Florida Senate - 2011                                    SB 1286
       By Senator Bennett
       21-01030-11                                           20111286__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to state reciprocity in workers’
    3         compensation claims; amending s. 440.09, F.S.;
    4         providing extraterritorial coverage; exempting certain
    5         employees working in this state and the employers of
    6         such employees from the Workers’ Compensation Law of
    7         this state under certain conditions; providing
    8         requirements for the establishment of prima facie
    9         evidence that the employer carries certain workers’
   10         compensation insurance; requiring courts to take
   11         judicial notice of the construction of certain laws;
   12         authorizing the Division of Workers’ Compensation to
   13         enter into agreements with the workers’ compensation
   14         agencies of other states for certain purposes;
   15         providing requirements for claims made in other
   16         states; providing criteria for employees to be
   17         considered temporarily in a state; providing
   18         application; providing an effective date.
   20  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   22         Section 1. Paragraph (e) is added to subsection (1) of
   23  section 440.09, Florida Statutes, to read:
   24         440.09 Coverage.—
   25         (1) The employer must pay compensation or furnish benefits
   26  required by this chapter if the employee suffers an accidental
   27  compensable injury or death arising out of work performed in the
   28  course and the scope of employment. The injury, its occupational
   29  cause, and any resulting manifestations or disability must be
   30  established to a reasonable degree of medical certainty, based
   31  on objective relevant medical findings, and the accidental
   32  compensable injury must be the major contributing cause of any
   33  resulting injuries. For purposes of this section, “major
   34  contributing cause” means the cause which is more than 50
   35  percent responsible for the injury as compared to all other
   36  causes combined for which treatment or benefits are sought. In
   37  cases involving occupational disease or repetitive exposure,
   38  both causation and sufficient exposure to support causation must
   39  be proven by clear and convincing evidence. Pain or other
   40  subjective complaints alone, in the absence of objective
   41  relevant medical findings, are not compensable. For purposes of
   42  this section, “objective relevant medical findings” are those
   43  objective findings that correlate to the subjective complaints
   44  of the injured employee and are confirmed by physical
   45  examination findings or diagnostic testing. Establishment of the
   46  causal relationship between a compensable accident and injuries
   47  for conditions that are not readily observable must be by
   48  medical evidence only, as demonstrated by physical examination
   49  findings or diagnostic testing. Major contributing cause must be
   50  demonstrated by medical evidence only.
   51         (e)1. If an employee in this state subject to this chapter
   52  temporarily leaves the state incidental to his or her employment
   53  and receives an accidental injury arising out of and in the
   54  course of employment, the employee, or beneficiaries of the
   55  employee if the injury results in death, is entitled to the
   56  benefits of this chapter as if the employee were injured within
   57  this state.
   58         2. An employee from another state and the employer of the
   59  employee in the other state are exempt from this chapter while
   60  the employee is temporarily in this state doing work for the
   61  employer if:
   62         a. The employer has furnished workers’ compensation
   63  insurance coverage under the workers’ compensation insurance or
   64  similar laws of the other state to cover the employee’s
   65  employment while in this state;
   66         b. The extraterritorial provisions of this chapter are
   67  recognized in the other state; and
   68         c. Employees and employers who are covered in this state
   69  are likewise exempted from the application of the workers’
   70  compensation insurance or similar laws of the other state.
   71         3. The benefits under the workers’ compensation insurance
   72  or similar laws of the other state, or other remedies under
   73  similar law, are the exclusive remedy against the employer for
   74  any injury, whether resulting in death or not, received by the
   75  employee while temporarily working for that employer in this
   76  state.
   77         4. A certificate from the duly authorized officer of the
   78  department or similar department of another state certifying
   79  that the employer of the other state is insured in that state
   80  and has provided extraterritorial coverage insuring employees
   81  while working in this state is prima facie evidence that the
   82  employer carries that workers’ compensation insurance.
   83         5. Whenever in any appeal or other litigation the
   84  construction of the laws of another jurisdiction is required,
   85  the courts shall take judicial notice of such construction of
   86  the laws of the other jurisdiction.
   87         6. The division may enter into an agreement with the
   88  workers’ compensation agency of any other state relating to
   89  conflicts of jurisdiction where the contract of employment is in
   90  one state and the injuries occur in the other state, or where
   91  there is a dispute as to the boundaries or jurisdiction of the
   92  states; and, when such an agreement has been executed and made
   93  public by the respective state agencies, the rights of employees
   94  hired in the other state and injured while temporarily in this
   95  state, or hired in this state and injured while temporarily in
   96  the other state, or where the jurisdiction is otherwise
   97  uncertain, shall be determined pursuant to such agreement and
   98  confined to the jurisdiction provided in the agreement.
   99         7. When an employee has a claim under the workers’
  100  compensation law of another state, territory, province, or
  101  foreign nation for the same injury or occupational disease as
  102  the claim filed in this state, the total amount of compensation
  103  paid or awarded under such other workers’ compensation law shall
  104  be credited against the compensation due under the Florida
  105  Workers’ Compensation Law. The employee is entitled to the full
  106  amount of compensation due under the Florida Workers’
  107  Compensation Law. If compensation under the Florida Workers’
  108  Compensation Law is more than the compensation under another
  109  law, or compensation paid to the employee under another law is
  110  recovered from the employee, the insurer shall pay any unpaid
  111  compensation to the employee up to the amount required by the
  112  claim under the Florida Workers’ Compensation Law.
  113         8. For purposes of this paragraph, an employee is
  114  considered to be temporarily in a state doing work for an
  115  employer if the employee is working for his employer in a state
  116  other than the state where he or she is primarily employed, for
  117  no more than 10 consecutive days, or no more than 25 total days,
  118  during a calendar year.
  119         9. This paragraph applies to any claim made on or after
  120  July 1, 2011, regardless of the date of the accident.
  121         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2011.