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. 19 20 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 21 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.