SB501 (2008) Detail

(4th New Title) relative to workers’ compensation on certain state projects, penalty collection powers of the department of labor and permanent impairment awards under workers’ compensation.


CHAPTER 270

SB 501-FN – FINAL VERSION

03/06/08 0828s

03/06/08 0886s

03/13/08 0935s

23Apr2008… 1313h

2008 SESSION

08-2707

01/09

SENATE BILL 501-FN

AN ACT relative to workers’ compensation on certain state projects, penalty collection powers of the department of labor and permanent impairment awards under workers’ compensation.

SPONSORS: Sen. Hassan, Dist 23; Sen. Cilley, Dist 6; Sen. DeVries, Dist 18; Sen. Estabrook, Dist 21; Sen. Fuller Clark, Dist 24; Sen. Gottesman, Dist 12; Sen. Janeway, Dist 7; Sen. Kelly, Dist 10; Sen. Larsen, Dist 15; Rep. Vachon, Straf 3; Rep. Hunt, Ches 7; Rep. Hatch, Coos 3

COMMITTEE: Commerce, Labor and Consumer Protection

AMENDED ANALYSIS

This bill:

I. Clarifies certain workers’ compensation procedures relating to state projects.

II. Provides the department of labor with the same penalty collection powers as the department of revenue administration.

III. Changes the edition of “Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment” which is used to determine permanent impairment awards under workers’ compensation.

IV. Establishes a committee to evaluate issues related to which edition of “Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment” should be used for purposes of workers’ compensation.

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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

03/06/08 0828s

03/06/08 0886s

03/13/08 0935s

23Apr2008… 1313h

08-2707

01/09

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Eight

AN ACT relative to workers’ compensation on certain state projects, penalty collection powers of the department of labor and permanent impairment awards under workers’ compensation.

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

270:1 State Transportation Projects; Workers’ Compensation. Amend RSA 228:4-b, I-III to read as follows:

I. Prior to any work being done by an individual contractor on any state transportation project carried out under this subdivision, such contractor, including all subcontractors and independent contractors, working on a highway, bridge, or other construction, reconstruction, alteration, or maintenance project, excluding routine maintenance operations conducted utilizing the contract rental agreement process, [funded] and excluding deliveries to and removals from a project administered by the department shall provide to the commissioner of transportation:

(a) A certificate of insurance of his or her current workers’ compensation coverage in New Hampshire for the classification of work to be completed on the project;

(b) A sworn statement that this coverage shall remain in effect for the duration of his or her anticipated work on the project;

(c) A completed work certificate, provided pursuant to RSA 281-A:4-b, that shall include the total number of employees anticipated to be employed by such contractor, subcontractor, or independent contractor on the project during the contract period, delineated by the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) classification code applicable to the scope of work to be performed;

(d) A copy of the contractor’s compliance with a current written safety program, if applicable, as filed with the commissioner of labor under RSA 281-A:64, II and proof of an existing joint loss management committee as required under RSA 281-A:64, III, if applicable; and

(e) [Any other information the commissioner of transportation deems necessary] The department may develop procedures to obtain the requirements in this section on an annual basis or by a prequalification procedure rather than on a project-by-project basis.

II. If any highway, bridge, or other construction contractor, subcontractor, or independent contractor who might otherwise claim an exclusion under RSA 281-A:18-a is directly performing the work on a project covered under this section, such contractor, subcontractor, or independent contractor shall comply with the provisions of this section.

III. The commissioner of labor may assess any contractor, subcontractor, or independent contractor who falsifies information or fails to comply with this section a civil penalty of up to $2,500 and in addition, such an employer shall be assessed a civil penalty of up to $100 per employee per day of noncompliance. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, any person with control or responsibility over the decisions to disburse funds and salaries and who knowingly falsified information or knowingly failed to comply with this section shall be held personally liable for the payment of penalties under this section and such contractor, subcontractor, or independent contractor shall not be allowed to bid or work on state projects for up to 5 years. The state shall be entitled to recover from the violator all costs and fees directly associated with uncovering falsified information supplied under this section.

270:2 Major Projects; Workers’ Compensation. Amend RSA 21-I:80, VI(a)(5) to read as follows:

(5) [Any other information the commissioner of administrative services deems necessary] The department may develop procedures to obtain the requirements in this section on an annual basis or by a prequalification procedure rather than on a project-by-project basis.

270:3 Major Projects; Workers’ Compensation. Amend RSA 21-I:80, VI(c) to read as follows:

(c) The commissioner of labor may assess any contractor, subcontractor, or independent contractor who falsifies information or fails to comply with this section a civil penalty of up to $2,500 and in addition, such an employer shall be assessed a civil penalty of up to $100 per employee per day of noncompliance. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, any person with control or responsibility over the decisions to disburse funds and salaries and who knowingly falsified information or knowingly failed to comply with this section shall be held personally liable for the payment of penalties under this section and such contractor, subcontractor, or independent contractor shall not be allowed to bid or work on state projects for up to 5 years. The state shall be entitled to recover from the violator all costs and fees directly associated with uncovering falsified information supplied under this section.

270:4 New Section; Department of Labor; Penalty Collection Powers. Amend RSA 281-A by inserting after section 57 the following new section:

281-A:57-a Penalty Collection Powers.

I. Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law, with respect to the collection of any fees, penalties, or interest administered by the department, the department of labor shall cause a certified copy of the notice and demand for payment of such fees, penalties, or interest to be filed in accordance with RSA 454-B:2 and such filing and service of the notice and demand shall constitute a lien upon the real estate, personal estate, property interest, right, or credit to which the notice and demand relates, or which may be subsequently discovered.

II. If the party liable for such fees, penalties, or interest neither resides in nor owns property in this state, then the notice and demand in paragraph I of this section shall be filed with the secretary of state and shall constitute a lien in the manner as provided in paragraph I.

III. Any lien filed pursuant to this section shall continue and shall be valid and binding until the liability for the sum, with interest, costs, and attorney’s fees is satisfied or 6 years from the date such lien is filed, whichever is earlier.

IV. In the event the liability, interest, costs, and attorney’s fees are not satisfied before the end of the original term of the lien, any lien filed pursuant to this section may be renewed for the same term as the original term of the lien by refiling according to the procedures set forth in paragraphs I-III.

V. A bankruptcy filing shall not affect the validity of any lien properly filed or renewed in accordance with this section.

VI. Upon neglect or refusal of any person or corporation to pay the fees, penalties, or interest assessed upon them, the department may distrain the personal estate, property interest, right, or credit of such person or corporation.

270:5 Major Projects; Workers’ Compensation. Amend the introductory paragraph of RSA 21-I:80, VI(a) to read as follows:

VI.(a) Prior to any work being done by an individual contractor on any major project under this section, such contractor, including all subcontractors and independent contractors, excluding deliveries to and removals from a project administered by the department, shall provide to the commissioner of administrative services:

270:6 Workers’ Compensation; Scheduled Permanent Impairment Awards. Amend RSA 281-A:32, IX to read as follows:

IX. MORE THAN ONE PERMANENT LOSS. If an injury results in more than one permanent bodily loss specified in paragraphs I-VIII, or if the injury is to the spinal column or the spinal cord, or to the brain, or involves scarring, disfigurement, or other skin impairment resulting from a burn or burns, an award shall be made on the basis of a maximum of 350 weeks with the appropriate number of weeks to be determined in proportion to the maximum in accordance with the percent of the whole person specified for such bodily losses in the [most recent] 5th edition of “Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment” published by the American Medical Association. Injury to spinal column or spinal cord shall not be construed to permit an award under this section as a result of soft tissue injury, nor to permit such an award on the basis of more than one permanent loss, unless such injury results in loss of use of upper or lower extremities. For the purposes of this paragraph “injury to the brain” means cerebral or neurological impairment due to central nervous system injury as described in said American Medical Association Guide.

270:7 Workers’ Compensation; Scheduled Permanent Impairment Awards. Amend RSA 281-A:32, XIV to read as follows:

XIV. RULEMAKING REQUIRED. In order to reduce litigation and establish more certainty and uniformity in the rating of permanent impairment, the commissioner shall adopt rules, under RSA 541-A, incorporating by reference the [most recent] 5th edition of the American Medical Association’s “Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment” to determine the degree of permanent impairment and on which to base awards under this chapter.

270:8 Committee Established. There is established a committee to study issues associated with the most recent edition of “Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment” published by the American Medical Association and its impact on workers’ compensation permanent bodily loss.

270:9 Membership and Compensation.

I. The members of the committee shall be as follows:

(a) Three members of the house of representatives, appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives.

(b) One member of the senate, appointed by the president of the senate.

II. Members of the committee shall receive mileage at the legislative rate when attending to the duties of the committee.

270:10 Duties. The committee shall study issues associated with the most recent edition of “Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment” published by the American Medical Association and determine whether the 6th edition has a detrimental impact on compensation for permanent bodily loss or losses.

270:11 Chairperson; Quorum. The members of the study committee shall elect a chairperson from among the members. The first meeting of the committee shall be called by the first-named house member. The first meeting of the committee shall be held within 45 days of the effective date of this section. Three members of the committee shall constitute a quorum.

270:12 Report. The committee shall report its findings and any recommendations for proposed legislation to the speaker of the house of representatives, the president of the senate, the house clerk, the senate clerk, the governor, and the state library on or before November 1, 2008.

270:13 Effective Date. This act shall take effect upon its passage.

Approved: June 26, 2008

Effective Date: June 26, 2008

Links

SB501 at GenCourtMobile

Action Dates

Date Body Type

Bill Text Revisions

SB501 Revision: 12307 Date: Jan. 1, 2008, midnight

Docket