Florida Senate - 2019                                     SB 426
       By Senator Flores
       39-00816A-19                                           2019426__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to firefighters; creating s. 112.1816,
    3         F.S.; providing definitions; granting certain benefits
    4         to a firefighter upon receiving a diagnosis of cancer
    5         if certain conditions are met; requiring an employer
    6         to make certain disability payments to a firefighter
    7         in the event of a total and permanent disability;
    8         providing for death benefits to a firefighter’s
    9         beneficiary if a firefighter dies as a result of
   10         cancer or cancer treatments; specifying that any costs
   11         associated with benefits granted by the act must be
   12         borne by the employer; requiring the Division of State
   13         Fire Marshal to adopt certain rules; providing a
   14         declaration of important state interest; providing an
   15         effective date.
   17  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   19         Section 1. Section 112.1816, Florida Statutes, is created
   20  to read:
   21         112.1816 Firefighters; cancer diagnosis.—
   22         (1) As used in this section, the term:
   23         (a) “Cancer” includes:
   24         1. Bladder cancer.
   25         2. Brain cancer.
   26         3. Breast cancer.
   27         4. Cervical cancer.
   28         5. Colon cancer.
   29         6. Esophageal cancer.
   30         7. Invasive skin cancer.
   31         8. Kidney cancer.
   32         9. Large intestinal cancer.
   33         10. Lung cancer.
   34         11. Malignant melanoma.
   35         12. Mesothelioma.
   36         13. Multiple myeloma.
   37         14. Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
   38         15. Oral cavity and pharynx cancer.
   39         16. Ovarian cancer.
   40         17. Prostate cancer.
   41         18. Rectal cancer.
   42         19. Stomach cancer.
   43         20. Testicular cancer.
   44         21. Thyroid cancer.
   45         (b) “Employer” has the same meaning as in s. 112.191.
   46         (c) “Firefighter” means an individual employed as a full
   47  time firefighter within the fire department or public safety
   48  department of an employer whose primary responsibilities are the
   49  prevention and extinguishing of fires; the protection of life
   50  and property; and the enforcement of municipal, county, and
   51  state fire prevention codes and laws pertaining to the
   52  prevention and control of fires.
   53         (2) Upon a diagnosis of cancer, a firefighter is entitled
   54  to the following benefits, as an alternative to pursuing
   55  workers’ compensation benefits under chapter 440, if the
   56  firefighter has been employed by his or her employer for at
   57  least 5 continuous years, has not used tobacco products for at
   58  least the preceding 5 years, and has not been employed in any
   59  other position in the preceding 5 years which is proven to
   60  create a higher risk for any cancer:
   61         (a) Cancer treatment, at no cost to the firefighter,
   62  covered within an employer-sponsored health plan or through a
   63  group health insurance trust fund. The health plan, trust fund,
   64  or insurance policy, or a rider added to such policy, may not
   65  require the firefighter to contribute toward any deductible,
   66  copayment, or coinsurance amount for the treatment of cancer. In
   67  complying with this paragraph, the employer may timely reimburse
   68  the firefighter for any out-of-pocket deductible, copayment, or
   69  coinsurance costs incurred.
   70         (b) A one-time cash payout of $25,000, upon the
   71  firefighter’s initial diagnosis of cancer.
   73  The benefits specified in paragraphs (a) and (b) must be made
   74  available by a former employer of a firefighter for 10 years
   75  following the date that the firefighter terminates employment,
   76  so long as the firefighter otherwise met the criteria specified
   77  in this subsection when he or she terminated employment and was
   78  not subsequently employed as a firefighter following that date.
   79  For purposes of determining leave time and employee retention
   80  policies, the employer must consider a firefighter’s cancer
   81  diagnosis as an injury or illness incurred in the line of duty.
   82         (3)(a) If the firefighter participates in an employer
   83  sponsored retirement plan, the retirement plan must consider the
   84  firefighter totally and permanently disabled if he or she is
   85  prevented from rendering useful and effective service as a
   86  firefighter and is likely to remain disabled continuously and
   87  permanently due to the diagnosis of cancer or circumstances that
   88  arise out of the treatment of cancer.
   89         (b) If the firefighter does not participate in an employer
   90  sponsored retirement plan, the employer must provide a
   91  disability retirement plan that provides the firefighter with at
   92  least 42 percent of his or her annual salary, at no cost to the
   93  firefighter, until the firefighter’s death, as coverage for
   94  total and permanent disabilities attributable to the diagnosis
   95  of cancer which arise out of the treatment of cancer.
   96         (4)(a) If the firefighter participated in an employer
   97  sponsored retirement plan, the retirement plan must consider the
   98  firefighter to have died in the line of duty if he or she dies
   99  as a result of cancer or circumstances that arise out of the
  100  treatment of cancer.
  101         (b) If the firefighter did not participate in an employer
  102  sponsored retirement plan, the employer must provide a death
  103  benefit to the firefighter’s beneficiary, at no cost to the
  104  firefighter or his or her beneficiary, totaling at least 42
  105  percent of the firefighter’s most recent annual salary for at
  106  least 10 years following the firefighter’s death as a result of
  107  cancer or circumstances that arise out of the treatment of
  108  cancer.
  109         (c) Firefighters who die as a result of cancer or
  110  circumstances that arise out of the treatment of cancer are
  111  considered to have died in the manner as described in s.
  112  112.191(2)(a), and all of the benefits arising out of such death
  113  are available to the deceased firefighter’s beneficiary.
  114         (5) The costs of purchasing an insurance policy that
  115  provides the cancer benefits contained in this section, or the
  116  costs of providing such benefits through a self-funded system,
  117  must be borne solely by the employer that employs firefighters
  118  and may not be funded by individual firefighters, by any group
  119  health insurance trust fund funded partially or wholly by
  120  firefighters, or by any self-insured trust fund that provides
  121  health insurance coverage that is funded partially or wholly by
  122  firefighters.
  123         (6) The Division of State Fire Marshal within the
  124  Department of Financial Services shall adopt rules to establish
  125  employer cancer prevention best practices as it relates to
  126  personal protective equipment, decontamination, fire suppression
  127  apparatus, and fire stations.
  128         Section 2. The Legislature determines and declares that
  129  this act fulfills an important state interest.
  130         Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2019.