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. 16 17 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 18 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. 72 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.