On June 11, 2012, Ohio House Bill 487 was signed into law (with a number of line item vetoes) by Governor Kasich. As it pertains to workers’ compensation, the bill made four noteworthy changes:
- The bill requires the Administrator of the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) to make the rules which govern the operating procedures of the BWC and the Industrial Commission of Ohio available electronically. The bill also provides that the Administrator of the BWC must make the BWC’s classifications, rates, rules, and the rules of procedure available electronically upon request. These changes essentially eliminated the paper-form of these publications that are presently required by the BWC. (Ohio Revised Code Sections 4123.20, 4121.30, and the repeal of 4121.18).
- The bill provides that Permanent Partial Disability payments that are awarded in a workers’ compensation claim for a loss of use or ankylosis are to be paid in weekly installments and may only be commuted to a lump sum payment or payments if special circumstances exist to justify such payment or payments (i.e. the claimant’s need for financial relief or for the purpose of furthering his or her rehabilitation). The prior law required a lump sum payment of the entire award or the remainder of what is owed on the award, once the award is final (i.e. not pending pursuant to an appeal that is timely filed). (Ohio Revised Code Section 4123.57).
- The bill allows state institutions of higher education that are self-insured for the purposes of workers’ compensation coverage, to include its hospitals in its self-insured workers’ compensation coverage. The law previously excluded such hospitals from such coverage. (Ohio Revised Code Section 4123.35).
- The bill permits the Administrator of the BWC to allow professional sports leagues to provide workers’ compensation coverage to its professional athletes and coaches under a sports league workers’ compensation insurance policy that is issued under the laws of another state. The bill continues that those professional athletes, coaches and the dependents of such professional athletes or coaches who are covered by such a policy, are prohibited from applying for or receiving compensation or benefits under Ohio’s workers’ compensation laws. (Ohio Revised Code Section 4123.54).
The bill's effective date is October 1, 2012. For more information about this bill and the other areas of the law that it impacts, please contact:
James J. Boutrous II248.220.1355
Adrienne L. Stemen 216.348.5760
Labor and Employment Practice
We have an impressive team of labor and employment attorneys who specialize in representing management in all aspects of labor and employment law at both the state and federal level. They have significant expertise in counseling clients on labor, employment and human resources issues and representing employers in state and federal courts and administrative agencies in all aspects of labor and employment-related litigation.
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