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of the industrial commission was enlarged in the administration of the State accident fund by chapters 340 and 341. The maximum assessment levied upon insurers for administrative expenses has been increased from $100,000 to $110,000, by the provisions of chapter 213.
The Massachusetts workmen's compensation act was amended by two chapters (143 and 170). Chapter 143 provides that in cases of controversy, as which of two or more insurers is liable to pay the compensation, the compensation shall be paid by one insurer pending the decision of the industrial board.
A person engaged in the usual course of his trade, etc., who is ordered to perform work outside of such trade and is injured thereby, is nevertheless an employee under the act, according to chapter 170.
Michigan The only change made in the Michigan act was by chapter 58, which extends the coverage of the act to include volunteer firemen. The average wage computation is fixed at $27 per week.
CHAPTERS 352, 353, and 392 relate to the insurance features of the Minnesota workmen's compensation act. The definition of "insurance" and the applicability of such is enlarged to include the partial insurance liability of an employer exempted from insuring his liability for compensation under the act. (Chs. 352 and 353.) Before such may become effective, approval by the compensation insurance board must be obtained. (Ch. 392.)
AN EMPLOYER must now furnish medical, etc., aid to an injured employee for a period of 90 days after the injury instead of 60, with the maximum limit increased from $250 to $750. The commission may order additional treatment at any time, instead of being limited to the 1-year period as heretofore (p. 381). An employer may elect to be covered under the act with respect to occupational diseases, provided he has filed notice with the commission and posted notice to that effect. A new employee and an employee remaining in the service 30 days after such posting of notice is conclusively presumed to have elected to accept this coverage unless a written notice to reject has been filed with the commission and the employer (p. 382).
ONE act (ch. 139) was passed in Montana amending the compensation law in several respects. Casual employments and those not in the usual course of the employer's business are brought under the act, provided the employer has elected to be bound by the workmen's compensation provisions. Other treatment may be furnished an injured employee in addition to reasonable services by a physician,
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surgeon, or hospital, when such service is approved by the board. Costs, etc., arising out of plan No. 3 under the act may now be paid from the industrial accident fund. The Montana Industrial Accident Board now has the power to fix the amount of attorney's fees. For proofs of insolvency a filing fee of $5 is required to be paid into the industrial administrative fund, and a $3 fee to be credited to the same fund must be paid for all insurance policies, or renewals, filed with the board.
Two acts (chs. 151 and 213) amend the workmen's compensation law of Nevada. Instead of paying 15 per cent of the wages of a deceased employee to the offspring upon the death of a surviving parent, compensation paid to the surviving child, or children, is increased to the amount theretofore paid to such parent. (Ch. 151.) The State insurance fund may now invest in bonds of Nevada irrigation or drainage districts, and the industrial commission is authorized to provide for such reinsurance as will protect the State insurance fund in case of a catastrophe. In addition to the above-mentioned acts a new law was enacted making original contractors liable for the fulfillment by subcontractors of the requirements of the Nevada industrial insurance act and providing a penalty for any violations. (Ch. 213.)
One act (ch. 131) was enacted in New Hampshire amending the compensation law by increasing the maximum amount in death cases from $3,000 to $4,500 and the maximum amount for medical attendance and burial expenses in the case of no dependents was increased from $100 to $200.
New Jersey The New Jersey workmen's compensation law was amended by several chapters during the legislative session. The term "radium necrosis” in the list of occupational diseases has been changed to “radium poisoning,” by chapter 33. The act now excludes from the coverage provision any public employee retired on a pension by reason of disability. (Ch. 355.) This chapter also permits coverage of
. public employees receiving more than $1,200 a year. Chapter 279 provides that in computing the 24-hour period during which time notice of a hernia must be made known to an employer, all days are excluded in which the business is not in operation. This chapter also amends the compensation act by limiting to two years the time within which an award may be reviewed on the ground of increased disability; by extending to the employer the right to proceed against a third party, when the injured employee or dependent fails, within six months of the accident, to take legal action against a third party or accepts a settlement for less than the employer's obligation; and by providing that five days shall constitute a minimum week for the purposes of compensation. By chapter 280, the statute of limitations within which time a claim must be filed has been extended from one year to two years. Perhaps the most important change in the workmen's compensation law in this State was that of procedure in appeal cases. Appeals from the awards of the commission are hereafter, by the provisions of chapter 388, to be taken directly to the State supreme court, and not, as formerly, by appeal first to the court of common pleas; this chapter states that any judgment of the workmen's compensation bureau shall be reviewable by certiorari only. By chapter 172, the securing of compensation for volunteer firemen is now mandatory upon municipalities and fire districts, and for such firemen not otherwise employed at the time of injury compensation is based upon the weekly earnings received in the last employment. By the extension of the period for filing a petition, by chapter 278, from one year to two years, the former provision depriving an employer of certain defenses is now necessarily omitted from paragraph 6, chapter 187, Acts of 1924. Chapter 192 deals with the insurance features of the compensation act, permitting an employer who is exempted from insuring under the act to insure his liability for the payment of any loss in excess of $5,000 by reason of any single accident and occupational diseases scheduled in the workmen's compensation act, and empowering the commissioner of banking and insurance to prescribe the form of the notice of compliance. By a supplemental act (ch. 108), the tax of 1 per cent exacted for rehabilitation purposes must now be paid directly to the State tax commissioner instead of to the commissioner of labor as heretofore.
APPROXIMATELY seven acts were passed in New York amending the workmen's compensation law. The coverage of the act was enlarged (by ch. 510) so as to include private chauffeurs employed in cities of 2,000,000 or more (i. e., New York City). The law is novel, in addition to its local application, in that employers are exempted from the penalty of the law. In lumbering operations an exception is made in the coverage provision of the act by permitting a farmer to produce on his farm logs cut to dimension lengths and to transport them to market or point of shipment without taking out workmen's compensation insurance, provided not more than four persons are engaged by a single employer. (Ch. 385.) Chapter 344 provides that the 12-month time limit between the contraction of an occupational disease and the disablement by it is not to apply if both contraction and disablement occurred while the employee was engaged in the same employment with the same employer. The industrial board is, by chapter 292, given three years instead of one to reclassify a disability on account of change in condition or error. Chapter 291 provides that a dependent blind or crippled child must be totally incapacitated in order to partake of any death benefits. Unpaid premiums and judgments are, by chapter 508, given preference over other claims against employers except wages in bankruptcy, etc., proceedings. The boards of supervisors of counties which have adopted mutual self-insurance are now empowered, by chapter 199, either to appropriate the necessary moneys to pay the awards or to authorize the county treasurer to borrow for such purpose instead of the former method in which the county treasurer borrowed upon an order of the committee.
Two acts (chs. 164 and 274) amended the North Carolina workmen's compensation law. The first of these specifies that disfigurement shall also include any bodily injury not covered in the schedule of specific injuries, and the second makes several changes in the basic law. Thus any county or school district or sheriff and his deputies may now be exempted from the act, but notice of such action must be made to the industrial commission; the commission may also order a change of treatment upon the request of an injured employee; instead of paying compensation to the personal representative of a deceased employee in the case of no dependents, the law as amended specifies that such shall be paid to the next of kin; a second-injury fund is also established; hereafter no review of an award may be considered after 12 months from the date of the last payment; the commission may, in order to protect the interests of minors or incompetents, change the terms of any award with respect to whom compensation shall be paid; in the review of cases instituted by an insurer, the commission may now order the cost of such review, entailed by the employee, to be paid by the insurer; power is extended to the commission to collect any fines, etc., and the same shall be a part of the maintenance fund; the employer and not the State must hereafter pay all medical examination fees and expenses; the salaries of the industrial commissioners, instead of being fixed by the terms of the act, are hereafter to be fixed by the governor, and the offices of the commission are no longer specifically required to be in the capitol building or other building in Raleigh, and hence may be established at any point within the State. Îwo supplemental acts (chs. 279 and 312) were also enacted; chapter 279 creates a compensation rating and inspection bureau, and chapter 312 provides for the establishment of a department of labor, and a separate and distinct agency to be known as the division of workmen's compensation.
SEVERAL changes were made by chapters 312, 313, 314, and 315 of the Acts of 1931. In the aggravation of a preexisting disease, compensation is allowable only for the proportion of the disability due to the aggravation of such disease as may be attributed to the injury. (Ch. 312.) Extraterritorial effect of the act is given to appointive county peace officers, and the act is made retroactive by chapter 313 to July 1, 1930. Chapter 314 provides for the reorganization of the workmen's compensation bureau, so that hereafter the bureau is to consist of three members only, serving for six years each; several minor changes in the administration of the act were also made. The penalty for failure to comply with a safety regulation is increased to $25 and in addition the premium rating of an employer may be penalized. As to the payment of premiums, chapter 315 allows public employers to pay in two equal semiannual installments when in excess of $100; no bond is required, but interest at 5 per cent is assessed upon deferred payments. Other employers have an option of paying in two equal semiannual installments or four equal quarterly installments; a bond is required to be filed in such cases covering a period of from one to five years, and a surety bond for periods of
more than one year's duration. For defaults in payment of premiums the penalties are changed, and suits for the collection of same must be instituted within 20 days instead of the former limitation period of 10 days.
Four acts were passed by the 1931 legislative session in Ohio. The first act (pp. 26–39) amended several chapters of the law. The occupational disease law was amended by adding potassium cyanide and sulphur dioxide poisoning, and chrome ulceration of the skin or nasal passages. The maximum amount of compensation in partial disability cases is increased from $3,750 to $4,000. The periods of compensation in the schedule for specific injuries have also been increased in certain cases for the loss of a hand, 165 weeks; arm, 215 weeks; foot, 140 weeks; leg, 190 weeks; sight of an eye, 125 weeks. Funeral benefits are increased from $150 to $200. The
coverage of the act is liberalized in the case of police and firemen already provided for under a pension fund. Several changes were made in respect to the adoption of rules, etc., for the collection, maintenance, and disbursement of the State insurance fund; the requiring of additional bond by the State treasurer as the custodian of such fund; and a provision for the segregation of the State insurance fund into a public and a private fund. An additional penalty of 90 days’ imprisonment, together with costs of prosecution, is provided for an employer willfully failing to insure. The act also provides assurance of immediate payment of compensation to a claimant from the surplus fund upon recovery of a final judgment against an employer. No modification of an award may be made after 10 years of an injury or last payment of compensation.
The second act (pp. 111, 112) merely authorizes Ohio insurance corporations to write compensation insurance outside the State, while the third act (pp. 147-150) relates principally to procedure in the computation of and rates to be paid into the public insurance fund, etc.
The fourth act (pp. 789–791), among other things, extends the penalty to employees of the department of industrial relations convicted of divulging confidential information; authorizes the commission to inquire into the amount of fees charged and to settle disputes relating thereto, and gives it the power to suspend for cause, anyone fraudulently practicing before the commission; a penalty is also imposed upon anyone falsely claiming the right to represent a claimant before the commission or even soliciting authority to appear.
The only change in the workmen's compensation law of Oklahoma was that relating to the appointments, qualifications, etc., of the industrial commissioners, and the employment of administrative assistants. (Ch. 72.) In order to qualify for appointment a commissioner must be a resident of the State for over two years, a qualified voter, and not less than 30 years of age. The salary of two members of the commission is increased from $3,000 to $3,900, and the chairman hereafter will receive $4,200.