  requires, or, where the employee is a minor or incompetent, to his commit-
 35    tee or guardian or next friend.
 36        (12) (a)  "Employer" means any person who has expressly or impliedly hired
 37        or contracted the services of another. It includes contractors and subcon-
 38        tractors. It includes the owner or lessee of premises, or other person who
 39        is virtually the proprietor or operator of the business there carried  on,
 40        but  who,  by  reason  of there being an independent contractor or for any
 41        other reason, is not the direct employer of the workers there employed. If
 42        the employer is secured, it means his surety so far as applicable.
 43        (b)  "Professional employer" means a professional employer as  defined  in
 44        chapter 24, title 44, Idaho Code.
 45        (c)  "Temporary  employer"  means  the  employer of temporary employees as
 46        defined in section 44-2403(7), Idaho Code.
 47        (d)  "Work site employer" means the client of  the  temporary  or  profes-
 48        sional employer with whom a worker has been placed.
 49        (13) "Farm  labor contractor" means any person or his agent or subcontrac-
 50    tor who, for a fee, recruits and employs farm workers and  performs  any  farm
 51    labor contracting activity.
 52        (14) "Gender  and  number." The masculine gender includes the feminine and
 53    neuter; "husband" or "wife" includes "spouse"; the  singular  number  includes
 54    plural and the plural the singular.
 55        (15) "Income  benefits" means payments provided for or made under the pro-
  1    visions of this law to the injured employee disabled by an injury  or  occupa-
  2    tional  disease,  or  his  dependents  in case of death, excluding medical and
  3    related benefits.
  4        (16) "Independent contractor" means any person who renders service  for  a
  5    specified  recompense  for  a  specified result, under the right to control or
  6    actual control  of his principal as to the result of his work only and not  as
  7    to  the  means  by which such result is accomplished. For the purposes of wor-
  8    ker's compensation law, a custom farmer is considered  to  be  an  independent
  9    contractor.
 10        (17) "Injury" and "accident."
 11        (a)  "Injury" means a personal injury caused by an accident arising out of
 12        and  in  the course of any employment covered by the worker's compensation
 13        law.
 14        (b)  "Accident" means an unexpected, undesigned, and unlooked for  mishap,
 15        or  untoward  event,  connected  with the industry in which it occurs, and
 16        which can be reasonably located  as  to  time  when  and  place  where  it
 17        occurred, causing an injury.
 18        (c)  "Injury"  and "personal injury" shall be construed to include only an
 19        injury caused by an accident, which results in violence  to  the  physical
 20        structure  of the body or in a psychological injury, disorder or condition
 21        as set forth in section 72-451, Idaho Code. The terms shall in no case  be
 22        construed to include an occupational disease and only such nonoccupational
 23        diseases as result directly from an injury.
 24        (18) "Manifestation"  means the time when an employee knows that he has an
 25    occupational disease, or whenever  a  qualified  physician  shall  inform  the
 26    injured worker that he has an occupational disease.
 27        (19) "Medical  and  related  benefits" means payments provided for or made
 28    for medical, hospital, burial and other services as provided in this law other
 29    than income benefits.
 30        (20) "Medical services" means medical, surgical, dental  or  other  atten-
 31    dance  or  treatment, nurse and hospital service, medicines, apparatus, appli-
 32    ances, prostheses, and related services, facilities and supplies.
 33        (21) "Occupational diseases."
 34        (a)  "Occupational disease" means a  disease  due  to  the  nature  of  an
 35        employment  in which the hazards of such disease actually exist, are char-
 36        acteristic of, and peculiar to the trade, occupation, process, or  employ-
 37        ment,  but  shall  not include psychological injuries, disorders or condi-
 38        tions unless the conditions set forth in section 72-451, Idaho  Code,  are
 39        met.
 40        (b)  "Contracted"  and  "incurred," when referring to an occupational dis-
 41        ease, shall be deemed the equivalent of the term "arising out  of  and  in
 42        the course of" employment.
 43        (c)  "Disablement," except in the case of silicosis, means the event of an
 44        employee's becoming actually and totally incapacitated because of an occu-
 45        pational  disease from performing his work in the last occupation in which
 46        injuriously exposed to the hazards of such disease, and "disability" means
 47        the state of being so incapacitated.
 48        (d)  "Disablement," in the case of silicosis, means  the  event  of  first
 49        becoming  actually incapacitated, because of such disease, from performing
 50        any work in any remunerative employment; and "disability" means the  state
 51        of being so incapacitated.
 52        (e)  "Silicosis"  means the characteristic fibrotic condition of the lungs
 53        caused by the inhalation of silicon dioxide (SiO ) dust.
 54        (22) "Outworker" means a person to whom articles  or  materials  are  fur-
 55    nished  to  be treated in any way on premises not under the control or manage-
  1    ment of the person who furnished them.
  2        (23) "Person" means the state or any political subdivision thereof, or any
  3    individual, partnership, firm, association, trust, corporation, including  the
  4    state insurance fund, or any representative thereof.
  5        (24) "Physician" means medical physicians and surgeons, ophthalmologists,
  6    otorhinolaryngologists,  dentists, osteopaths, osteopathic physicians and sur-
  7    geons, optometrists, podiatrists, chiropractic physicians, and members of  any
  8    other  healing profession licensed or authorized by the statutes of this state
  9    to practice such profession within the scope of their practice as  defined  by
 10    the statutes of this state and as authorized by their licenses.
 11        (25) "Secretary" means the secretary of the commission.
 12        (26) "Self-insurer"  means  an  employer who has been authorized under the
 13    provisions of this law to carry his own liability to his employees covered  by
 14    this law.
 15        (27) "State" includes any state, district, commonwealth, zone or territory
 16    of the United States or any province of Canada.
 17        (28) "Surety"  means any insurer authorized to insure or guarantee payment
 18    of worker's compensation liability of employers in any state; it also includes
 19    the state insurance fund, a self-insurer and an inter-insurance exchange.
 20        (29) "United States," when used in a geographic sense, means  the  several
 21    states,  the  District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Canal
 22    Zone and the territories of the United States.
 23        (30) "Wages" and "wage earning capacity" prior to the injury  or  disable-
 24    ment from occupational disease mean the employee's money payments for services
 25    as calculated under section 72-419, Idaho Code, and shall additionally include
 26    the  reasonable market value of board, rent, housing, lodging, fuel, and other
 27    advantages which can be estimated in money which the  employee  receives  from
 28    the  employer  as  part  of  his  remuneration, and gratuities received in the
 29    course of employment from others than the employer. "Wages" shall not  include
 30    sums which the employer has paid to the employee to cover any special expenses
 31    entailed on him by the nature of his employment.
 32        (31) "Wages"  and  "wage earning capacity" after the injury or disablement
 33    from occupational disease shall be presumed to be the  actual  earnings  after
 34    the  injury  or disablement, which presumption may be overcome by showing that
 35    those earnings do not fairly and reasonably represent wage  earning  capacity;
 36    in  such  a case wage earning capacity shall be determined in the light of all
 37    factors and circumstances which may  affect  the  worker's  capacity  to  earn
 38    wages.
 39        (32) "Work  experience  student"  means  any person enrolled in the public
 40    school districts of this state  and  who,  as  part  of  his  instruction,  is
 41    enrolled  in  a class or program for academic credit and for which the student
 42    is employed by, or works for, a private or governmental  entity.  The  student
 43    need  not receive wages from the private or governmental entity in order to be
 44    classified as a work experience student.
 45        (33) "Worker's compensation law" or "workmen's compensation law" means and
 46    includes the worker's compensation law of this state and any like  or  similar
 47    law of any state, United States, territory, or province of Canada.
 48        SECTION  2.  That  Section  72-451, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby
 49    amended to read as follows:
 50        72-451.  PSYCHOLOGICAL ACCIDENTS  AND  INJURIES.  Psychological  injuries,
 51    disorders  or conditions shall not be compensated under this title, unless the
 52    following conditions are met:
 53        (1)  Such injuries of any kind or  nature  emanating  from  the  workplace
  1    shall be compensated only if caused by accident and physical injury as defined
  2    in section 72-102(157)(a) through (15)(c), Idaho Code, or only if accompanying
  3    an occupational disease  with resultant physical injury, except that a psycho-
  4    logical  mishap  or  event may constitute an accident where: (i) it results in
  5    resultant physical injury so long as the psychological mishap or  event  meets
  6    the  other  criteria  of  this  section, and (ii) it is readily recognized and
  7    identifiable as having occurred in the workplace, and (iii)  it  must  be  the
  8    product of a sudden and extraordinary event; and
  9        (2)  No  compensation  shall be paid for such injuries arising from condi-
 10    tions generally inherent in  every  working  situation  or  from  a  personnel
 11    related  action including, but not limited to, disciplinary action, changes in
 12    duty, job evaluation or employment termination; and
 13        (3)  Such accident and injury must be the predominant cause as compared to
 14    all  other  causes  combined of any consequence for which benefits are claimed
 15    under this section; and
 16        (4)  Where psychological causes or injuries are recognized  by  this  sec-
 17    tion, such causes or injuries must exist in a real and objective sense; and
 18        (5)  Any  permanent  impairment  or permanent disability for psychological
 19    injury recognizable under the Idaho worker's compensation law must be based on
 20    a condition sufficient to constitute a diagnosis  using  the  terminology  and
 21    criteria  of  the American psychiatric association's diagnostic and statistics
 22    manual of mental disorders, third edition revised,  or  any  successor  manual
 23    promulgated  by  the  American  psychiatric association, and must be made by a
 24    psychologist, or psychiatrist duly licensed to practice in the jurisdiction in
 25    which treatment is rendered; and
 26        (6)  Clear and convincing evidence that the psychological  injuries  arose
 27    out  of  and  in the course of the employment from an accident or occupational
 28    disease as contemplated in this section is required.
 29        Nothing herein shall be construed as allowing compensation for psychologi-
 30    cal injuries from psychological causes without an accompanying physical injury
 31    work-related accident.
 32        This section shall apply to accidents and injuries occurring on  or  after
 33    July  1,  1994, and to causes of action for benefits accruing on or after July
 34    1, 1994, notwithstanding that the original  worker's  compensation  claim  may
 35    have occurred prior to July 1, 1994.

Statement of Purpose / Fiscal Impact

                       STATEMENT OF PURPOSE

                            RS 16278C1

This legislation changes the Idaho Code regarding workers
compensation claims to allow compensation for a work-related
severe psychological injury.  Current rules require that
compensation is available only if accompanied by physical injury,
thereby excluding coverage for psychologic disorders induced by
an exceptional workplace event.  The legislation retains the
requirements that the psychological injury be exceptional, not
related to disciplinary action or firing, and that a work-related
accident be the cause of the psychological injury.

                           FISCAL NOTE

The expected cost to the general fund for the increased premium
for workers compensation coverage is undetermined but is expected
to be minimal.

Name: Bruce Newcomb, Speaker of the House 
      Representatives John Rusche, Margaret Henbest, Darrell Bolz
Phone: (208) 332-1000

STATEMENT OF PURPOSE/FISCAL NOTE                            H 850